HoneyTrek Travel Year in ReviewWhen you move almost every day, you cover a lot of ground in a year…like 17,756 miles by car alone. We traveled at a crazy pace in 2018, but the camper inspires us to keep on rolling because there is always another national park, ski village, beach town, monument, honkeytonk, or good friend just around the bend. We love Buddy the Camper but also like to mix up our travel style, so we parked him for a few months and backpacked four other countries by boat, bus, and hiking boot. North America was the focus of our 2018 because that’s where our next travel book takes place. To research the best glamping destinations on the continent, for our publisher Falcon Guides, we did everything from trekking between Mayan villages in Guatemala to dog sledding at the Ice Hotel in Canada, and found so many gems and inspiring stories along the way! This glamping journey sparked a slew of adventures, as did our time housesitting in Central America and catching festivals from The Calgary Stampede to Burning Man. Meanwhile, HoneyTrek crossing a quarter million social media followers and our Nat Geo book ranking in the top 0.01% of all books on Amazon, opened lots of new doors—from speaking at the Smithsonian to getting featured on CBS This Morning. Read on for more highlights from 2018 and a preview of 2019.
 

2018 Road Trip Route

HoneyTrek Route 2018Buddy’s four-cylinder engine has been on overdrive this year, clocking 17,756 miles through 24 states, 3 Canadian Provinces, 17 National Parks and Monuments, North America’s highest continuously paved road, deepest river gorge, and its lowest point in elevation. See our blog about the good, bad, and awesome of living in a camper.
 

Speaking at the Smithsonian

HoneyTrek Public SpeakingAlmost everyone wants to travel more, but where to go and when? It’s such a pervasive question that the Smithsonian Institute wanted to get the bottom of it with a lecture, presented by none other than HoneyTrek! To prepare for our two-hour presentation on “2018’s Must-See Destinations & Travel Hacks” we cross-referenced the 700+ places we’d visited against industry trends, world news, and our inner circle of globetrotters. It was a sold-out house with over 200 people! For those that missed the lecture, here are our favorite destinations by month, and our top tips and hacks to make those ambitious travels a reality. This lecture kicked off a year of speaking gigs and co-hosting travel events, including The Glamping Summit and Travel Con.
 

Quebec Carnival

Quebec Winter CarnivalWe heard about this three-week, 200-event soirée while researching the best winter festivals for the “Snow & Ice” chapter of Ultimate Journeys for Two, and put it on our calendar for February 2018. Donning our warmest long johns, we slept in the ice hotel, dogsledded, snowmobiled, ice fished, cheered on the ice canoe racers, and enjoyed winter like only the Quebecois can. See our cool blog and video tour inside the Hotel de Glace.
 

Snowbirding in Florida

North Florida Road TripFlorida has more freshwater springs than anywhere in the world, the oldest European city in the U.S., a melting pot of cultures from around the globe, the one and only Everglades, and beach weather when most of the country is shoveling snow…why wouldn’t we spend our winter here? In partnership with Visit Florida, we set aside one month to road trip the Sunshine State, from the southernmost point to the northwestern border, and discover the places even more magical than Disney. Catch our Top 10 experiences in this Facebook Live and the road trip highlights in this blog.
 

Our Families Join The HoneyTrek

couples travel year in review
Perhaps the greatest joy of having a house on wheels has been visiting and hosting our family and friends all over North America. We have literally visited every single member of Anne’s family in seven states…some we hadn’t seen in years! We’ve been able to visit friends too sick to leave their home and those with too many toddlers to make it downtown, but we were able to come to them with a little wine and sunshine. What could be better than that? Our families road tripping with us! We were thrilled that Anne’s mom joined us in Louisiana for a little camping, kayaking (for the first time in her life), and city exploring, and Mike’s brothers hopped in for a boys-only adventure in Colorado! They took the camper into the Rocky Mountains and hiked, frisbee golfed, grilled on the campfire, and monkeyed around like only bros can.
 

