Meet the woman who travels the world on a motorcycle with her dog Moxie

(CNN) — It’s not every day you come across a female motorcyclist driving with her German Shepherd dog on the back of her motorcycle.

So it’s also no surprise that people are staring at content creator Jess Stone and her beloved dog Moxie as they walk by.

“Every car that passes us, they [las personas adentro] they pull out their phones, almost causing accidents because they’re trying to take a photo,” he tells CNN Travel. “It’s so funny.”

Stone and Moxie, who weigh around 34 kilograms, have now been on an epic motorcycle journey for 10 months that will take them through around 90 countries in Central America, North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

The couple have been on the road since last March, when they set off, along with Stone’s husband, Greg, who is riding behind them.

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

driving challenge

jess stone moxie

Jess Stone and her German Shepherd Moxie are traveling around the world together. Credit: victorHugoXR

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

“That your partner teaches you to drive is not the best thing,” he adds. “He wasn’t very patient with me.”

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

“She 100% chose me,” Stone says, recalling the moment she first saw the canine while checking out a litter of German Shepherd puppies in one of the neighboring towns.

“She was right there on my heels waiting for me to love her.”

While both Stone and her husband were determined to include Moxie in their rides, she explains that she “didn’t want to have a sidecar or a trailer or anything that would really change the dynamics of riding” 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 that they manufacture in Guatemala, along with a range of dog camping equipment, through their company Ruffly.

“Everyone always asks how long it takes to teach their dog to ride a motorcycle,” says Stone.

“Honestly, it took Moxie the weekend.

“It took me a lot longer to get comfortable with having that much weight on the back, because I had never ridden with a passenger before.”

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

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

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

constant companion

Jess Stone Moxie

The couple, pictured in Guatemala, will travel through around 90 different countries during the extensive trip. Credit: Jess Stone

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

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

“It makes me so happy that she’s really experiencing everything. It’s always new sights and sounds and smells that she’s seeing and experiencing.”

Of course, traveling with a dog has its downsides. They are largely confined to dog-friendly places and rely on wilderness camping and the occasional Airbnb, while on the road so Moxie can roam free.

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

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

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Stone says he avoids campsites and tends to camp wild so Moxie can roam free. Credit: Jess Stone

While they had originally planned to travel from Guatemala to the Arctic Ocean and across to Canada, before flying to Spain and heading to Africa, the significant increase in costs due to a number of issues, including rising oil prices and the shortage of supply, forced them to change their route.

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

This meant the total cost to her alone would have been around $6,500, including vet fees, freight shipping, and international pet exporter fees from Toronto to Spain, had they stuck to their original plan.

The shipping price of their motorcycles had also increased significantly when they started the journey.

“It’s gotten very expensive,” says Stone, who is documenting the trip through Instagram as well as a weekly YouTube series.

Ultimately they chose to travel “from end to end and from top to bottom”, making their way from Guatemala to Mexico, the United States, Canada and all the way to the Arctic Ocean.

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

challenging route

Jess Stone Moxie

According to Stone, having Moxie with her has made the trip even more special. Credit: victorHugoXR

Before leaving, Stone booked a few private off-road training lessons to ensure he had the skills to navigate some of the trickier sections of the route.

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

She admits to being particularly eager to drive along the remote Dempster Highway, a long gravel road in Canada that leads to the Arctic Ocean.

“I was worried that I was going to crash and damage my motorcycle,” he says. “It’s funny, I never really think about getting hurt. My bike is what worries me the most.”

Fortunately, they made it through without incident, but Stone says she’s often plagued by thoughts that something went wrong during the trip.

“My biggest fear is not being able to continue the journey and something happening to the bike on the off-road sections,” he says. “Fortunately, none of that happened.”

While Stone emphasizes that her driving skills are developing all the time, that hasn’t stopped her from doubting herself on a regular basis.

“Am I still worried about the dirt roads? Yes. Am I worried that we’re going to go down and I’m going to break the bike? Yes.”

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

Although things have been going relatively smoothly so far, Stone has occasionally lost her balance while driving, causing her and Moxie to “drop off”.

Having her husband, whom she describes as the “pack mule,” behind her has certainly been a great source of comfort.

“I take the pastor, he takes the camping gear,” he adds, before explaining that they don’t necessarily travel 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.”

His biggest hurdle so far has been having to replace his bike in May. After experiencing several “oil leak problems,” Stone learned that his 2013 BMW G650GS would require a massively expensive engine rebuild.

Ended up buying a newer second hand model for about the same price as the rebuild.

“That was an unexpected expense,” he says. “But that [nueva] bike is going to take me the rest of the way.

Main attraction

moxie jess stone

Stone partnered with the non-profit organization Girl Up for the GoRUFFLY Around the World adventure. Credit: Jess Stone

Among the many highlights for her so far has been being able to stop at Girl Up clubs and share stories, along with camping by the Arctic Ocean, where they marveled at the sight of moose crossing the road, and also saw a grizzly bear.

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

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

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

Once they arrive in South Africa, they will travel up the east coast of Africa to Egypt and then Greece, before “rolling around Europe” and traveling through Turkey and Central Asia.

The next leg will see them travel from India to Malaysia, where they will ship their bikes, and Moxie, to North America and then return to their first and last destination Guatemala, which Stone describes as his “adopted home.”

motorcycle dog

Stone and Moxie riding sand dunes in San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico, in September. He estimates they will be on the road for at least another two and a half years. Credit: Jess Stone

Stone estimates they will 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 the journey and constantly developing her driving skills.

His four-legged companion continues to be an inspiration, and Stone never tires of seeing the way others react to Moxie, joking that every visit to the gas station is like “a selfiepalooza.”

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

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

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