My dog Sora took me on one of the greatest adventures of my life: a two-year bike tour through Europe and South America from 2015 to 2017.
We spent our days on bikes, dragging Sora in her trailer and driving very slowly from town to town. The extra weight and at times the inconvenience of having a dog on this trip brought us to people and places we would otherwise never have visited. There were nights when we couldn’t find dog-friendly accommodation or a good place to camp and slept in old farmhouses, abandoned border posts, and new housing developments (all with permission!). Sometimes complete strangers would welcome us into their home. She helped us volunteer at an animal shelter in a Peruvian beach town and was the face of adoption for a campaign in Medellin, Colombia.
Traveling internationally with a dog certainly comes with some complications, but none were ever enough to prevent us from taking them with us. Leaving them behind was just not an option. She began to travel and have new experiences with enthusiasm. A formerly reactive dog, she learned to see people as friends thanks to the attention she received. She curled up at my feet, squeezed into a car that was taking us, and rode us on trains, planes, ferries, and buses if we could convince the company to let her on board.
We gave up seeing a lot of iconic destinations because of Sora, but we saw so much more because she was with us.
Sora died of cancer in October 2018 at the age of 13. She visited 26 countries, mostly by bike.