JOURNEY TO LONDON

JOURNEY TO LONDON

Cheerio, mates! Checking in from London town!

(Have not heard a single person say cheerio lol).

We have been in London for about almost a month now (!!!!) but before I get into how that’s been, I thought I’d back track a little to share about our journey to London, which was quite unique.

When we first decided we wanted to “go for it” I immediately became overwhelmed thinking about all the different barriers that could keep us from moving. Q suggested that we simply make a list of all the barriers, and then think through how we can address them, one by one. So that’s what we did. 

Though there were many, our two largest logistical challenges were our house and our dog. We decided to rent out our house (we’re using a property management company) and Q’s parents have graciously agreed to care for our dog (daughter), Peach, for the year that we’ll be gone. 

To get Peach to Lancaster, CA, where my parents in love live, we had three options (1) put her underneath the airplane as cargo, (2) get a letter saying she is an emotional support dog and bring her on the airplane in the cabin, and (3) drive her across the country. 

Option one was quickly ruled out because it’s way too hot to move her as cargo this time a year and is completely unsafe. 

For a while I was set on option two, and we even purchased plane tickets with the intent of flying with her in the cabin. But as our departure approached I began to feel uneasy that we were abusing the system, and I also started to worry that something could go wrong if I paid for a letter online and it didn’t work. 

So option three, it was! I always wanted to do a cross-country road trip, so I was actually excited about it! 

Packing up our house and moving everything out took longer than expected, so we ended up leaving a day later than we originally planned. 

We drove from Atlanta to Memphis (about 6.5 hours), from Memphis, to Albuquerque (about 14 hours), from Albuquerque to Lancaster (about 12 hours), and then from Lancaster to Hayward (about 5.5 hours). Our drives took longer than the Google Maps drive times because our car was heavy with all our luggage and we had to stop frequently for gas and potty breaks for Peach.

Though grueling, the drive was absolutely beautiful! We traveled from the lush, dense southern states through the vast midwest American desert with its striking plateaus, up to Northern California with its evergreen landscape. Peach is a great car dog and slept essentially the entire time. All the changes were a little stressful for her, but overall she did great. 

If we had the opportunity to do it again, I would love to spread the drive out over more days so that we could have more time to see the cities we stopped in. Finding dog-friendly places to stay was surprisingly easy thanks to BringFido.com and the fact that we were able to stay with family who love dogs and allow them in the house in both Memphis and Lancaster.

We spent about two weeks in California, splitting the time between the Bay Area, where I’m from, and Lancaster, where Q’s parents live, and then left from Los Angeles to London.

 Right as we were leaving our gated community, we ran into one of Peach’s best friends, Diego. So we had to get out to say goodbye. They were happy to see each other.

Right as we were leaving our gated community, we ran into one of Peach’s best friends, Diego. So we had to get out to say goodbye. They were happy to see each other.

 Saying goodbye to Atlanta, with its skyline in our rearview mirror.

Saying goodbye to Atlanta, with its skyline in our rearview mirror.

 We only stopped in Alabama for gas.

We only stopped in Alabama for gas.

 Dora, Alabama. Met the most country folks I’ve ever met in my life at this gas station.

Dora, Alabama. Met the most country folks I’ve ever met in my life at this gas station.

 Peach, in Marquette’s Grandma’s backyard, in Memphis.

Peach, in Marquette’s Grandma’s backyard, in Memphis.

 Okemah, Oklahoma

Okemah, Oklahoma

 Somewhere in Texas.

Somewhere in Texas.

 These flyers were so exemplary of my perception of middle America.

These flyers were so exemplary of my perception of middle America.

 Driving through New Mexico.

Driving through New Mexico.

 Peach sleeps a lot during the day typically, so it actually worked out pretty well.

Peach sleeps a lot during the day typically, so it actually worked out pretty well.

 Wild horses in New Mexico.

Wild horses in New Mexico.

 I would have loved to stop and see the Reservations, and the Grand Canyon.

I would have loved to stop and see the Reservations, and the Grand Canyon.

 The Arizona landscape was my favorite.

The Arizona landscape was my favorite.

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 Arizona was quite hot, as you can imagine.

Arizona was quite hot, as you can imagine.

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 In Arizona, poor Peach got thorns stuck in her feet during a potty break. I had to remove them with tweezers.

In Arizona, poor Peach got thorns stuck in her feet during a potty break. I had to remove them with tweezers.

 This was Peach basically the entire trip.

This was Peach basically the entire trip.

 Stopping to talk to our property manager.

Stopping to talk to our property manager.

 And a little play break at a roadside dog park.

And a little play break at a roadside dog park.

 This trip was made possible by Starbucks.

This trip was made possible by Starbucks.

 Home, sweet home.

Home, sweet home.

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 Sun setting in Hayward, California.

Sun setting in Hayward, California.

It was great to spend quality time with family and friends before departing to London, and we know Peach is in great hands with her grandparents!

I will update on London soon, I promise!