T is for Travel – Mike and Anne of HoneyTrek.com

T is for Travel is a series of Guest posts and interviews with people from around the globe who share a passion for travels. To celebrate my new website going online, I am taking you on the most amazing of honeymoon with Mike and Anne, of HoneyTrek.com, who embarked on a 2 year round the world trip to celebrate their love.

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m a California girl and Mike’s a Pennsylvania Mountain man and we met in New York playing doubles volleyball eight years ago. Our outlook on life, love, and adventure were a total a match and three years later marriage was on the horizon. When it came to planning our honeymoon, we knew ten-day vacation wasn’t nearly enough to celebrate our new life together. So with a little bit of savings, good health and no kids, we figured there was no better time to travel than now. So we quit our jobs in media, rented our apartment, and set out on a 675-day honeymoon around the world.

What do you like about travels?

The unknown. Each day you spend in new country and culture is a completely different adventure-even if it’s just going to the grocery store. We love the challenge of throwing ourselves into foreign places and trying to think and acting like the locals do. Stepping outside of your home and all the norms you’ve come to expect, makes you challenge your beliefs and open up to all the ways to live life and find happiness. We love how travel heightens our senses and keeps us on our toes.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

What type of traveller are you?

We are truly a mix of every kind of traveller. We are mostly scrappy backpackers who know how to have fun on a budget and love the thrill of hitchhiking, couch surfing, and flying by the seat of our pants. But we are also Newlyweds at Large and journalists who have reviewed 70+ luxury hotels and experiences for Honeymoons.com. We’ve slept everywhere from a mud floor to a $2000 suite and thrive on that range of experience.

Can you tell us about your Honeymoon? What countries have you visited?

Our travel philosophy has always been to go places too far to visit while we have jobs and too rugged to tackle when we’re old. That meant skipping Central America and most of Europe and focusing on all the places we’d dreamed of visiting in South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Here is the country by country breakdown:

Round the world Norway

North Cape, Norway

What were your favourite destinations? and why?

1. Turkey. Straddling two continents and spanning three thousand years of civilizations, Turkey has such a diverse and vibrant culture. 2. Kenya. We think everyone should visit east Africa and Kenya’s diversity makes it the best introduction to the area with Swahili coast, thriving tribes, colonial cities, not to mention big-game safari. 3. Nepal. It has a little bit of everything we love in travel—extreme nature, fascinating culture, lovely people, delicious food, and affordable prices! 4. Atacama Desert. This wild swath of land between San Pedro de Atacama Chile and the first Bolivian border guard in Uyuni is only accessible by 4×4, filled with volcanoes, red lakes, teal lakes, hot springs, bubbling mud pools, flamingos, salt flats, and a raw beauty that we’ll never shake. 5. Myanmar: We remain baffled by the sheer kindness of the Myanmar people, and when you combine that with the fascinating blend of influences of the Golden Triangle you have an unbeatable combination!

Round the world Nepal

Bhaktapur, Nepal

What was your most memorable experience abroad? What happened?

Worst: Dusk on the side of the road at a small junction in northern Mozambique, waiting for a hitchhike for four hours with zero cars in sight. Adding to the uneasiness, a drunken dude kept talking to us in Portuguese while a crazy person danced circles in the street. Just as the sun was setting, a pickup truck pulled up. The driver said he couldn’t take us as far as our intended destination but said that we could sleep on the floor of his cousin’s mud hut. This was looking like the bright side of the day until we attempted to sleep and the mice started running across the packed-dirt rafters, knocking mud chunks on us. If it weren’t for fits of delirious laughter, we would have never made it out of that day.

Best: We are ambassadors for the nonprofit Muskoka Foundation and were asked to scout an English language program in a tribal Red Tzao village outside of Sapa, Vietnam. To do this, we signed up as volunteer teachers for the week—and not just any week but five days leading up to the Tet celebration of the New Year. The students were so grateful to have English lessons they thanked us with countless invitations to pre-Tet dinners, sacrificial rituals, and a very exclusive New Year’s spirit cleansing ceremony. To be accepted into this tribal community during one of the most familial and celebrated times of year was definitely one of our greatest travel highs.

