Thursday, 28 May 2009

I'm Going To Walk To Rome!

I decided a few months back that I wanted to do something different and, after a lot of thought, decided I wanted to walk from Chester in the UK to Rome in Italy with my dog, Roman the Rottweiler, and raise money for charity along the way. I have been researching various things over the past couple of months with a view to finding out exactly what would need to be done for me to be successful in my quest.

First on my list was getting a passport for Roman. This entailed a few trips to the vets - 2 so that he could have some anti Rabies injections and a subsequent trip for the results of the blood test and to pick up his passport. Ordinarily, I would have had to have got him chipped but, as I did this when I got him, there was no need. Still, it cost me about £180 to get him his passport!!

Next on my list was my own passport - I did have a passport but lost it towards the end of last year so had to reapply. Normally this wouldn't be a problem - after all, who really likes their old passport photos??? - only on this occasion I had only had my passport for a few months before I lost it!! So, about £80 and a few weeks later I also now have a passport.

One of the biggest challenges ahead of me is undoubtedly learning a new language. I have a desire to remain in Rome once I get there so it is pretty important that I am as fluent as possible in Italian by the time I set off. I started using Rosetta Stone a couple of weeks ago and have been making steady progress but there is so much to do and so little time!

As if that wasn't bad enough I could also do with learning a bit of French too - after all, I will be spending a fair amount of time walking through France so will need to be able to communicate with people properly for the duration of my stay there. Luckily, I was pretty good at French in school so, although I did leave 11 years ago, I can't see me struggling too much here - I will wait until I have completed all of the Italian courses before I try and learn a little more French.

Other things that I have had to consider over the past few weeks include issues surrounding dog laws in France and Italy, how to register myself in Rome once I get there, how to set up a bank account, how to go about arranging accomodation, making sure both myself and the dog are both fit enough and many other things too....

Over the past few weeks I have been walking as much as possible with the dog and recently, as I have had to spend some time learning Italian, I have changed these walks into runs. The walks tend to range between 4 and 13 miles at the moment depending on time available and the runs tend to be 4 or 5 miles, although I have done one 8 mile run to date.

I placed my house up for sale about 3 weeks ago and am hoping that I have priced it competitively enough to attract interest relatively quickly as the quicker the house sells the sooner I am able to go on my little adventure. I have been speaking with the estate agents on a weekly basis to try and gauge the level of interest and am pleased that the interest now seems to have begun, although I am still waiting for the first viewing.

Yesterday I officially handed in my resignation at work and I should finish on Tuesday 30th June - this makes everything a little more real and will hopefully give me plenty of time once I leave to spend arranging everything that I need to in order to make this trip possible. With a bit of luck I will get an offer on the house at the end of June and I should then be ready to set off at the end of August - I am itching to go but have no control over this...

With regards to charities I have been thinking about this long and hard and, as yet, am still undecided on who I want to raise money for! Considering my Rottweiler will be making the arduous trip with me I think that it is only fair that I should raise money for a Rottweiler charity and I do have one in mind although I will not name any charities until I have decided once and for all. Additionally, I want to raise money for 3 national charities - 1 for the UK, 1 for France and 1 for Italy - I think it is important to raise money for the 3 countries if I want to keep interest high along the way and am sure this is a good way of raising the profile of what I am doing.

Anyway, thanks for reading my first post - now you know my plans, I've just got to find a way of making it all happen!!


  1. You have my upmost respect for starting this and I wish you good luck. I only quickly read your post so I may of missed something but did you mention what job you are going to look for in Italy? If not then shouldn't you think of that before you go?

  2. To be honest I am prepared to do absolutely anything - I'm not proud! I have a background working for a debt collection company and my primary strengths fall under analysis / reporting /proogramming. I will take things as they come for now - my main concern right now is becoming a strong speaker of Italian before I go.

  3. good luck on ur walk to rome with ur dog keep me up to date of what u ave been doing n how u n ur dog r feeling throughout ur trip

  4. Hey "Anonymous"!

    Thanks for the comment but I am not sure who to update!! If you create an account with Google then you can leave comments under your own name so I know who I am talking to...

  5. I have to say you have my full suport on this, good luck to you and Roman.
    Best Wishes
    From The Rottie Mad Forum

  6. Thanks Rottie Mad Forum! I am really looking forward to doing this (as is Roman!!)

  7. Ive said it on your link on Facebook, this is a fantastic thing your doing. One small concern I have is that Roman, as you say, is in his prime, yet still growing and his bones developing. My boy is just 2 now and I restrict his walks to a max of 2 and a half hrs a day in 3 seperate walks. I hate saying this but do you think he is getting too much exercise at the present time with you. Im only concerned that he will be ok to make this mammoth journey. Whats his hip score? Please, please dont take offence, Im so with you on this trip, I think its amazing and will follow you from start to finish. Levismum x