Starring in the DR’s Year-long Video Campaign

The Southwest Dominican Republic is a hidden gem and, as far as the tourism board was concerned, a little too hidden. Trying to spread the word about the incredible provinces of Barahona and Pedernales, they called up HoneyTrek. Having written about the DR on our blog, for Travelocity, and our Nat Geo book, they knew we loved the country and asked us if we wanted to come capture the Southwest’s diverse landscapes, untapped adventures, and warmhearted people. Heck, yea! From our jam-packed week of adventures, their talented production team created dozens of videos that they rolled out for their 2018 ad campaign. Have a watch!
 

Signing a Second Book Deal

Falcon Guides Glamping bookGlamping has long been our favorite style of accommodation. No longer a trend, this connection between creative architecture, luxury, and nature has started a movement and has a story that needs to be told. Falcon Guides asked us to author the first-ever book on Glamping North America and we accepted the challenge! This has been our #1 project for 2018 (and half of 2017) which sent us scouting over 50 glamping destinations across the continent—including Central America and the Caribbean. Our 244-page coffee-table book is more than halfway finished and will be keeping us busy until we turn in the full manuscript this spring.
 

Adventures in Glamping

HoneyTrek Glamping BookSome of the highlights from our glamping adventures? Driving Conestoga wagon trains through the Tetons, ziplining between cypress treehouses, herding cattle at a 115-year-old ranch, learning swordsmanship from a knight at medieval-style encampment, staying in a 1950s Airstream at a craft brewery and Southwestern dance hall…and plenty more we’ll be sharing in the book when it releases in fall 2019!
 

100 Miles of River Rafting

One of our most hard-core glamping adventures was a 100-mile, five-day river rafting trip through the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48. Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, fly fishing for cutthroat trout, and staying at pop-up luxury camps in the depths of the Frank Church Wilderness was unforgettable (watch the video, above). We’re so glad this trip brought us to Idaho because it sparked a three-week road trip to the Sawtooth Mountains, Craters of the Moon National Monument, our new favorite little city of Boise, and lots of hot springs in between. Read all about this highly underrated state.
 

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede 2018Said to be the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” and the rodeo world championships, the Calgary Stampede is a must for anyone with a little cowboy spirit. This century-old tradition brings the best in the biz—from bull riders to country singers—to Alberta for this ten-day spectacular. We made it just in time for the finals when the stakes and energy were at their highest. Our highlight? Chatting with this friendly guy Tim in the photographer’s pit, only to find out he was the MC of the grandstand show, and getting invited backstage for the after-party with all the stars of the Calgary Stampede! Canadian hospitality never ceases to amaze. See more Alberta adventures here.
 

Burning Man

Burning Man 2018Camping for a week in the burning hot and freezing cold desert with 70,000 people, Burning Man is not for everyone. Though with hundreds of art installations and nothing but rave reviews from every Burner we spoke with, we decided to give it a shot. We went all in for our Black Rock City adventure, with outlandish costumes, a tricked-out tent, and an open mind. After nine days in the desert dust, we found this unconventional community offered an indescribable feeling of freedom, invoked curiosity, instilled confidence, promoted creativity, celebrated unabashed silliness and that it was absolutely for us. We tried our best to capture this indescribable experience in words and photos in this blog. Have a look and brace yourself for hitchhiking on art cars, swinging from sculptures, snow cones made by human-powered hamster wheels, fire-breathing dragon DJ booths, Food Network-star cabaret dinners, goose body shots, and the two of us dressed like Mad-Max-meets-Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert.
 

HoneyTrek in a Lonely Planet Anthology

Travel Year in ReviewLonely Planet surveyed 100 top explorers and travel writers and had them recount their most life-changing experience from the road in one beautiful book. The Best Moment of Your Life features incredible stories from Pico Iyer, Don George, Andrew McCarthy, and more of our travel writing heroes…plus us! We had the honor of contributing two essays from our journey and could not be prouder. Pick up a copy to inspire your travels.
 

Housesitting in the Bay Islands, Honduras

international housesittingTo mix up our travel style and get working on our glamping book, we were looking for a housesit anywhere warm in North America and stumbled across a 296-square-foot beach bungalow with two cats on the island of Roatan, Honduras. Mesmerized by this Caribbean Ocean view and ignoring details like regular power outages, no hot water, and its location in a defunct resort, we took the gig. It was our most challenging and rewarding housesit to date…read all about our 2.5 months of island life.
 

