Nero and Me: A Man and a Dog, Cycling through Wanderlust

I’m very excited to present to you Travel Addict Ruminations, in which I interview various passionate, brave people who dare to travel in eccentric ways. My first guest is Joshua, who has traveled throughout five countries with his dog, Nero- on one bicycle. He is originally from the UK, and has plans to take his site, Nero and Me, as well as their travels, to the next level.
Let’s get to know the travel addict:
Joshua:
Firstly, thank you so much for inviting me to be part of Chronicles of a Travel Addict. Being a relatively new addict to the joys of travelling, I’m still learning a lot from my experiences on the road. As with any addiction, it’s always there, always calling. It’s been that tiny voice at the back of my head, whispering to me for the past thirty years, ever since my mother read The Hobbit to me as a child. In July of this year, that voice finally managed to overcome my excuses.
Chronicles of a Travel Addict:
So what was your motivation? What made you get on the road and leave your life, as you knew it, behind? 
Joshua:
There are negative and positive reasons why I gave up my previous life. I was bored with paying bills, fixing the car, being owned by possessions and living for those few hours at the weekend where I could try to find my happiness at the bottom of a bottle of rum. Have you ever felt like you’re treading water?  Well, I wanted to swim, I wanted to run, to take a jump, to dive into adventure. I wanted wonder back in my life. I wasn’t happy and I felt like I was committing spiritual suicide every day that I didn’t become who I felt like I was at the core of my soul. But all that starts with the hardest step. The scariest step. The first step.
Nero and Joshua on a Journey

Nero and Joshua on a journey

Chronicles of a Travel Addict:
Why did you decide to travel the UK, instead of somewhere farther away from home?
Joshua:
Because it was on my doorstep. J.K.Rowling, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien found adventure here. Why couldn’t I? This kingdom is magical. I’ve traveled the lonely roads, stopped at the oak taverns, met monsters and angels and battled with a few of my own demons.  I’ve climbed mountains, crossed mist covered lakes, built fires under the stars and fished for my supper. What more could you ask for?
Chronicles of a Travel Addict:
Of all modes of transportation, why did you decide on cycling?
Joshua:
When you first set off on the road, you make the assumption that every adventurer is out for the same reason. Your reason. In my case, that was to grow as an individual. To meet new characters. To broadened my horizons geographically and spiritually. This, however, wasn’t the case. Some travellers are running away, some are lost, some drift, others want to get somewhere, and others are raising money or awareness for a cause.
Well, cycling can also be chosen for a number of reasons. To stay fit- now that’s not a bad reason at all, ey! How about the fact I can eat as many doughnuts as I like and not get fat, that’s a bloody amazing reason. That right there should get a few of you itching to get in the saddle…..no? Ok, try this on for size. Could I carry a dog, a tent, a stove and everything else I need to survive on my back? I like to think I’m Superman (I even have his symbol on the back of my bike right next to Brian from family guy), but the truth is this would cripple me. You see, my bike is my steed, my mule, my pack-horse. She’s done the best part of three thousand miles carrying close to one hundred and fifty kilos and she doesn’t complain. She travels fast enough for the landscape to change, but also slow enough for me to be able to enjoy it.
Chronicles of a Travel Addict:
Ok, let’s back up and talk about your dog- the dog. Is Nero happy? Does he enjoy his adventures? Or does he simply put up with your traveling shenanigans?
Joshua:
Nero and I talk ALOT. Is he happy? Not permanently… That’s impossible, but he is content. He spends every day outside riding the wilds in our wolf pack of two. As dog goals go, he’s achieved many. He’s probably sniffed more poo than a dog twice his age. He’s urinated in every capital city of our great nation. On top of all this, he has honed his “my human doesn’t ever feed me” face to the point where he eats better than I do. He’s also ridden steam trains, appeared on a Canadian dog calendar, and been featured on the lad bible (he was a dog lad).
Nero, patiently awaiting the next adventure on his bicycle.

Nero, patiently awaiting the next adventure on his bicycle

Chronicles of a Travel Addict:
When you were planning your travels, how did you decide taking Nero would be a good idea?
Joshua:
That’s easy. I never considered it in the first place; he was coming. If you want something enough, you simply make it work. The idea of it not working never entered my head. It wasn’t about it being a good idea. It was just what was going to happen. He’s my best friend, my family. However, just like family or any loved one, you have to consider what’s best for them above your own agenda. For instance, there are many countries I would jump at visiting, but I have to ask myself: Are there strays that would attack him? Will he be able to cross borders freely? How does that local culture value dogs? Will they want to beat him, eat him or feed him? So, our world is a little smaller because of these situations, but it’s still far bigger than most dogs’, and most humans’.
Chronicles of a Travel Addict:
Where will you and Nero next be found cycling?
Well, as Nero and I enter our mid thirties, Europe beckons. After that, well, that’s a long way ahead, but keep an eye out for us. We’re going places, Cristina!
About the “Me” behind “Nero and Me”: 
Joshua behind "Nero and Me"

Joshua behind “Nero and Me”

Joshua grew up on the outskirts of Cambridge, England. Half English and half Indian, with a sprinkle of Portuguese and a dash of Irish, he’s a true mongrel like his best friend, Nero. His passions include photography, cycling, and wildlife.

Having spent most of his adult life running the rat race, he decided in July of 2014 to strip away the trappings of modern life and get on his bicycle. He wasn’t entirely sure where he was going; he just wanted an adventure. The rest, as they say, is history.
Find out what inspired him, where he’s been, and where he’s going:
Twitter: @neroandme
Instagram: NeroandMe
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