How to Bring a Dog into the USA From Mexico

We never expected to bring home a pet from our 465-day trip around the world. But when we saw Tamale's big brown eyes staring up at us and heard the story of how she was found on the streets of Valladolid, Mexico, cowering under a car, our hearts melted. At first, we thought the logistics of bringing a dog into the US would be too complicated, but after researching the requirements, everything fell into place.

This is the story of two weary world travelers, one adorable dog, and our journey together from near the ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico to Dayton, Ohio.

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Spanish Lessons in South America – Lost in Translation

Woman in handicraft market in the Sacred Valley, PeruWhen the plane landed I was pumped. We had finally made it to the region of our trip that I was most excited for: South America!

I studied Spanish in high school and remembered quite a bit of it, plus I had been brushing up using the language learning app Duolingo and other Kindle books.

I was ready to breeze through this continent with my awesome Spanish skills.

Well, it didn't take me long to realize that things are a bit more complicated than that. Instead of friendly Spanish conversations I was met with blank stares. When reading menus, I resorted to the tactic of pointing at something and hoping for the best.

Basically, I had learned Castilian Spanish (what they speak in parts of Spain) and there are surprisingly a lot of differences between that and Latin American Spanish. I'm sure that tour operators are probably a huge resource when it comes to languages and the differences so next time I do a big trip I might go through someone like that.

Combine that with slang and dialects that are wildly different from country to country just within South America, and you've got a much more complicated language than I had anticipated.

What are some of the things that we learned that can help you communicate more effectively when you visit South America? We let you in on them in this post.

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The Freshest Cup of Colombian Coffee You’ll Ever Have

Colombia is an interesting destination for coffee lovers.

Just because Colombia is the third largest producer of coffee in the world doesn't mean you can easily find a great cup of joe there.

Similarly to the great cacao produced in Ecuador, in the recent past pretty much all of the great coffee produced in Colombia has been exported to other countries.

That left Colombia with low-quality beans and people who didn't necessarily know how to roast and brew coffee.

Luckily, over the past few years, specialty coffee shops focused on local brews have popped up all over the place and coffee farms have started opening their doors to visitors.

It's now possible to see first hand how coffee is grown and processed, and even taste some coffee brewed from the high-quality beans that farmers are starting to keep behind to sell to tourists.

Perhaps the most beautiful place to start your exploration of the Colombian coffee region is Salento. With several coffee farms within walking distance of town, well-preserved and brightly colored architecture, and the Cocora Valley with the world's tallest palm trees nearby, Salento makes a great place to spend a few days.

We toured three fincas during our time there, each having their own unique philosophies on growing coffee and each providing different and insightful information on this revered plant.

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3 Unique Snack Foods to Try in Quito, Ecuador

Snacking is one my favorite ways to eat, especially when traveling.

You get to try a bunch of different dishes and don't have to take a chance on a massive plate of anything in particular.

On our recent stay in Quito, Ecuador, we took a snacking oriented food trip with Viator where we sampled traditional baked goods, sweets, and other small plates, and got an insider's look on how these snacks are made.

The following 3 snacks made it onto our list of most unique and most delicious foods to try in Quito!

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