A young woman from Brașov reached the end of the world traveling with a dog

"I want to show people that nothing can prevent them from traveling longer, cheaper or maybe with their pets".


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A young woman from Brașov reached the southernmost point on the globe, Ushuaia, considered the end of the world, with a dog, being the only person in Romania who travels continuously with an animal. Roxana Cârceag has been traveling with her dog, Joy, for almost a year, leaving together from Romania and ending up exploring the Americas as far as “Tierra del Fuego” (Land of Fire) or the land of penguins, close to Antarctica.

A year ago, Roxana Cârceag (37 years old) decided to explore the world with her puppy, Joy, once the right context for such an experience appeared. Although the young woman usually traveled alone or with friends, this time she chose to go accompanied by Joy, whom she adopted 5 years ago.

“I traveled for a long time, but I always returned home, to Romania, after a few days or at most a month. I had been thinking about going on a one-way ticket for several years, but there was always at least one reason to buy the return flight at short notice. But at the beginning of May 2023, when I had been working as a freelancer for some time, the right moment for my desire arose – I had all the reasons in front of me to leave with a one-way ticket and an experience impossible to imagine without living it. I wouldn’t have given up on the thought that I hadn’t tried. The thought that in my old age I would have told myself what if… seems like a disease to me. I would like to tell more than what I did in my youth. And I’m glad Joy, who I love so much, is part of this story. I couldn’t mentally take on the idea of ​​a one-way ticket without Joy. I knew I couldn’t travel without her, especially since I often did this in Romania. We always had a bag at the door and Joy knew – she jumped in the car when we were going to leave. I knew that to travel for a longer period I need two things: a laptop and implicitly an Internet connection, and I need practically what I love more in this world, which is Joy”, says Roxana Cârceag.

Their whole adventure is not just a simple trip, it is also a manifesto to encourage Romanians to travel more, cheaper, and even with an animal by their side. Their story is constantly presented through the online project HaiHui cu Swit Rocs, where Roxana shares with readers the experiences and challenges with the puppy Joy on the trip.

Their journey started in Brazil and continued in Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, reaching the place considered the end of the world, Ushuaia, in the south of Argentina. Roxana and Joy thus traveled together over 30,000 km, changing many planes, buses, tuk-tuks, taxis, motorbike taxis, stayed in over 70 accommodation units, met hundreds of people and visited dozens of places.

How difficult is traveling with a dog: “everything is against you when you travel with your dog”

Although she tried to prepare as best she could for traveling with a dog, Roxana discovered that there is very little information and experiences shared online. Thus, the experience on the spot was “horribly difficult”, points out Roxana. For example, if for people it is simple – to enter a country you need a passport, proof of outgoing flights, and sometimes accommodation, for traveling with a dog things get complicated: its owner must know what is needed for the dog as to enter that country, what it takes to get out of that country, and what it takes to get into the next country.

And you can’t find this information on the Internet. Not only is it extremely difficult to get the documents for the dog, but even after you have them all you can’t be sure that you have everything. I knew before I left that it would be hard, but when I arrived in Latin America I ran into the stiffest barriers of any trip so far, just because I have a puppy with me. Everything is against you when you travel with your dog. If you are not in my situation where you have to work most of the time, you have to manage everything, you are more relaxed and find solutions faster. If you have more money, it will no longer be a terror for the extra 10 euros asked for the dog. At least if you have more money, everything becomes much simpler, but I can’t afford it, I’m under financial pressure every day. Facing refusals to stay with Joy, to take the bus or simply to enter restaurants, I was forced to change my approach and mood and start convincing people that Joy is a well-behaved puppy and does not create any kind of problem. And the more we prove that dogs are also educated, if of course, the owners educate them with care and attention, the people around and the owners of facilities are more open to receiving tourists with animals. And thus we will have a friendlier world with traveling animals“, says Roxana Cârceag.

Another difference between human travel and dog travel is that everything becomes more expensive. For the dog, you constantly pay for new documents, transport, and accommodation. Moreover, if people once they have the necessary documents are allowed to board or enter a country, with the dog the situation can change radically: it can be denied access, even though it has all the necessary documents, because either it does not they want dogs in their country, or they find it suspicious”, explains Roxana Cârceag (HaiHui with Swit Rocs).

In some cases, the presence of the dog generated refusals for bus trips, restaurants or accommodation. “In many places you are not allowed with the dog because they are either afraid of him, or that he will defecate inside or that he bites. I am happy that I was able to go with Joy to many places where I was told that dogs are not allowed, but I did it patiently, with kindness, learning how to communicate with the respective people. I wasn’t saying Hello! I need a ticket, I’m with the dog. No, I explain, I talk to them, I tell them I’m giving them a deposit, during which Joy shows how friendly she is. And thus they convince themselves that there is no reason not to receive us. This way I got to speak Spanish at a fairly advanced level and by telling stories in their own language, in Latin America, people become more flexible. And many times I’ve heard people say they’re surprised that Joy is so kind and adaptable, that she doesn’t defecate in inappropriate places and that she sometimes feels like she’s on the bus,” says Roxana Cârceag.

Their journeys also came with more difficult challenges, but which ended positively for Roxana: the puppy Joy was lost in the transfer from the hold of the plane to the stopover airport on departure for Brazil, and later Roxana’s bank cards were cloned.

Work remotely, discovering the world

In parallel with discovering the world with Joy, Roxana works constantly, remotely, creating content as diverse as possible, for websites, blogs, presentation folders, press releases, how-to guides, etc., for companies in Romania, from various fields, medical, electronics, sports, beauty, HoReCa and others. At the same time, she creates content and manages business pages for social media.

“I work more than I did before I left, there were periods when I worked continuously for two weeks without going out for a walk, to discover the place I had reached. Traveling solo is more expensive than traveling as a couple because some expenses such as accommodation, taxi or food are not shared with someone. Traveling with your dog is more expensive than traveling solo. In Romania, the documents for Joy cost 100 lei. On the other hand, in Latin America the costs were at least 50 euros-100 euros (250 lei-500 lei) for documents in each country, some accommodations charge a substantial additional fee for the dog, as well as in the taxi”, explains Roxana Cârceag.

A man of letters and a translator, Roxana Cârceag did not work in the field but developed professionally in the field of communication and organization of trainings, team-buildings, workshops (for companies), and other activities in the field of public speaking. He worked for many years in corporations and led a public speaking club in English, and for 4 years he has been working on his own as a marketing and social media specialist.

Along with his professional development, he self-educated himself to travel as much and as cheaply as possible on his own. Since 2009, Roxana has been traveling constantly, organizing every trip abroad completely by herself to discover the world as it is. Her passion for traveling has also become a source of inspiration and information for friends and acquaintances, whom she helps with well-crafted plans for the most beautiful and affordable trips in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Everything I’ve learned about travel I’ve learned on my own, learning habits that help me save up to travel, find the cheapest flights, and enjoy my destination without spending a fortune. As a child, I didn’t have access to any other type of education and learning than school, so once I realized that I wanted to see the world, I started to learn and educate myself more and more to get to where I want to be. i wanted Without self-education, without curiosity I would not have been able to see part of this world, especially since financial resources were and still are quite limited. And I continue to learn, about myself, about places, about people and how to communicate with them, and although it comes with some difficulties, every trip teaches me how to overcome new limits and enjoy life”, concludes Roxana Cârceag.

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