Following Our Inner Compass | GoPetFriendly

Going on this adventure, we said we were on safari for a new place to live. Twelve years later, we finally found it.

Winnebago View from GoPetFriendly.com

We all follow our own compass, navigating a roadmap that only we can see…our own path.

Who would have imagined that finding a stray German Shepherd in 2008 would change our lives so completely? Buster was the spark that drove us to launch this website, sell our home, and travel in an RV for the past twelve years. What a trip it has been!

LEARN MORE ⇒ A letter of gratitude to my dog

Buster's ninth birthday

Leave “normal” behind

When we jumped into our first RV in 2010, we had no idea how long our trip would be. We were two accountants, struggling to overcome our fears and doubts. Trying to imagine a long-term plan seemed too overwhelming. So, we clung to a few things we knew for sure:

  1. We were ready to leave Pennsylvania.
  2. We didn’t know where we wanted to live next.
  3. Traveling could help us choose our next home.

When we left, we agreed to travel for a year. No matter how difficult it was or how much we were drawn to a place, we committed to continue exploring the country for a full twelve months.

Following Our Inner Compass | GoPetFriendly
Who needs a plan? ! Dogs live in the moment.

Discover a new normal

This first year was difficult. Traveling full time is fine. FREEDOM, right?

But try to throw away all the routines you have. Every time we visited a new place, we had to figure out where to stay, where to shop, where to go online, where to do laundry, and how to balance our time between the things we were dying to explore and work. we had to do.

It would be a difficult adjustment for a person. Getting two people to align on the myriad of decisions that had to be made every day nearly cost us. But we had committed to twelve months. And we are two of the most stubborn determined people you will meet one day.

Thus, our communication skills have improved. Over time, new routines formed. Things got easier. And then one year turned into two.

Following Our Inner Compass | GoPetFriendly

By the end of our third year, we were really starting to master life in VR. Following the weather. Make new friends along the way. Discovering all the places we would have liked to see with our boys.

It was addicting. At some point we forgot why we had always wanted to have a house! There were cities we liked and might even have considered living in. But trade the RV for this life? Certainly not! What could be better than being nomads?!

So we sold the little motorhome and bought a class A diesel pusher.

New 2013 Itasca Meridian 36M
The new coach, the old RV and the RAV4

Live life

The next six years were pure magic. The largest motorhome has made traveling easier in many ways. More importantly, we weren’t tripping over each other. And a bigger fridge meant fewer trips to the grocery store. With a washer and dryer, we didn’t need to take quarters and spend time in the laundry. We have installed equipment to boost our internet signal. And having a car we could tow made day trips so much better.

Everything was going well and we were ready for a new challenge. We had thought of visiting the #1 pet-friendly attraction in each of the lower 48 states, and the time seemed right.

The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip started in Carmel, CA in February 2017. We took Ty and Buster to the best pet-friendly places in America, and ended the trip in Portland, Oregon in November . It was an epic adventure like no other. And in 2018, I wrote a book to commemorate our trip.

LEARN MORE ⇒ The ultimate road trip for pets

Book Cover - The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip by Amy Burkert

To slow down

Slowing down was not part of our plan. But over the years, our young dogs had become seniors. Ty lost his hearing and then his sight and spent the last two years of his life adventuring from his stroller.

New Hampshire's Best Pet-Friendly Attraction: Mount Washington |  GoPetFriendly.com

Buster developed spinal stenosis, which caused him to lose strength in his hind legs. For the last year of his life, he needed a wheelchair for longer walks.

Man with two dogs walking on a pet-friendly trail at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Meeting the needs of the boys meant we walked shorter distances and stayed longer. We found that slowing down allowed us to get to know places better. Even after Ty and Buster died and Myles joined our family, we continued to move less often.

Brindle puppy in a red harness in front of a flower garden

Find the house

One of our extended stays last year was in Tucson. Using the city as our base camp, we spent two months exploring southern Arizona and had a blast. In fact, we liked it so much that we planned to spend this winter in Bisbee.

LEARN MORE ⇒ Explore Pet-Friendly Bisbee, Arizona

View of "B Hill" from a staircase in Bisbee, AZ

We arrived in Bisbee on November 15, with the intention of getting to know the city and the region better. Within a month we could feel this place was special.

After two months, we were already dreading March 15 – the end of our RV park booking when we had to leave. Twelve years on the road and this was the first time we had that feeling. So we started looking for a way to stay in Bisbee.

Rental homes are hard to come by in this small town. But we were lucky and found a place which will be available at the beginning of May. And the RV park can accommodate us until then. So, in two months, we’re going back to living in a house!

Photo of a house in Bisbee, AZ

After getting our lease squared, we started looking at real estate listings. A lot went up for sale and we went out to look at it. It’s walking distance to all the shops and restaurants, but a bit off the beaten path in a quiet canyon. It’s a great place to build a house, and we closed it last week.

new beginnings

Preparing to move back into a house is just as strange and exciting as moving into an RV twelve years ago. Rod and I are thrilled to start a new chapter in our lives. It’s time to start learning another “new normal”.

Of course, Myles got used to traveling. And I will continue to use GoPetFriendly. For now, our exploration will involve staying in hotels and vacation rentals. Eventually, we plan to acquire a small caravan that we can tow behind the Jeep.

The way we travel is going to change, and that means we’re selling the motorhome. We enjoyed our time traveling here so much. And we want someone else to have as much fun as we do – hopefully with their pets!

We hope you will join us as we continue to follow our compass on the next leg of our journey.

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