“One bike, one cat and a whole world to explore!!”
That’s the tagline on Dean Nicholson’s Instagram account, a beautiful summary of his surprise adoption of a Bosnian kitten during his worldwide travel tour.
Originally from Dunbar, Scotland, Dean decided to give up his job as a welder and travel the world.
In December of 2018, he received an early Christmas present: a stray kitten that he formed an instant bond with.
“So just as I was coming up to the Montenegro border I heard this little gem meowing her heart out, chasing me trying to get my attention,” Dean said. “We were about 12 miles from the nearest town so it was obvious someone had dumped her.”
Off we go!
Dean didn’t have the heart to leave the kitten behind. He had to do something.
One trip to the vet, border papers, and a cat biking basket later, the newly-named Nala joined Dean on his travels.
Nala even has her very own passport!
Since then, they’ve spent the last two years touring over 20 different countries.
Albania, Greece, Turkey, Istanbul, Bulgaria, and Austria are just a few places they’ve visited together.
Nala might be the cutest world traveler. Her adventurous spirit never ceases to amaze the lucky people who encounter her.
Nala has joined Dean hostel-hopping, camping, kayaking, woodworking, and more.
With everything that Dean does, Nala is always by his side.
They’ve even created a calendar together and donated the proceeds to charity.
Nala has left a permanent mark on Dean’s heart— and his arm!
Dean even had Nala’s paw prints tattooed on his forearm.
Many people ask how Nala handles the nomad life, to which Dean responds with excitement.
“Never in a million years did I think travelling with a cat would be this easy, she takes this whole traveling with ease and every day she puts a smile on my face as she has such a character about her!” Dean said.
Nala is the best little passenger. She’s easy to please, grateful for journey.
Instead of getting fussy when she’s tired, she makes herself comfortable wherever she can– especially on her dad’s shoulder!
This sweet girl is simply happy she gets to spend each and every day with her favorite human.
Between all the fun of learning about new people and cultures, Dean and Nala like to give back to each community they visit.
They set aside time for picking up litter or volunteering at local animal shelters.
With millions of eyes on the travel cat duo, Dean sets an excellent example of how to be the change we want to see in the world.
“If I can urge anyone to take notice about anything it would be the footprint we are leaving on this world,” he said.
A huge part of Dean and Nala’s mission is to give animals in need a second chance, just as Dean did for Nala.
They arrangements for vet visits and adoptions for other stray animals they find along the way.
They make a wonderful team, inspiring fans worldwide to be advocates for rescue animals.
There are some logistical problems to traveling the world with a cat, but Dean and Nala tackle them together.
The obstacles are less about Nala herself and more about making sure her needs are met.
Dean’s Instagram chronicles their attempts to figure out bathroom breaks, meals, vet visits, and playtime while on the road.
Luckily, Nala is incredibly quick to learn and adapt to new places and environments.
Their biggest obstacle is picking out her clothes for the day– it’s a good problem to have!
Nala needs to be dressed appropriately for her destination, which can include harnesses, life vests, and snow jackets.
It all depends on the weather and their adventure for the day.
The latest step in their journey is sharing a book about their experiences, Nala’s World: One man, his rescue cat and a bike ride around the globe.
It’s no surprise that the exciting life they share has made it to print!
Perfectly packaged with breathtaking pictures, the book makes it easy for Dean and Nala to share their adventures and inspire others to join their mission.
“Absolutely over the moon to tell you guys mine and Nala’s story has been turned into a book,” he said.
Dean and Nala share a beautiful life and special bond.
Nala went from a sickly stray kitten to a world traveling star!
Their heroic mission has inspired people across the globe to be the change they want to see in the world.
If you’d like to keep up with Dean and Nala’s newest adventures, follow them on Instagram!