Backpacking Central America

El Salvador Honduras Road TripOur Bay Islands housesit launched a multi-week adventure across Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. We took the most unconventionally awesome river rafting trip down the wild Cangrejal, summited a volcano in 100-mph winds, explored major Mayan ruins, trekked between colonial Antigua and volcanic Lake Atitlán, learned to make pupusas, and fell deeper in love with this region of the world.
 

Ultimate Journeys for Two Flying Off the Shelves!

ultimate journeys for twoOur National Geographic book may have come out in 2017, but it really hit its stride in 2018. Maybe it was being featured in 58 gift guides or getting picked up by the Associated Press and USA Today, but however it happened,Ultimate Journeys for Two has been holding strong as an Amazon Bestseller. This month the book ranked #1 in Honeymoon Travel, #2 in Travel Writing, and the top 0.007% of the 8 million books available on Amazon. Plus, it was released in Italian and German with talks of French and Chinese editions on the horizon for 2019! Nothing makes us happier than people realizing the wonders of couples travel. We hope you get out there with the one you love!
 

Crossing 2,500 Days on the Road

HoneyTrek Travel CoupleBack in January 2012 we told our parents (and our tenants) that we’d be home by the summer of 2013. That date kept getting pushed back every few months until we finally realized that…the world is our home. To commemorate our 2,500th day on the road we did a Facebook Live from our Caribbean housesit to reflect on seven years of nomadic living and answer all your burning travel questions. Catch it here.

 

2019 Travel Preview

HoneyTrek 2019 PreviewAre we slowing down in the New Year? No way! We love flying by the seat of our pants, but here is what we know so far:
Road Trip the East: After the holidays with our family in Tennessee, we’re road tripping north for two travel trades shows in New York and glamping at a few more destinations along the way–from geodesic domes in North Carolina to helicopter hangers in Connecticut.
Finish Our Glamping Book! Our next writer’s den for the final throes of our glamping book is a housesit in the ever-sexy Schenectady, New York. The book is due March 15th, wish us luck!
Ski Vermont: In our pre-nomadic lives we did a ski house for ten years in Killington, Vermont. We’re getting the band back together and we’ll be shredding the slopes at the Beast of the East and dancing our nights away at the Wobbly Barn.
College and Family Reunions: Mike’s 20th College Reunion is in April. Don’t make fun of the old man, he’s still got that college spirit! We’ll be joining the Tartans of Carnegie Mellon for the buggy races, spring carnival, and lots of Pittsburgh shenanigans. A little later in the year, we’ll be celebrating 4th Collins Family Reunion in 30 years with Anne’s fam in North Carolina!
Southwest Road Trip: Come spring, we’ll be heading across the country to explore our 44th and 45th states in the camper, then make it to Arizona for a wedding in Page, spelunking Antelope Canyon, and floating Horseshoe Bend. Utah’s national parks will undoubtedly beckon us over the border, before we drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.
National Parks: There are so many amazing parks on our list for 2019, Yosemite, King’s Canyon, Sequoia, Bryce (again), Grand Basin Nevada, and Joshua Tree (especially after we read our friend’s post on the best things to do in Joshua Tree National Park
Speaking at TravelCon: North America’s premier travel blogging conference has asked us to speak at their three-day event, featuring heavy hitters like the founder of Lonely Planet and the author of Wild! Content creators and anyone looking to make a living as a nomad should check out their offerings and join us in Boston this June!
Alaska or Bust: We made it to the southern tip of Alaska in our first year in the camper but we’re beefing up the tires with hopes to make it through BC, the Yukon, and into the Last Frontier for a summer of glaciers, grizzlies, and midnight sun.
Our Glamping Book Releases! Fall 2019 is when our book on the best glamping destinations in North America hits the shelves! Get your s’mores and champagne ready for the launch party.
Experteering: We’ve always been inspired by MovingWorlds.org, a Social Purpose Corporation that pairs professionals with do-good organizations that could really use their skills. This is the year we get out there and experteer!
International Destination…You Call It! We need to add some international travel to this list, where should we go? Leave a comment below, we always love your suggestions!

Happy New Year!

