Married couple Mike and Anne Howard on ‘world’s longest honeymoon’ recount toughest times

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After Mike and Anne Howard married in 2011, they made a drastic decision: quit the 9-to-5 jobs they’d worked for a decade, sell most of their possessions, rent out their house, and embark on a honeymoon. different honey.

Their project? See the world.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Mike and Anne talk to Sunrise about their epic honeymoon

And a decade later, the New York newlyweds are still traveling – their post-wedding getaway becoming the “world’s longest honeymoon”.

Document their travels on their blog HoneyTrek has become a way of life.

Originally conceived as a way to update family and friends on their adventures, it led to careers as travel bloggers, book writers, and travel photographers.

But while social media often depicts a journey through a highlight reel, Mike and Anne admit that it’s not all sunshine and roses.

The couple spoke exclusively with 7Lifestyle on their journey, sharing the day they’d make more, their budget hacks, and four non-negotiables they’re still packing.

Challenges along the way

The beauty of Mike and Anne’s photos is undeniable – there are sparkling blue seas, shimmering white sands, snaps of romantic picnics and sultry sunsets.

But the realities of traveling as the COVID pandemic has ravaged the world is something the fearless couple have had to come to terms with.

Mike and Anne shared their story on Sunrise. Stream it for free on 7plus >>

The couple were heading to Italy, just as the country declared a COVID emergency.

“He didn’t really understand what was going on,” says Mike 7life.

The Howard’s in Poland as they escaped the initial COVID outbreak. Credit: HoneyTrek

Thinking it was an “Italian thing” at the time, the couple traveled to Poland and rented a campervan, embarking on a five-day road trip, or so they said. they thought…

Campgrounds were closed, the whole booking.com site was down, hotels were closed, they even remember being unable to supply drinking water at one point.

It took them three months to finally be able to return to the United States.

Traveling forces even the most organized of us to go with the flow once in a while, but there was another “ridiculous” day that put the newlyweds to the test.

That’s how long it took the pair four days and 14 stages to get from Ibo Island to Zanzibar in Africa, although it’s “a straight line along the rating”.

An image taken from one of the 14 stages of their journey between Ibo Island and Zanzibar in Africa.
An image taken from one of the 14 stages of their journey between Ibo Island and Zanzibar in Africa. Credit: HoneyTrek

The journey involved steps such as boarding a boat, then a rowboat, then hitchhiking, then jumping on a long bus (which broke down), jumping off the back of a banana truck and finally take a ride.

“It was a totally ridiculous day, but it was memorable – let me tell you that,” Anne said of the “character building experience.”

Itinerary changes are one thing, but how can a married couple keep their relationship strong while living in each other’s pockets 24/7?

Couples around the world have learned to adjust to being with their partner amid continued lockdowns and working from home, but Mike and Anne have been doing it for a decade.

Anne explores the glacial waters and peaks of Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park, Washington.
Anne explores the glacial waters and peaks of Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park, Washington. Credit: HoneyTrek

“It’s nice to have a few little things that belong to you, you know I like to go for walks more than him and he likes to have more podcasts than me,” says Anne.

“We have a few things that are ‘your thing,’ and we prioritize maintaining friendships outside of the relationship.

“We also like meeting new people and so we have a pretty global circle of friends at this point, so it’s not as isolating as you might think,” she says.

If Mike and Anne could do another day of travel…

Amid the hardships and compromises, there are days that Mike and Anne would like to last a lifetime.

One such experience took place in Petra, Jordan, where Anne recounts “we were on a rental bus full of 30 Muslim women wearing hijabs – all of it”.

“That bus turned into a huge dance party, they serve us tea, make sandwiches and turn out they’re going to a big dance party in the desert of Wadi Rum,” she recalled.

“It was such a surreal landscape and we were totally swept away by these lovely human beings.”

For Mike, it was about reaching Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal, one of his favorite countries.

“It’s ridiculous scenery and it was quite a strenuous hike and it was cool to get there,” the travel blogger said.

Budget tips

After 10 years of traveling without a steady job, Mike and Anne have mastered travel budgeting, now spending an average of $45 a day in total.

Mike insists that it takes a lot of planning and “it’s a job in itself.”

When initially budgeting, the pair planned to spend $100 a day, but cut that amount down to $45.
When initially budgeting, the pair planned to spend $100 a day, but cut that amount down to $45. Credit: HoneyTrek

Here, the newlyweds share their tips for traveling cheap:

Tip #1: Consider Cheaper Forms of Travel

Mike and Anne said their travels were “always interesting” as they constantly change the way they travel within their budget.

Some include backpacking, house sitting, RVing, and crewing on a sailboat.

Tip #2: Stay longer

Initially, the Howards spent an average of three days in the regions, but now the couple are staying longer in destinations and going more locally.

This reduces flights and travel expenses and allows them to “achieve more authentic travel experiences by integrating into communities”.

Tip #3: Plan Your Transportation Strategically

The couple encourages the use of public transport and when they have to fly, they use frequent flyer points.

Their packing essentials

Besides the obvious clothes and essential toiletries, the duo share four other essentials they suggest any traveler should consider when traveling – especially of this length.

The Howards in Los Cabos, sail to Lands End and dive into the Sea of ​​Cortes in Mexico.
The Howards in Los Cabos, sail to Lands End and dive into the Sea of ​​Cortes in Mexico. Credit: HoneyTrek

The first is familiar spices, for when you want to cook yourself.

The Howards are both vegan, so carrying vegan spices is a no-brainer.

Second and third are their reusable water bottles and water purifiers – especially useful for the Howards, who have refused to use single-use plastic since their first year of travel.

And finally, they always bring their own pillows.

“For us, that’s invaluable because when your environment changes as often as ours, the pillow feels right at home and gives us longevity on the road and comfort,” says Anne.

The Howards’ Blog HoneyTrek shares more about their travel stories and tips. They also have two books, Ultimate trip for two, and Comfortably wild, both available on Amazon.

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