We love our pets, and most of us lock them away and leave them with a dog sitter whilst we go on our jollies. Not Paris Permenter & John Bigley, these guys came to our attention when we found they were ticking off their Bucket List dreams and taking their cohort of amazing friends with them. Yes, Paris and John take their pets on their Bucket List adventures, this is what they had to say:
- Why is travelling so important to you?
I don’t think there’s any better way to learn about the world than by travelling. No education compares to experiencing a destination first hand. That experience also translates into a new appreciation of your own hometown when you return. I think once you’ve travelled to a destination, you take home a bit of its spirit. That experience adjusts the lens through which you see your own home.
- When did you decide to take the dogs with you?
In 2008, we switched from international travel writing to travelling with dogs. That year, we adopted two six-month-old puppies, Irie and Tiki, and we just couldn’t face leaving them at a pet boarding facility when we travelled. The economy was also taking a downturn so we decided to strike out with DogTipper, our dog website since we were losing print markets. The move has been a great one, and, in the years since we began travelling with dogs, we are really seeing an increase in the number of dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, stores, and more. More and more people, like us, are deciding that dogs are family, too, and they would like for the entire family to enjoy a vacation together.
- What’s the best location you’ve ever visited and why?
My favourite destination is probably the island of Jamaica. In our pre-dog travel days, Jamaica was our speciality and we spent a lot of time exploring both the resorts and the small, off the beaten path communities. The island is absolutely beautiful, and the joy of the Jamaicans for everything from music to food is contagious.
With the dogs, however, our favourite destination is Port Aransas, Texas. It’s a small resort community on Mustang Island that is incredibly dog-friendly. The town has many dog-friendly hotels but we stay at one that’s so dog-welcoming it even includes a self-serve dog wash and special ID tags with the hotel address. The beach welcomes dogs as do many of the island patio restaurants. We’ve been so many times that we can ask the dogs “want to go to the beach?” and the tails start wagging!
- Top three tips for anybody looking to see the world?
Whether you’re travelling with dogs or without, my top three tips are:
- Be flexible. After so many years of writing guidebooks, I’m a stickler for creating a detailed itinerary, even when it comes to day trips. That said, leave yourself room for discoveries, and be flexible enough to enjoy dinner at the little hole in the wall restaurant that you just learned about or a hike on a great trail that a fellow traveller shared with you. If you are travelling with dogs, make sure that flexibility extends into extra potty stops for your dog, nice long walks, plenty of playtimes, and the ability to sit with your dog and just do nothing at all.
- Be nice. Travel isn’t always easy but it becomes a lot more fun if you’re able to smile (even if it’s sometimes a forced smile!) Realise that things won’t always work out the way you planned but sometimes they work out even better. And, if you’re travelling with dogs, always be nice and pick up after your dog–it’s the law many places and it helps ensure that dogs will still be welcomed as travellers.
- Look for beauty wherever you go. Don’t feel that you have to make an around the world trip to enjoy a worthwhile vacation. If you can’t enjoy and appreciate the small things–whether that’s a day trip just an hour from your home or a trip to the dog park–you won’t be able to enjoy a large-scale vacation. Expect, look for, and appreciate the great moments wherever you go.
- What’s next on your Bucket List?
Right now I’m trying to bring together my two loves–travel and pets–and source internationally made handicrafts with a pet theme for my PawZaar store. I’d like to travel to Guatemala and meet firsthand with the women at the fair trade cooperative who make our dog walking bags, and I’d like to meet with a local pet rescue to learn more about their needs.
And that’s all folks, we hope you enjoyed reading and if you’d like to see more about they’ve been up to go over to their blog to see what’s up: www.dogtipper.com.
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