31 thoughts on “2019 Preview & 2018 Travel Year in Review

  • December 31, 2018 at 4:40 pm
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    Let me know when you guys are on the East Coast! Would love to catch up over drinks and food!

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    • January 1, 2019 at 4:44 pm
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      Heck yeah girl. What city/state are you in? We are currently in Memphis, then Knoxville for a housesit. Then NYC for IMM + NYTTS (you going to either of those by chance?)…then we head to Connecticut for a Glamping property, then to Albany for a housesit and to finish the book. Then Pittsburgh for my reunion. Any overlaps there?

      Reply
  • December 31, 2018 at 5:52 pm
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    Congrats you two! Wow – what a year! So glad I was able to see you a couple times along your journey and look forward to crossing paths again in 2019. Maybe in Madagascar? Bhutan? Banff? All on my list. Good luck with the book, and Travelcon …awesome!! Happy New Year and safe and happy travels in 2019!!

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    • January 3, 2019 at 6:50 pm
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      Thanks so much, Deb! We had so much fun hanging with you at Burning Man…what an experience!! Madagascar and Bhutan, you know that’s music to our ears 🙂 Adore Banff too and that’s just a hop skip north of you.

      Reply
  • January 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm
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    What an incredible year you had! Glad Charles and I got to see you for a night on the Florida gulf coast. We’ll see you at IMM and maybe plan another meet-up for 2019. 🙂

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    • January 4, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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      Love that we got to hang with you in Florida and that we are in the same circle of explorers and friends 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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  • January 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm
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    What an amazing year Mike and Anne! We’re so glad we overlapped with you in the Tetons next year and hope we get to see y’all again in 2019. (We’re trying to plan a Moab gathering in April so maybe that could work!) We also can’t wait to see the glamping book out in the world! From what you’ve been posting in little bits and pieces on the socials we know this one will be filled with all the most amazing gems.

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    • January 10, 2019 at 10:32 am
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      You guys are amazing. It was so fortuitous that we randomly were at that glamping spot when a “Van Life Meetup” got scheduled in. Easily one of the highlights of 2018 for us. We totally need to chat about both of our routes in 2019 and find a way to overlap! Oh and the Glamping Book is kicking out butt, but it’s going to be AWESOME, so pumped! Thanks for the support guys!

      Reply
  • January 7, 2019 at 9:05 am
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    This all had me getting so excited; especially your new book and TravelCon! I found you guys after picking up your book, Ultimate Journeys for Two, and loved reading through each treasured place within! I now look forward to seeing what you’re up to via Instagram and love your adventurous spirits. You inspired me and I can’t wait to read your next book!
    I’ve also been reading a book about blogging and thought it might be a good idea to seek out a blogger’s conference… then I read this post and thought “HECK YEAH!” after learning a little more about TravelCon and what it offers. I’m so excited for 2019 and can’t wait to see where your journey takes you!

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    • January 8, 2019 at 10:47 pm
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      Lindsey….thanks for such a sweet note. And HUGE love for grabbing a copy of our book, that is the ULTIMATE compliment to us. Say hello on Instagram next time you are over there, we’d love that! TravelCon is a great show, and we are going to be speaking in Boston, so we will 100% see you there. Can’t wait either!!!!

      Reply
  • January 7, 2019 at 10:24 am
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    It looks like you guys had quite an amazing year! Wish you will have even better year in 2019 (if that’s possible).

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    • January 8, 2019 at 10:45 pm
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      2018 was an amazing year Jane…lots of new adventures, and having a full year living in our RV was really a treat. Looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store for us!!!

      Reply
  • January 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm
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    We did all 40 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 7 Mexican states in our RV from 2009-2013. But we pretty much “saw” places. You guys “did” things! Congrats on the Smithsonian talk!

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  • January 14, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    Wow, can wait to have a look of your Glamping North America book! Reviewing more than 50 glamping destinations is a huge job. Congrats for publishing the book in advance!

    xoxo Milijana

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    • January 21, 2019 at 11:34 am
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      Yeah, it’s been quite a journey to write this book…and we still have a few thousand more miles to drive to review a few more properties 🙂

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  • January 14, 2019 at 10:59 pm
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    Wow, speaking at the Smithsonian is a great accomplishment. Good for you, guys! Your 2018 road trip across America looks wonderful and so does the housesitting in Honduras. I wish I had the time to travel as much as you do. Are you ever going to get tired of being constantly on the road?