Ta Phin, Vietnam

Ta Phin, Vietnam

 

You now help other RTW travellers by sharing your tips and advice. What valuable lessons have your learnt during your travels?

The world is massive and it cannot be seen solely on ten-day vacations. You have to carve out the time to experience it, open your mind, and go. As for tips, there are so many things you need to know before you leave on a trip like this like…

  • Have two separate credit and debit card accounts in case one set disappears.
  • Pack the right technology it’s the hardest thing to replace on the road.
  • Buy your flights as you go. The around-the-world plane ticket will cost way you more and severely limit your flexibility….

We have learned so much from our trip and are so passionate about the benefits of long-term travel, that we started Trip Coach, a one-on-one guide to world travel. If you’re wondering how you can mobilize your dreams of travel, reach out to us!

Masaai Mara, kenya

Masaai Mara, kenya

What are your next travel plans?

We are dreaming of honeymooning all 50 States of America as a year-long road trip…maybe as a TV show. Any networks or producers out there, interested? The honeymoon must go on!

Why the USA? What do you hope to experience there?

After honeymooning in 33 countries, we only feel it’s fair to try to see what our home country has to offer!

If you could be anywhere right now?

Right here.

round the world Bolivia

Bolivia

Do you think you could take the next step and move abroad one day?

We’ve thought about Brazil, Thailand, Cape Town and New Zealand but we’d probably choose the Philippines, if we were to move out of the States. We love the challenge of communicating in a foreign language but if we were going to make somewhere else our home, it would be nice if English was a main language. This is one of the reasons we loved the Philippines and felt like we could make deeper connections with the people we met. If we lived abroad we wouldn’t want to be relegated to an expat community, we’d want to integrate and we think you can do just that in the Philippines. Not to mention it has 7,000 islands, beautiful mountains, great food, super kind people, and the cost of living is incredibly low… there’s a lot to love!

One way or Return ticket?

We rarely buy return tickets – why be pinned down?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Prepping for HoneyTrek 2 with kids!

Finally T is for Travel

R is for …Reflection

A is for Adventure

V is for Volunteering

E is for Endless

L is for Love

 

Don’t hesitate to contact Mike and Anne if you have any questions. You can leave a comment here or via their FACEBOOK page. They are also on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Mike and Anne have now set up their own RTW training programme to help you see the world. For more info contact them: TripCoach@HoneyTrek.com, on their website or you can subscribe to their newsletter HERE.

Thank you again Mike and Anne for sharing your story on Diary of a Serial Expat and for those truly spectacular pictures. You’re welcome back here anytime

 

24 thoughts on “T is for Travel – Mike and Anne of HoneyTrek.com”

  1. karendwarren says:

    Some fantastic experiences here – and more to come. I loved the photos, especially the one of Vietnam.
    My recent post Exploring San Francisco’s Chinatown

  2. Kristen - imnotatouristiswear.com says:

    GREAT POST. What a truly inspiring story and the photos in the story where just fantastic! This got me very excited for my first RTW trip! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Thanks Kristen! That's so exciting are you going on an RTW! Please let us know if you'd like any advice!
      My recent post Comment on The Big Bangkok Reunion by You Know You're In Thailand When… – HoneyTrek

  3. Karisa says:

    Very nice to get to know Anne and Mike a bit better! GREAT advice about having backup credit and debit cards. I left my only debit card in an atm in Pattay the first week after moving to Thailand. It was slightly terrifying. This time, I ordered a backup card before moving to Taiwan 🙂

    PS.I 'd love to be interviewed for this series! <3

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Losing your ATM card is the worst! Glad you caught on to the backup card trick. How cool you've lived in Thailand and Taiwan, keep the expat life alive!
      My recent post Sukhothai: The Golden Age of Thailand

  4. armchair to reality says:

    Great way to celebrate a marriage, my friends did similar around s.america and enjoyed it hugely.
    armchair to reality recently posted…Armchair to Reality: Making the most of 2 days in Florence

    1. Anne Howard says:

      We agree! There is nothing better than taking the time to travel and grow with your sig other!
      My recent post You Know You’re In Thailand When…

  5. Christina says:

    Great post. Aaaaand: love this picture of Cappadocia in Turkey.

