Five Places to Look for Inspiration for With-Pet Travellers
Thanks to this amazing little intimate group I was invited to join called… get this “Positive Vibes” (so awesome) I am not the only one writing about inspiration this week: take a look at Backroad Ramblers here for some great photo inspiration, Tangled in Food (You got to eat!) here, and The Adventure Dog Blog here for some great hiking and “connecting with your dog” inspiration!
Although I am not a huge do-er of roundups, I am a BIG fan of inspiration in all its forms. I love how inspiration can come to us in unexpected ways. I love how it can mean different things to different people, and more than anything, I love seeing how we can all inspire each other.
Although I wrote a post on our anniversary about the challenges of blogging and how we aren’t really certain we like the changes that are coming —— in particular the frenzy to monetize —— I do think we can take a moment to remember why we started this journey in the first place.
Montecristo Travels was started over six years ago to provide information for people who want to travel internationally with their small dogs. Are we achieving our goal? We thought we would check in and do a tally for 2016.
We counted our emails in our inbox, Messenger texts, and Instagram and Facebook comments. Get this! In 2016, we inspired a whopping 217 people to travel with their pets either for the first time or for the first time outside of their own continent. This number is a lot higher than we expected. It totally threw us for a loop in fact! We inspired people to “do it.” And that makes us want to keep going!
BUT! For us to keep going, WE need inspiration too! SO, I am going to take this opportunity to answer one of the questions we get asked a LOT:
“What or who inspires you to travel? Where do you get your ideas for where you are going to next?”
1. Other With-Dog Travel Bloggers
I will not lie to you: our #1 source of inspiration is other travel bloggers. It will be no surprise to you, Dear Reader, to find that the travel bloggers we follow have pets. It’s a natural progression really. Interestingly, when we started, there weren’t a lot of with-pet travel bloggers to follow. Today, I am really happy to see that the list has grown by leaps and bounds.
These bloggers, like us, have taken with-pet travel beyond hiking and camping (although also awesome) to full-on international travel. Just as we promote! So be it following Gigi and Luna as they bike across a huge chunk of France or road trip across Canada, the “big dog” international traveller Shark and her mom, Maria, from The Tropical Dog (currently in Peru after months in Columbia), or any of the other bloggers on our list, we take immense delight in being part of a circle of likeminded bloggers we can turn to for inspiration. In fact, it’s one reason I started the new interview series —— to show that, indeed, we are NOT alone. Not by a long shot.
2. Instagram and Other Social Media
We also feel hugely inspired by a bigger and bigger crowd of international with-pet travellers we found on Instagram and Facebook; for example, the gorgeous photos taken by Traveling Chihuahuas, or the antics of the hilarious duo Pug and Cat. We have enjoyed so much of what we have seen and, most importantly, been inspired by their adventures. We often swoon at Max et Louise frolicking in the sea in Portugal or skiing in Austria; and suffer style envy for Rocky the Bullterrier and his suave self-posing all over Europe, and Little Lola Sunshine strutting her fashionable trickster self on the streets of Paris, NYC, Milan, and other fashion-forward cities of the world. Travelling with your dog never looked so good! Janine and Kira have a life on the road to envy and The Traveling Abbie who I swear is following in my pawsteps. There are SO many now! Even cats like Bolt and Keel! Heck there is even Jet Set Paws with Carrie an actual travel agent that will help you plan your trip and make it happen!
3. Our Fans
Something that never stops amazing us is how welcoming our fans are. On a regular basis. We went on a road trip through Bulgaria, visited Texas, went to Miami and enjoyed the love in Philadelphia and the sun on the Jersey Shore. None of these stops were on our list of places to go, but were added and bumped to the top with gracious invitations from fans to “couch surf.”
We have never regretted accepting an invitation. Granted, we’ve been online friends with these folks for a long time and have come to know them, but it’s an amazing feeling to meet them face to face. Their generosity, hospitality, and desire to show off their part of the planet is a huge inspiration to us. The world is a beautiful place and these big generous hearts made sure we got to experience something new. I have learned and been reminded of the truth in the adage, “There is more that unites us than divides us.”
4. Movies and Books
Yep, I know it may sound insane, but there is nothing more fun than reading a book that is set somewhere overseas and knowing exactly what the narrator is on about because we’ve walked those streets and seen those sites! Although we would never travel *because* of a book —— say, for example, Dan Brown’s *Inferno* —— a story can certainly nudge us with desire, causing us to whisper, “Ohhh, we should go!” *Inferno* starts in Florence. We LOVED our time in Florence and reading the narrator’s descriptions of the museums, gardens, and Duomo made us yearn to go back. Then, when the book takes the reader to Venice, and then Istanbul … well, the seed gets planted. I know I will hear Mom or Dad say, “Hey, we should go to Venice next!” Then wham … wouldn’t you know it, it’s our next trip!
Movies and even TV shows can have the same effect, especially border crossing shows like NBC’s series, now on Netflix, *Crossing Lines* or *Sense8*. Oh man, oh man, oh man! Now those are action filled TV series for travel lovers.
5. The Bucket List
I know, I know, obvious, right? But let’s be honest, we all have a bucket list. It can be a to-do list of sorts or, in our case, a “go-to” list. Currently, way up at the tippy top of our list is Peru, Thailand, Puerto Rico, and … well, pretty much all of Europe. Still, and always. I didn’t say it’s an exact science! But having that list does give us focus and allows us to be inspired by certain images more than others. You ever notice that when you decide to go someplace, all of a sudden it’s like everyone is talking about it? Yeah … that’s a thing. Our list is like that. The bipeds are getting married in August, and the honeymoon … ? So far, it’s a doozy, with a start in Venice (see? told you —— books!), then a train trip to Nice, and onward into Spain, and then Portugal … . Nothing is set in stone but the funny thing is, now, all we see on Instagram are photos of Venice and Lisbon, with an occasional Barcelona shot tossed in for good measure. Weirdness? Or serendipity?
So that’s what inspires our with-dog international travel, Dear Reader. What inspires you? What makes you want to go out there and spend quality time with loved ones, human or otherwise? Do you have an amazing with dog travel blog you want to share? Go for it!