This woman is traveling around the world with her dog

featured image

(CNN) – It’s not every day that you see a motorcyclist riding down the road with a German shepherd on the back of his bike.

So it’s not surprising that the sight of content creator Jess Stone and her beloved dog Moxie taking a walk together often makes viewers think twice.

“Every car that passes by us, they [the people inside] grab their phones, almost causing accidents because they’re trying to get the picture,” she told CNN Travel. “It’s hilarious.”

Stone and Moxie, who weighs around 34 kilograms, are currently 10 months into an epic bicycle journey that will take them through nearly 90 countries in Central America, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

The pair have been on the road since last March, when they left, along with Stone’s husband, Greg, who rides behind them.

“I’m always up front,” explains Stone. “I want to go through the obstacles first.”

riding challenge

Jess Stone and her German shepherd Moxie are riding around the world together.

Jess Stone and her German shepherd Moxie are riding around the world together.


Originally from Canada, Stone learned to ride a motorcycle on the back streets of Liberia, where she and Greg lived at the time, over a decade ago, and admits it wasn’t an easy process.

“Having your partner teach you to walk isn’t the best thing,” she adds. “He wasn’t very patient with me.”

After she finally got comfortable on a motorcycle, the couple, who have been married for eight years, took an eight-month motorcycle trip from North America to South America. A few years after they returned, they moved to Guatemala and Moxie entered their lives.

“She chose me 100%,” Stone says, recounting the moment she first laid eyes on the canine while seeing a litter of German Shepherd puppies in one of the neighboring towns.

“She was there behind me just waiting for me to love her.”

While Stone and her husband were determined to include Moxie in their travels, she explains that she “didn’t want to have a sidecar or a trailer or anything that really changed the riding dynamic” now that she was finally comfortable on a motorcycle.

They quickly began designing what would later become the K9 Moto Cockpit, a motorcycle dog carrier they manufacture in Guatemala, along with a variety of outdoor dog gear, through their company Ruffly.

“Everyone always asks how long it takes to teach their dog to ride,” says Stone. “Honestly, Moxie took the weekend.

“It took me a lot longer to get comfortable with that much weight on my back because I’ve never ridden with a passenger.”

After deciding she was ready for another big adventure, this time with Moxie in tow, Stone reached out to global nonprofit Girl Up — a girl-centered leadership development initiative — and the GoRUFFLY Around the World adventure was born.

“Obviously I wanted to travel the world,” says Stone, who aims to raise $100,000 for Girl Up’s global empowerment projects. “But I also wanted to show people that you can do this with a big dog.”

Being able to take Moxie on this particular trip made it that much more special for Stone.

constant company

The duo, photographed in Guatemala, will pass through around 90 different countries during the extensive trip.

The duo, photographed in Guatemala, will pass through around 90 different countries during the extensive trip.

Jess Stone

“It’s like you experience the adventure twice,” she explains. “You experience it for yourself. And then you experience it from her perspective, because she’s right behind me.

“I see her [Moxie] in my mirror all the time. His head is right against my side. Sometimes she even rests her big snout on my shoulder with her chin up there.

“I’m really happy that she’s really experiencing everything. It’s always new sights and sounds and smells that she’s looking at and experiencing.”

Of course, traveling with a dog has its downsides. They are largely limited to dog-friendly locations and rely on wild campsites and the occasional Airbnb while on the road so Moxie can roam free.

“You have to be the type of person who likes the natural, outdoors,” adds Stone.

“Because they’re the places we can take you. If you want to be in the city and go to all these fancy restaurants, traveling with a dog makes things a little more challenging.”

Although they had originally planned to travel from Guatemala to the Arctic Ocean and across Canada, before flying to Spain and on to Africa, the significant increase in costs due to a number of issues, including rising oil prices and shortages of supplies, forced them to change course.

Stone points out that Moxie needs to be shipped in a giant box as unattended cargo due to her size.

This meant that the total cost for her alone would have been around $6,500, including veterinary fees, shipping, and international fees for exporting pets from Toronto to Spain, if they had stuck to their original plan.

