Moving To Another Country With My Dogs Is Harder Than I Thought

I don’t think I’ve ever made decisions in my life that were the easy ones. I sold my house to travel to rescues in an RV with my dogs for over seven years. It was hard. Very hard. I can tell you now that looking back, I don’t know how we physically did it.

But now, in the midst of this decision to move to another country with my dogs, I also realize i perhaps didn’t understand how truly hard this would be. And I admit it. I’m admitting it wholeheartedly and honestly that this is one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever been in personally. And it’s taking every ounce of my willpower and determination to make this happen.

In a way, I feel that hard decisions are what is best for me. I have fought with that Depression Monster my entire life. And it’s the times when things are going easy and quiet that I feel depression the most. But when I’m working for something, I have purpose. I have a reason to push the depression to the side. And I’m definitely working for something! Italy is in my heart. But it sure is trying to test me right now. Why is moving to another country with my dogs so hard right now?

1. The stress of finding a way to get them to another country without putting them in the cargo of an airplane.

Simply put, I will not put my dogs in a place I can’t see them and where they will be afraid or uncomfortable to make me happy. If I didn’t think this move would benefit us all and that it will be an amazing life together, I would have gave up at problem number one. But we booked the Queen Mary 2 ship and yet, it is so in demand we had to be put on a waiting list. Also, each kennel costs $1000 and each of our dogs needs two kennels because of size. So yes. Their tickets are more than ours. Could we afford it? No. But we can’t afford to make them travel in a way that’s not fair to them.

2. We keep being turned down for our visas to stay in Italy for more than three months.

At the time of this writing, we have traveled five hours each way to meet with the consulate for our student visas. We have been taking Italian language lessons virtually from Italy and plan to continue in person once we arrive. But the paperwork, appointments and stress is undeniable. Now our passports are in the consulate’s possession and we are waiting. Again.

3. Buying a home in another country is fine. If you have the cash to do so.

We live simply and yes, spend our money on our dogs and traveling to further the cause of animal rescue. We are self employed writers and content creators. We get sponsors and advertisers but…we are not rich. So cash? Nope. And getting a loan in another country is a longer process than we are used to. The anxiety of finding financing for our simple house in Italy took me five months to secure. It was probably the most anxiety of the entire process. We had to sell our truck to get some of the money we needed. And we still have the closing this week.

So why are we doing this? Why are we moving to another country with our dogs? I feel like we have to. I want to. I want my dogs to live my dream with me. I forsee years of redoing our home together. Living off the lane. Experiencing new cultures and growing as individuals. I see us helping more animals all around the world. I see a better life. And if it doesn’t work out? We come back. Together.

Not many of us can explain the reasons behind the wantings of our hearts. And it’s so difficult to balance my excitement of moving to Italy with the sadness of missing friends and family and the familiar. But I have to do this. And I will. But this is way harder than I ever imagined. And I hope a year from now, we will look back and say it was all worth it. What is worth it to your heart?

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