The average length of a honeymoon is eight days but Mike & Anne Howard, two American newlyweds thought that wasn’t nearly enough to celebrate a new life together. With a little bit of savings, no kids, and good health, they figured there was no better time to travel than now. So months after Mike and Anne exchanged vows at an intimate mountaintop setting within snow-covered Central Vermont in March 2011, they left their New York City jobs in digital media, rented out their apartment and set out on a 675-day honeymoon around the world.
The result was 675 days, on 6 continents, 33 countries, 302 places, 125,675 miles and 226,152 breathtaking photographs, in addition to other interesting stats like 46 jars of peanut butter, 41 safaris, 39 scuba dives and countless memories, all in a single honeymoon.
It all started at Oktoberfest in Munich when a couple told them they just completed a 12-month journey around the world, spending $34k for their entire trip. The idea of two people circumnavigating the world for less than the cost of a mid-sized sedan seemed unfathomable to them, yet it affixed itself in their brains. “When it came to thinking about where we wanted to honeymoon, we didn’t have enough paper to list our dream destinations, and that German couple’s trip kept crossing our mind. Then about six months before our wedding, we started seriously talking it out. “We’ve got some money saved, we don’t have kids, there’s a lot of world to see, and we’re only young once…will there ever be a better time to travel than now?” That night we decided to turn our honeymoon into the adventure of a lifetime.”
At first their own trip was going to be 365 days. They started with South America. Then Africa. Then Asia. In the first year, they counted 16 flights, 14 trains, 32 national parks, 20 islands, six hitchhikes, five vehicle breakdowns, 38 luxury resorts, 19 nights without a bed, too many buses. Then they extended to 500 days. Then they added Europe.
His backpack and daypack together weigh about 55 pounds. Hers weigh about 45. They drink a lot of tap water – after running it through a SteriPEN water purifier. Their favorite lodging so far: Wildebeest Apartments, an 18th-century coral-and-thatch house filled with paintings and “incredible energy” on Lamu island in Kenya. Least favorite: the Rio de Janeiro bus station on the last night of Carnaval. (They missed a bus and the next wasn’t due until morning.) Culminating with a final stop in Istanbul in November 2013, the Howards returned to New York City.
Using Anne’s background as a magazine editor and Mike’s as a digital media strategist and photographer, they started www.HoneyTrek.com to share their journey of love, life, and adventure and to show other people that you don’t need to be a millionaire or hippy to do this.
We did our 675-day trip around the world for just under $40 per person per day, including flights, food, lodging, activities…the works. This is an average of the pricier countries like Japan, Australia and Norway ($75 per day) with the less expensive places like Bolivia and Southeast Asia ($20 per day). Traveling around the world turned out to be less expensive than the mortgage on our apartment.
“Global travel is achievable for anyone with an adventurous spirit, a modest savings account, and some smart preparation. We’ve decided to take all we’ve learned from our two years on the road and launch HoneyTrek Trip Coach, an in-person guide to long-term travel. We hope to help more people take this life-changing leap and explore this beautiful planet.”
That’s the kickass attitude we love!