My pets are all young. The oldest is Froufrou, turning 5 in December. Still, it is very clear to me how short my time with them is going to be. I expect that the cats will live to be ancient, bony, goddesses, I don't expect the dogs to last that long. My first dog died of a mysterious neurological illness after just a year, and so while they have their expected life spans, anything can happen!
Time away from us is hard for the fur kids as well. I have found a really cool kennel that allows them to run around in a fenced paddock all day, but there's only so long you would want your dogs in that kind of environment. I left Bender and Barbie there for a few days and they had gone a bit feral when they got back home.
Most people I know view travel as a 'knotch on your belt', and do all those Facebook apps where you plot all the cities & towns you've been to. Peru was the latest 'must go' location, and quite a few people have fairly new albums. All the photos look similar, just different faces in them.
Not to say I am totally devoid of wanderlust, but when it means being away from the creatures I love, it is tempered somewhat. That doesn't seem to be the case for N, who hadn't been overseas when she met me. Trips are also limited by the fact that I only get 4 weeks leave a year. N has a more flexible roster that allows her to take more time off. She seems to accumulate Days In Lieu far more easily as well. They discourage that kind of thing at my workplace, stating that we must have a good work/life balance. I would be happier if we knocked the working week down to 35 hours though.
Anyway we are going on an overseas holiday next year. The longest I could manage is just over 6 weeks. Mainly limited by the leave available to me, but also by my desire to be near my fur kids! I'm not sure N understands. I also want to travel within Australia some more. The country is vast and there are many places we haven't been. It would be most awesome if we could do some kind of mega road trip and take the dogs with us at least. I joke that I want to be a 'grey nomad' without the grey, but N isn't super keen on Australia-travel.
I will get 3 months worth of long service leave if I stay at my current organisation for another 5 years. That might be the soonest I could go on such a road trip. By then Barbie will be 8, and Bender will be 9. Probably good ages if they are still fit and strong and healthy.
In the meantime I need to organise a first camping trip for Barbie. I can't believe we haven't been camping together yet! We need a bigger tent so that both the dogs will fit without forcing me to curl up like a echidna.