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Cappadocia has to be of the most stunning places on the planet. So glad you liked it!
      My recent post Comment on The Big Bangkok Reunion by You Know You're In Thailand When… – HoneyTrek

  6. Laura says:

    Great to get to know your friends a little better! I hope our honeymoon is that good!
    My recent post Home

    1. Anne Howard says:

      If you want to know how to make your honeymoon this good, check this out: http://www.honeytrek.com/tripcoach-honeymoons/
      My recent post You Know You’re In Thailand When…

  7. Sandra @ Tripper says:

    Amazing story. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂 Some good ideas on places to visit next too.

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Thanks, Sandra! Which place appealed to you most? We'd be happy to give you some tips!
      My recent post Sukhothai: The Golden Age of Thailand

  8. brmsimmons says:

    What a great way to start your life together!

    1. Anne Howard says:

      It absolutely was! More couples should really use their honeymoon as an excuse to get some extra time off from work (bosses have a soft spot for newlyweds, there is no better time to ask for a sabbatical or extended vacay)…or really any time to travel is good, just don't wait until retirement!
      My recent post Comment on The Big Bangkok Reunion by You Know You're In Thailand When… – HoneyTrek

  9. Milosz Zak says:

    I absolutely love your photo from Capadoccia. I've been there twice, once when I was really young, and again two years ago, and I gotta say, I still remember the Fortress of Uchisar, and the thousands of little homes carved into those chimneys – I'm really happy you had good weather, it rained there when I returned, and no balloons took off that week.

  10. Mindi @2foodtrippers says:

    Now this is what I call a honeymoon! Love your story and the photos!
    My recent post Our First Visit to Ivan Ramen in New York City

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Thanks so much Mindi! We hope come along for the ride…there are so many more stories and photos to come on HoneyTrek.com
      My recent post Comment on The Big Bangkok Reunion by You Know You're In Thailand When… – HoneyTrek

  11. Jessica says:

    What an interesting interview! I would love to take a two-year 'honeymoon' trip around the world. I love that MIke and Anne are exploring the U.S. next . Traveling abroad can really make you appreciate what you have at home!
    My recent post Discovering the Delights of the Summer Terraza Bars in Barcelona

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Jessica, love to see you live in Barcelona and totally get the perspective that living abroad gives you. You should totally take a multi-month or year trip around the world…it's more feasible than you'd think! Check it out: http://honeytrek.com/tripcoach/
      My recent post Sukhothai: The Golden Age of Thailand

  12. davidpcole says:

    Very to get to know Mike and Anne! I like the point they make about being able to forge deeper connections with a common language. It really does make a difference. From what they say, the Philippines sounds like an ideal place to do some slow travel.
    My recent post Memorable Meals on the Road

    1. Anne Howard says:

      We loved that in the Philippines you could go up to nearly anyone and spark up a conversation in English…be it a farmer in a field or grandma in a remote tribe. The variety of people you could meet and chat with was incredible. It sounds like you'd love the Philippines, hope you can go for some slow travel sometime!
      My recent post Sukhothai: The Golden Age of Thailand

  13. Bob Ramsak says:

    "The honeymoon must go on." That's about as good as a travel philosophy can get 🙂 Best of luck to you both.

    I appreciated your list of favorite destinations. The Atacama especially is truly unparalleled.
    My recent post The Legend of the Heathen Maiden

    1. Anne Howard says:

      Glad you like that travel philosophy,! So glad to see you are a traveler on the move as well! Best of luck to you as well!

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