The price of shipping their motorcycles had also risen significantly by the time they started their journey.

“It got really expensive,” says Stone, who is documenting the journey via Instagram as well as a weekly series on YouTube.

They finally chose to travel “end to end and top to bottom”, going from Guatemala to Mexico, the United States, Canada and even the Arctic Ocean.

From here they began riding to the top of North America, before turning around and heading back to South America.

challenging route

According to Stone, having Moxie with her made the trip even more special.

According to Stone, having Moxie with her made the trip even more special.


Before leaving, Stone booked some private off-road training lessons to ensure she had the skills to navigate some of the route’s trickier sections.

“Obviously, I’ve ridden off-road many times, but I’ve never felt really comfortable,” she says. “And I wanted to feel really good about it because I have my Moxie on my back.”

She admits to being particularly looking forward to riding the remote Dempster Highway, a long gravel road in Canada that leads to the Arctic Ocean.

“I was worried about crashing and hurting my bike,” she says. “It’s funny, I never think about getting hurt. My bike is what worries me the most.”

Fortunately, they made it through without incident, but Stone says she is often plagued by thoughts that something has gone wrong on the journey.

“My biggest fear is not being able to continue the trip and something happens to the bike on the off road sections”, she says. “Fortunately, none of that happened.”

Though Stone stresses that her piloting skills are developing all the time, that hasn’t stopped her from regularly doubting herself.

“Do I still worry about the dirt roads that come up? Yes. Do I worry that we will fall and break my bike? Yes.

“But I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice these skills. It really makes a difference. It makes the experience that much more positive.”

Though things have gone relatively smoothly so far, Stone has occasionally lost her footing while riding, causing her and Moxie to “fall over”.

Having her husband, who she describes as the “gear mule”, behind her has undoubtedly been a great source of comfort.

“I carry the shepherd, he carries the camping gear,” he adds, before explaining that they don’t necessarily ride together continuously and sometimes take different routes.

“Sometimes he wants to try a different path or I want to go a different path and then we meet after that. But I’m self-sufficient the way I am.”

So far, the biggest hurdle has been having to replace your bike in May. After experiencing several “oil leak issues”, Stone discovered that his 2013 BMW G650GS would require an extremely expensive engine rebuild.

She ended up buying a second-hand, newer model of the bike for about the same price as the rebuild.

“That was an unexpected expense,” she says. “But that [new] bike will take me the rest of the way.”

Main attraction

Stone teamed up with the non-profit organization Girl Up for the GoRUFFLY Around the World adventure.

Stone teamed up with the non-profit organization Girl Up for the GoRUFFLY Around the World adventure.

Jess Stone

Among the many highlights for her so far have been able to stop at Girl Up clubs and share stories, as well as camping in the Arctic Ocean, where they marveled at the sight of moose crossing the road and also spotted a grizzly bear.

“Moxie quivers with anticipation when she sees these creatures on the side of the road,” she adds. “She’s so excited. We did some fishing along the way, which was really spectacular.”

Currently in Los Angeles, Stone is preparing for the next leg of the trip, which will involve taking a ferry to Baja, Mexico, then down to Guatemala, then on to Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama.

From Panama, they plan to fly to Colombia, where they will ride to the “tip” of Argentina, and then fly to South Africa.

Once in South Africa, they will travel along the east coast of Africa to Egypt and then Greece, before “circling Europe” and riding through Turkey and Central Asia.

The next leg will see them riding from India to Malaysia, where they will ship their bikes and Moxie to North America and then head back to their first and final destination, Guatemala, which Stone describes as their “adoptive home”.

Stone estimates they’ll be on the road for at least another two-and-a-half years. But for now, she’s focused on getting to the next leg of her journey and constantly developing her piloting skills.

His four-legged companion remains a source of inspiration, and Stone never tires of seeing how others react to Moxie, joking that every visit to a gas station is like “a selfie palooza”.

“People just get out of their cars,” she adds. “And the first thing everyone says is, ‘Oh my God, she’s wearing goggles.'”

“It brings a smile to everyone’s face. And that’s what I love. She just makes everyone have a good day.”



Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !