Collies Without Borders

The Trip of a Lifetime: The Longest Line on the Map with Two Canine Copilots

In this series, Journey Dog’s founder Kayla Fratt documents her cross-country adventures traveling the Pan-American highway and beyond in a converted Dodge Sprinter Van!

If you’ve ever wanted to learn the in’s and out’s of van-life with canine copilots, this series is for you!

vanlife with dogs panamerican highway

Frequently asked questions

Why the Pan-American Highway?

It’s the longest line on the map. I love road trips. When I was 17 and lost in the world I met some folks biking it. Because I’m about to start a PhD program and I know I need a break. And — because I can!

Are You Scared to Go Alone?

Yes and no. I wish I had a partner to drive with me – being single is hard! But I don’t want to wait around until I find a boyfriend who is actually willing and able to join me. My friend Toni will join me in January 2024 for at least a few months and my friend Kim is caravaning with me. So I won’t really be alone! I am taking some safety precautions, of course.

What Are You Doing to Stay Safe in Mexico & Beyond?

I’m doing the same things I do as a single woman anywhere in the world: I have my dogs, I stay vigilant, and I keep my loved ones informed. I don’t take dumb risks and I avoid risky places; I don’t drive at night and I keep my nose clean. My Spanish is excellent, which helps. Saga the van has some additional security features to ensure my stuff isn’t stolen and the dogs are unharmed.

How Will Your Cross the Darian Gap?

I’ve got a contact in the aduana of Panama – a customs official. Along with the very helpful Pan-American Travelers Association on Facebook, I think I’ll work with Overland Embassy to ship Saga the van across the gap. I feel confident it’ll go smoothly but we’re still working on details.

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