When Mark left Australia with his White Shepherd Mya, he didn’t set out to have a huge Instagram following. Instead, he focused on building a community of travellers interested in exploring with a unique companion: their pets.
“The community has helped us so much,” Mark says.” Before coming over [to Canada], I asked about phone plans and driving in winter—there’s so much to learn!—and we got so many tips and suggestions.”
Mark has been exploring North America since November 2017. Mya has been by his side for all of it. Throughout their journey, they’ve gained sponsors and over 36,000 followers on Instagram.
“North America is a pretty cool place when it comes to pets,” Mark says. “Every case is unique, but for me, if I was to leave Mya behind—even for an eight-hour work day while she’s in a backyard—I know she’s definitely having a better time now. Just look at the photos.”
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So today I want to tell you about our trip to Banff a couple of weeks ago. We decided we would head to Banff a little early, as I new some of the things I wanted to experience would be shutting down over winter and I really wanted to be able to tell you about them. ... First up Mya and I got to go paddling out on Lake Louise. It was a great experience to be able to head back when the lake wasn't frozen, like it had been when we visited last winter. You can hire canoes from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and go for a paddle. Just be sure that you and your pup are comfortable in the canoe, as the water is pretty cold. ... Next up I visited the Columbia Icefields and went on a Glacier Ice Explorer tour. Unfortunately the tour isn't dog friendly, so Mya had to stay with a friend for a couple hours. The tour involves taking a purpose built Ice Explore to the below the glacier and taking a look around. ... Afterwards I visited the Skywalk, which is just up the road and offers amazing views of the area and entry can be purchased on the same ticket as the Ice Explorer. ... Later that evening Mya and I visited Lake Minnewanka and got to see the Northern Lights for the first time. We also visited Lake Vermilion and I managed to take my first night photos that I was happy with. ... Is Kayaking your thing? Whats your favorite activity to do with your pup? Doesnt have to be adventurous, could simply be checking out Instagram together? ... @Banff_LakeLouise @Banff.Lodging.Co @PursuitBanffJasper @FairmontCLL #MyBanff #BanffLove #BestofBanff #LakeLouise #PursuitLife #NoPawGetsLeftBehind #Sponsored
Mark and Mya are true adventurers. "We've been skiing, snowshoeing, backcountry touring and winter biking,” Mark says. “Summer was mountain biking, paddling and a few hikes.”
Mark acknowledges that it can be difficult exploring with a dog, but says that Canada has many pet-friendly areas. “We’re guests, so we try to be very respectful wherever we go. She’s always on lead when she’s required to be.”
Still, he has found some areas that aren’t as inclusive—which is what today’s society should be striving for, he says. “We shouldn’t be trying to exclude people, but to bring them together as a community."
If you want to be a part of Mark and Mya’s adventurous community, you can see them in person at a Meet-and-Greet or follow them on Instagram. “I really enjoy photography,” Mark says. He’s also extremely active on social media. “I always try to respond to everyone.”
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*IMPORTANT POST* Arriving back in Revelstoke a few days ago, really brought us back full circle. Over the past 11 months, we've travelled about 50,000 km exploring Canada, the USA & even made it to Mexico. We've been skiing, ice skating, snow shoeing, fat biking, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding & even white water rafting & met some amazing people/dogs. We've visited almost all the major mountain resorts on the west coast of North America & world famous places like Roswell, Washington DC, New York City, Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, Las Vegas & even Hollywood. The trip has been epic, it has been the trip of a lifetime & Mya & I have some amazing experiences as a result of it. Our bond is now closer than it has ever been before. The trip itself has not been without it's challenges, but having risen above them, I feel that it has been so much more rewarding. Although Mya & I have had some great support along the way, our trip over the last 11 months has cost me somewhere between $60-80k (there has been moments where I've literally had $10 to my name & couldn't fly home even if I wanted to). As we came to the end of it & thought about potentially staying for another Winter, financially we just weren't going to be able to. Thankfully we have had some amazing businesses throw their support behind us, so that we can continue to show people that you can have a dog & a life of adventure & travel too. It's because of their support that we will be able to continue to share with you pet friendly travel tips & are able to show you these next 6 months of adventures & hold our meetups. If you know of any businesses that would be interested in joining us along on our adventures or anyone who has a dog & thinks they have to leave them behind when they travel, please share our story with them & tag them in this post. With so many amazing memories, it's hard for me to choose a favorite, but I'm really curious which adventures have been your favorite? Please let us know? As for our next 6 months, thank you so much to the following companies for their support: ... @PodsAustralia @JetPets @AtlasPetCompany @PetBarApp @Nutrience_ #NoPawGetsLeftBehind #Sponsored
If you want to support Mark and Mya’s adventures, head over to their Fundraiser, where you can download a digital calendar or card and donate to animal-focused charities Mark has chosen to support.
“The main reason we’re putting this out on social media is to make it easier [for travelling pet owners], to inspire and to show others it is possible. Everyone said we couldn’t do this, but we’ve been doing it for the past eight months.”
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WE NEED YOUR HELP - PLEASE READ ... If you didn't see our last post, we just released a 2019 calendar and three gift cards. One for Christmas, birthdays & Valentines Day. .. We are hoping to sell 800 of these, to raise money for 19 very worthy charities & to help keep our adventures going. .. Because I didn't want people to be paying upto $20 in shipping, I came up with the idea of putting together an e-calendar & sending it to people digitally. This way there would be no freight costs & people could take it to their local printing shop for about $15.00AUD or just use their own business/home office supplies. .. I didn't feel I could charge a set amount for these. I've set up the download for complete honesty, with a donation to be made to our go fund me page. We are sugesting $10 for the calendar & $3 for each card, but it's entirely upto you. .. So far we have had 27 donations out of our 800 target. A small target I thought for the 40k people following us. I want to raise a minimum $5400 for the charities below. Im sure we can do a lot more. .. These charities are the ones that everyone suggested to us. The work they do has somehow been linked to our adventures and they range fron rescuing dogs, to training service animals & looking after the animals from the California Wild Fires. .. @sweetshepherdrescue @blackdoginst @aarcs @bcspca @trailsandbears @savinghuey @jamesonanimalrescueranch North Valley Animal Disaster @yamnuskawdsanct @searchdogfoundation @projectk9hero @custom_canines @dogs_with_wings @bradysk9fund CARDA @livelikeroofoundation @patriotpawsservicedogs @frankiesfriends Save The Tasmanian Devil Appeal .. Help us by liking & saving this post (so that Instagram shows it to others). Leave a comment giving us a , tagging someone else or if your one of the 27 kind people who have already downloaded your copie, let us know what you think. Share this post, so others can see it & click on the link in our bio to download our calendar & cards. Then head to our go fund me page & make a donation. Your support is greatly appreciated. .. Ill be doing an Instagram live session at 7pm (Pacific Standard Time) if you have any questions. #NoPawGetsLeftBehind
Do you have an adventurous pup?
Tag us in your outdoor photos on Instagram
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Adventure Plan 101: Get a dog ???? so you have to wake up for sunrise ???? to walk them & get mountain views ⛰ all to yourself ???? . ????: @mark_and_myas_adventures . Tag @exploremagazine in your #outdooradventurephotos and we’ll share our favourites! ????????♀️????????♀️