I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
- Thomas A. Edison
It almost seemed too easy: Spend days researching Ireland vs. the UK, find a decent Airbnb, make flight arrangements for myself and Mango. I fell asleep last night slightly comforted by my plan to go to London for a week, followed by a road trip around the UK and Ireland until I could return to the Schengen Area at the end of November. You can imagine my disappointment when I called Scandinavian Airlines this morning to reserve Mango's spot in the hold (because one must first purchase the ticket to book a pet, a real Russian roulette since the hold could be full) only to be told that no airline is permitted to bring pets into the UK or Ireland. To bring a pet into either country, one must make arrangements at least a week ahead with a cargo company, which costs a whopping $1,500. Well, isn't that nice?? Time for Plan B. Oh wait, there is no Plan B, and now that you mention it, there was barely a Plan A.
I scrambled to find other options to get Mango from Sweden to the UK. Channel Tunnel? One-way car rental or chauffeured ride from Paris to London? Train?? None of the options were pet-friendly, affordable, or available, so I stepped away from the situation and made the executive decision to change my destination. And voilà, just like that I decided to head to Croatia. It has always been on my travel bucket list and besides, it was cheaper/closer than Canada. So Mango and I are now headed to sunny, Mediterranean Croatia, which looks beautiful from the pictures. Thanks to this being Croatia's off-season, I had a ton of nice and affordable (not to mention pet-friendly) options through Airbnb, so I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather, this thing called sun, and an Airbnb with windows. I have decided that I will take this time to decompress, reflect on what I've learned, and plan next steps. (At this point, I am leaning toward a move to Canada and couldn't be more thrilled.)
Tomorrow Mango and I head out again into the unknown, and hopefully I'll get a good night's rest tonight. Because last night I tossed and turned in worry over what to do with the random stuff I brought with me to Sweden, like the, um, nice flatware and bedding I dragged here for no good reason (WTF, Laurie?). I have decided to give it all away, a sign that I am either cutting ties with material things or lightening the load of a sinking ship. Hmm, only the future knows the answer to that.