Putting our own twist on the Tiny House movement and keeping the mantra travel more (Moore) at the forefront, we have been consolidating, donating and generally paring down all our possessions since we rented and moved out of our house June 1st. That being said, the final four days consisted of giving our Volvo to Flight Car, leaving the truck with a shipping company that on a different day we wouldn’t have set foot into and now it’s time to send the dog as cargo on our flight. For me, that was the hardest part about actually leaving. I knew in my head she’d be fine, I mean she’s a dog and resilient, everything will be fine. But at a time in life when you’re giving up jobs, paychecks, a first home, and your significant possessions for this thing called adventure and wanderlust your really start to hold on tight to what’s important – and when it comes to the Furbaby, mamma bear comes out.
Traveling with a pet always includes some extra thought; especially in our society where there’s a certain vanity to pets and for a lot of people they are surrogate children, either because they’re not in that ‘right place’, filling an empty nest or can’t for one reason or another. When we first seriously began working through the idea of what it would take to do something like this we started with Australia but knew that quarantine was not something we wanted to deal with and quickly decided a road trip could accommodate our most spoiled pooch. We’ve both traveled the States fairly extensively and wanted something a bit more out of the box and decided to head south. Neither of us have been to South America and it was top of the list of boxes to check; a life goal to visit every continent and this puts us at 5 of the 7 (Australia and Antarctica the two outstanding). Doing a little research it didn’t take long to realize how many people make this road trip a reality and off we were. Even better that one of the blogs we stumbled onto fairly early on was about a couple who made this trek with their dog – that was it, done deal. Once the decision was made, the fear and intimidation only somewhat at bay, a lot of research and reassurance was to be done on crossing not one or two borders but upwards of 13-15 through some of the most trafficked drug smuggling routes in the world. Well, if that doesn’t say it…
I tend to overthink things which results in being a bit of a worrier, I want to know what I don’t know even though I know figuring shit out is part of the journey. My goal was to ask questions, research, ask more questions and do more research and prepare myself all knowing that I still
won’t can’t know everything. I came across PetTravel.com, a company that specializes in helping people travel and relocate overseas with pets. Feeling relieved to have this formal resource I continued looking for any tidbits that could help augment the documents. I was able to confirm that there are no formal quarantines but we will be required to see a local vet for an exam and proper paperwork before crossing each border. We can figure this out no problem, summer 2015 motto!
I was glad our direct flight left Houston at 9:15pm so we had all day to run Lucia and tire her out before we all loaded up and boarded. We spent the day frantically tying up loose ends, making notes of all those left to finish and finally made it to the dog park for a good run in the sun. Summer in Houston and both days we found ourselves out in the heat of the day, thankfully they have swimming ponds for
those mutts to cool off in. We were sitting under the shade chatting and Chad noticed an email from SENASA, the equivalent to our USDA, regarding our arrival. It said we needed to provide confirmation and all documentation 24 hours prior to arrival – well, we were well within 24 hours and this was the first I heard that anything needed to be provided. I immediately called United and the field agents were only somewhat helpful. I spoke with a Supervisor who did nothing more but read me a blurb about what’s required to which I confirmed I had done; what I was worried about was the confirmation of arrival and pre-arrival documentation review. I immediately emailed the documentation, which I was sure I had in order and said I’d be to their office within the next hour.