Following Our Inner Compass | GoPetFriendly

When we embarked on this adventure we said we were on safari to find 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 road map only we can see… our own path.

Who would have thought that the discovery of a stray German Shepherd in 2008 would change our lives so completely? Buster was the spark that made us start this website, sell our house and travel in an RV for the last twelve years. What a journey!

READ MORE ⇒ A thank you note to my dog

Buster's ninth birthday

Leave the “normal” behind

When we got into our first motorhome in 2010, we had no idea how long we would be traveling. We were two accountants struggling to overcome our fears and doubts. Trying to envision a long-term plan felt too overwhelming. So we clung to the few things we knew for sure:

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

As we set out, we agreed to travel for a year. No matter how hard it got or how drawn we were to a place, we committed to exploring the country for twelve full months.

Following Our Inner Compass | GoPetFriendly 1
Who needs a plan?! Dogs live in the moment.

Discover a new normal

The first year was tough. Traveling full time sounds great. FREEDOM, right?

But try to throw out any routine you have. Every time we visited a new place, we had to figure out where to stay, where to buy groceries, where to connect to the internet, where to do laundry, and how to split our time between the things we were dying to explore and the split work we had to do.

It would be a challenging adjustment for one person. Coordinating two people on the myriad of decisions that had to be made every day almost killed us. But we had settled on twelve months. And we are two of the most stubborn determined people you will ever meet.

So our communication skills improved. New routines have emerged over time. Things got easier. And then one year became two.

Following Our Inner Compass | GoPetFriendly 3

By the end of our third year we had really gotten the hang of motorhome life. follow the weather. Find new friends along the way. Experiencing all the places we wanted to see with our boys.

It was addicting. Eventually we forgot why we ever wanted a house! There were cities that we liked and could even consider living in. But trade RVing for this life? Certainly not! What could be nicer than being a nomad?!

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

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

Live life

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

Everything went great and we were ready for a new challenge. We had the idea 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 began in February 2017 in Carmel, California. We took Ty and Buster to the best pet-friendly places in America and finished 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 journey.

READ MORE ⇒ The ultimate pet-friendly road trip

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

Slow it down

Slowing down wasn’t part of our plan. But over the years our young dogs had grown into 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 long walks.

Man with two dogs walking on a pet friendly trail in Cumberland Gap National Historic Park

To meet the needs of the boys, we had to travel shorter distances and stay longer. We discovered that by slowing down we could get to know places better. Even after Ty and Buster died and Myles joined our family, we moved less frequently.

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

find home

One of our extended stays over the past year was in Tucson. Using the city as our base camp, we spent two months exploring southern Arizona and had a great time. In fact, we loved it so much we’ve made plans to spend this winter in Bisbee.

READ MORE ⇒ Exploring pet-friendly Bisbee, Arizona

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

We arrived in Bisbee on November 15th to get to know the town and area better. Within a month we could feel that this place was something special.

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

Rental housing is hard to come by in this small town. But we were lucky and found a place that will be available in early May. And the camper place can accommodate us until then. So, in two months we will be living in a house again!

Photo of a home in Bisbee, AZ

After completing our lease, we began reviewing the property listings. Much was for sale and we went out to look. It’s within walking distance to all shops and restaurants but a bit off the beaten track in a quiet ravine. It seems like a great place to build a house and we completed it last week.

New beginnings

Preparing to move into a house feels just as strange and exciting as moving into a motor home twelve years ago. Rod and I are both excited to start a new chapter in our lives. It’s time to learn another ‘new normal’.

Of course, Myles is pretty used to traveling by now. And I will continue to operate GoPetFriendly. For now, our explorations will include staying in hotels and vacation rentals. Eventually we plan to get a small trailer that we can tow behind the jeep.

The way we travel will change and that means we will sell the motorhome. We so enjoyed our travel time here. And we want someone else to have as much fun with it 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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