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Jesse Koz & The Dog Shurastey: Why’s Everyone Talking About This Duo?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The phrase: “the dog is a man’s best friend” never means so hard as in this situation. This duo made us feel the real meaning of friendship and loyalty, from the road to infinity.

Walk on the road

Jesse, the human part of this duo, started a new life when decided to travel the world leaving everything behind, except his best friend. He was just a boy like any others, who was tired of working in a shopping mall in Balneário Camboriú, between eight and ten hours a day. For a moment, he realized that life it’s more than that thing he was doing, more than “just waiting” as he said on his blog. He had a profile on Youtube, and Instagram and participated in some podcasts to share his life.

Traveling the whole world is something that everyone dreams of, but only a few people can, even more when you are a young man who worked tirelessly in a mall. But Jesse managed to reverse that idea and live his big dream, or at least a big part of it.

A group created on Facebook, called “Mochileiros”, inspired Jesse to look for this thing that people call “liberty”. He saw all the experiences that lifestyle can bring, so he started his journey. 

Jesse didn’t think a lot about methods that he could use to make money, so he sold everything that he had. Was three months to organize that trip, (or just think he was organizing…). Jesse bought some things that could be necessary to hold on that trip because it was just him, the dog Shurastey and his old car, nicknamed Dodongo. (He really liked to put some strangers’ names on his things…)

The initial idea was to go to Argentina until the place was named “end of the world” and if the money got over, he could work somewhere to save his money again and keep walking the road. 

From Brazil to Argentina

On May 5th, 2017, Jesse and Shurastey had their first problem that was expected. The first stop was in a gas station in Florianópolis. They stayed there to sleep in the car, a process that would repeat many times.
After two months from the first stop, they finally arrived in Ushuaia. To be exact, on July 15th.
His dream was coming true. He was there. They were there! “Was the strongest emotion that I ever had until today.”, Jesse expressed.
In a moment like that, it’s impossible to hide all the emotions without screaming so loud and being so proud. So Jesse did it!
The policemen came to ask him what was happening, and he just said: “I’m happy!”. We were happy for you too, Jesse!
Javier, an Argentino who gives accommodation to some travelers, showed Jesse a traveler who went to Alaska by Kombi. Nothing else could stop that dreamer, just motivates him to keep building his story.

A dreamer inspiring dreamers

Some problems started to appear, like the little money and the bad situation in Dondongo. They got back to Brazil and had a surprise: Jesse had, at that moment, 35 thousand followers on Instagram. Not just followers in a common social network, but 35 thousand people who saw that young traveler and his hunger for life as an inspiration. A lot of people wanted to meet Jesse and Shurastey. Indeed, who wouldn’t?
More and more, all the things that were happening with them, doubled Jesse’s to continue.
Some events and meetings started to happen in the capital and were the perfect opportunity to sell some stickers, caps, and pads to people who wanted help. When they started their international trip, the events stopped, but sales continued to be strong.

The world is ours!

As we already know, Jesse started his journey in Argentina. To go and back, he passed through Rio Grande do Sul, Uruguai, Paraguai, Foz do Iguaçu and Curitiba. Is it enough? No. He wanted more! This was just the “1st phase” as we called it.
The second phase was to get to know all of Brazil. Jesse, the dog Shurastey (of course), and their love on wheels, Dondongo, met Minas Gerais and Pará. Almost eleven months on the road. Eleven months.
The 3rd phase can be divided into two parts, (one of which makes me so choking) and was named: an adventure in Latin America. (So charming!)
On January 2019, Tocantins, Distrito Federal, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul was the first places that they met in Brazil. After that, they met Bolívia, Peru, Equador, Colômbia, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicarágua, El Salvador, Guatemala and México. It was crazy!

More than a song, more than a car

It’s time to meet a little more about the dog Shurastey and who this memorable legend is.
If you are thinking: “It’s not supposed to be ‘should I stay?” Actually, no.
The name of Jesse’s best friend it’s more than a joke with a song. This name reminds them they’re always making choices. So, it’s Shurastey!
This friendship started in 2016. Shurastey came to Jesse’s life to change his way of seeing the world. This friendship’s something to admire. They are partners in crime.
Even talking with other people to sell his products, Jesse describes himself as a person not so sociable. Shurastey gave him all the support. To complete “the three musketeers”, Dondongo appears.
This name was based on a character from a game almost indestructive. The famous “fusca” already traveled deserts, asphalts, and everything possible. He came to the family for two, in 2017, one year after the arrival of Shurastey.

The arrival of the pandemic

Even though it’s always running, it was impossible to escape the impacts of the pandemic. Everybody had all their plans and dreams stopped by the COVID-19, including Jesse.
In September 2020, after months in México, the trio went back to Brazil, waiting for the opening of the border between Mexico and the USA to go to Alaska. The only thing that could stop the adventures was the pandemic. And it happened.
More than a year passed and a lot of things happened or stopped happening. It was really hard for Jesse, to everybody it was. He had little apparitions on Instagram, but he had his reasons. He had a lot of plans, he said!
“There’s a lot of good stuff coming I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!” He said it in the last sentence of his text explaining himself and his story.

The end of the Road

With the back of the activities in the world, they go back to the road to meet the dreamed Alaska.
When Jesse was in the USA, he was in the company of two friends: Diego Strutz e Roana Petri Celeste, a couple who traveled to America by a van. They decided to go to Canada together, just in different cars. It was always just the trio, right?
Next, to enter Canada, Jesse had his journey stopped.
He had an accident.

And dreamed of para-para-paradise…

On the morning of May 23, 2022, Jesse Koz and the dog Shurastey said goodbye to the road. After another car crashed next to Canada, they left.
The notice circled the world faster than the wheels of beloved Dondongo and moved many people.
The ceremony happened on July 06, 2022, in Balneário Camboriú. A lot of friends, admirers, and family were there to say their last goodbye to the young dreamer boy. Shurastey did not survive, but his ashes weren’t with his owner’s body.
At 29 years old, Jesse Koz, the dog Shurastey and the Dondongo car, left behind more than a road to go, but a thousand admirers who had a lot of pride in them and a world that would be ready to meet them.
Maybe Jesse wasn’t the first young man to dream of traveling the world; maybe Chris Martin wasn’t inspired by him to sing about someone who wanna meet the paradise; maybe “Should I stay or should I go?’’ don’t be just any song for many
people. But one thing it’s right, the true paradise it’s a world with Jesse and Shurastey.
“Life is more than waiting”, Jesse Koz.


The article above was edited by Giullia Cartaxo. 

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Lívia H. Magalhães

Casper Libero '25

Lívia, 17 yo, journalism student at Cásper Líbero University. Addicted to music and passionate about soccer.