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  • January 15, 2019 at 2:26 am
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    Buddy the Camper was a true champ in 2018! 💪🏼🏆 That’s an impressive amount of travel in a camper. Congratulations on your lecture at the Smithsonian and your book deal, that so cool! 👏🏼🎉 And your glamping adventures are incredible, must have been so much fun! Looking forward to your glamping book being released this year – I’d love to read it! 🙌🏼

    Reply
  • January 15, 2019 at 3:09 pm
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    What a year! Particularly loved reading about Quebec Carnival where you went dog sledding – how awesome. Never been anywhere near Burning Man, but the idea of dressing up like Mad-Max-meets-Priscilla-Queen-of-the-Desert really appeals – hope you handled the heat OK!

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    • January 15, 2019 at 5:13 pm
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      Burning Man was a true highlight of the year, maybe even the whole HoneyTrek. It such an inspiring and creative environment. Hope you dress up and go!

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  • January 15, 2019 at 4:36 pm
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    It is always interesting to look back and realize how much you have done in a year. Buddy certainly covered a lot of ground across North America. I am glad you got to experience the Quebec Carnivale. A great Canadian event. But I understand wanting to warm up in Florida. Your adventures outside of North America added an interesting new dimension and set of destinations. Looks like 2019 will be busy too! Good luck with the book.

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    • January 15, 2019 at 5:12 pm
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      Linda, it was such a fun year. And even though it was mostly in North America, it was so diverse between winter carnival in Quebec to island housesitting in Roatan. Thanks for the well wishes and happy new year to you!

      Reply
  • January 15, 2019 at 6:05 pm
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    Wow what a year! I love Central America so I can totally understand why you love it too – despite the challenges! It’s also very nice you got to spend time with your family on the road too, that’s what I miss most about travel!

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  • January 15, 2019 at 9:50 pm
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    Such interesting choices for the road trip route! I’m loving all your glamping experiences, I really need to give it a try! I look forward to seeing you at Travelcon

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  • January 16, 2019 at 12:20 am
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    Looks like you had quite a year! What an honor to be able to speak at the Smithsonian! And you guys stayed at some pretty sweet glamping places. I’m looking forward to following where you guys go in 2019.

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    • January 21, 2019 at 11:33 am
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      Thanks for the love Astrid. It was definitely an honor to speak at the Smithsonian! What do you guys have on tap for 2019?

      Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 4:35 am
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    Looks like you’ve been busy! It’s so nice to look back and see that you have achieved so much. Well done! Can’t wait to see your new book. It’s such a good topic! I think that glamping is totally trending.

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    • January 21, 2019 at 11:25 am
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      Thanks Marlene! It’s been a wild ride. I can’t believe tomorrow will be the start of our 8th year on the road. Crazy. Oh and can’t wait to hear what you think of the Glamping Book!

      Reply
  • January 16, 2019 at 5:54 am
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    What an eventful and blessed year you guys had. Apart from all the adventures your book ranked among the top books on Amazon. So, a big congratulations. Wish you lot more travels and success in 2019. Keep sharing the wonderful stories and experiences.

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    • January 21, 2019 at 11:24 am
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      Thank you SO much Suruchi. It was such a great year…hopefully our blog and book has helped inspire a few other people to take that big trip the’ve been dreaming of!

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  • January 17, 2019 at 3:03 am
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    Wow, it has been an epic 2018 for you, it seems! 2,500 days on the road – I bet you’ve learnt a thing or two about travelling, right? 🙂

    I really loved your description of Florida. It reminded me of my trip to Miami, the Sunshine City. I didn’t know there are so many freshwater springs, and I pride myself on knowing facts. Well, you learn every day, right?

    I wish you a fantastic 2019 as well!

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    • January 21, 2019 at 11:17 am
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      Yeah 2,500 days…what a beautiful world there is to explore out there. And so much more to see and people to meet! And you are right Florida totally blew us away, so many things we learned ourselves on that road trip.

      Reply

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