2023 travel year in review

2023 may have been HoneyTrek’s biggest travel year since we started our around-the-world trip 4,363 days ago! We road-tripped 26 states, 7 Canadian provinces, and a total of 20,209 miles—that was just around North America! Across 10 more countries, we backpacked from Germany to Romania, skied Bulgaria, kayaked with icebergs in Newfoundland, sailed around Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, trekked with gorillas in Rwanda, joined community-based tourism projects in Uganda, and found inspiring places to add to HoneyTrek’s exclusive list of The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations. We’re also proud to say we volunteered in most of these places and donated $4,250 to local environmental and social good nonprofits to show our gratitude.

For a juicy recap of our latest world travels and what’s to come in HoneyTrek Land for 2024, read on!

Baja, Mexico by Boat

UnCruise Sea of Cortez

Having road-tripped the length of this peninsula and sailed with UnCruise in Alaska, we knew their Baja Whales & Sealife trip would be epic. Going beyond the coastline, this was our chance to explore the Islas del Golfo de California, a place so rich with life, that it’s a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Where the desert meets the sea, our Baja days were filled with kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, whale-watching, and eating like kings! Enjoy some of our favorite photos from our island-hopping adventure and see our full trip in this Instagram Highlight Reel


US Southern Border Road Trip

Before we left for Europe, we knew we had to get Buddy to Texas (where our return flight landed). This was a great excuse to try roads less traveled along the southernmost roads in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Arizona yielded unexpected adventures like birdwatching 40,000 sandhill cranes, hiking the spires of Chiricahua National Monument, doing the stair challenge in Bisbee, to cowboy run-ins at the real O.K. Corral.

We breezed through New Mexico because it’s a state we’ve road-tripped extensively and we had a national park dream to fulfill in Texas. Big Bend is hours from the nearest interstate and so far south it’s enveloped by Mexico…but well worth the effort! We kayaked the spectacular Santa Elena Canyon and then waded across the Rio Grande into Boquillas, Mexico for Coronas at the village cantina.


European City Breaks: Berlin, Prague, Bratislava & Vienna

A travel conference brought us to Berlin and we stayed for two weeks! We tucked into a great little Airbnb to get caught up, but still got out for some sightseeing in this edgy cool capital. Then onward we went to the Czech Republic for a trip to Prague, the fairytale city of Český Krumlov, and a speed tour (while carrying our luggage!) of Bruno during our bus layover. After a week in the Czech Republic, we ventured into Slovakia!

Bratislava Slovakia

We remembered a HoneyTrek fan giving us a friendly poke when we said “Slovenia” is the only country with “love” in its name and he replied in his native language, “Actually, my country of ‘Slovenská’ has love in it too! If you are ever in the area, feel free to reach out!” We always remembered that comment, so we met Michal for a walk around town. He gave us a great tour of the city, took us to a historic pub, and gave us tips for the rest of our week. Love these global connections! After that, it was a quick stop in Vienna for a walking tour and the start of our 18-hour bus ride through Hungary and Serbia to reach Bulgaria!


Bulgaria Ski Trip + Plovdiv & Veliko Tarnovo

Did you know Bulgaria is home to the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe? That it was a part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 500 years? Or that ski tickets are only $40?! A birthday trip with our buddies brought us to this corner of Eastern Europe, and it turned into an epic cross-country adventure. When we weren’t on the slopes of UNESCO-Heritage mountains, we were exploring Roman ruins, 9th-century monasteries, natural hot springs, Bulgarian Revival mansions, and museums that gave us a peek behind the old Iron Curtain. After saying goodbye to our awesome crew, we extended our trip to the former capital of Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv (the 2019 European Capital of Culture). For more of this fascinating country, watch this highlight reel from our two-week adventure, and let us know what surprises you most about Bulgaria!

Housesitting Bucharest, Storming Dracula’s Castle, & Road Tripping Transylvania

We’re on all the major house-sitting websites, so when we got an alert for a Bucharest sit with a lovely home and two pups, we took the two-week gig, then stayed in Romania for an extra week to road trip the fabled Transylvania. Romania feels like so many wonderful countries wrapped up in one…their Latin language sounds like a mix of Italian & Spanish…Bucharest’s Beaux-Arts architecture and Francophile culture have earned it the title “Paris of the East”…Transylvania is full of old Saxon villages, and this region was part of Hungary for centuries!

See our gallery from our Bucharest housesit and scenes from our gorgeous Transylvania road trip.


Dodecanese, Greece’s Eco Islands

Dodecanese greece travel

As a nation, Greece is majorly stepping up its eco-consciousness with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, and the Dodecanese Islands are leading the charge! From Astypalea, who’s swapping out two-thirds of their gas-guzzling cars for EVs, to Chalki & Tilos running entirely on renewable energy, these South Aegean isles are keeping Mother Nature healthy and oh-so-beautiful! We spent three weeks exploring the islands of Rhodes, Chalki, and Karpathos. Kayaking to ancient ruins, scuba diving with schools of tuna, taking cooking classes in traditional villages, and staying in 5-star Green Key hotels, we fell in love with the stunning Dodecanese islands! Though we weren’t just on holiday, we were also meeting with government officials, volunteering with nonprofits, and speaking with tourism operators on the ground to learn about their hurdles to sustainability and the solutions in the works. The Greek economy has long been tied to tourism, with the idea that more is better, but these islands are re-framing the definition of success with quality over quantity. Smart, stunning, and so much fun, the Dodecanese islands are Greece’s new shining light. Read the feature!


Speaking at TBEX Europe

tbex europe

May is a great time to come to Greece to beat the crowds and still have nice weather, but the reason we came this month? We got asked to speak at TBEX (the original travel blogging conference) about landing brand deals, and it got such a great response! The conference had fantastic skill-building workshops and inspiring talks from the world’s top travel bloggers and marketers, plus awesome side trips to explore the wonders of the Peloponnese region. We stayed an extra week in the lovely Kalamata Suites, to simply relax (rare for us!) in this stunning region of olive groves, mountains, and sea.


GoPro Mountain Games, Colorado

We wrapped up four days at the GoPro Mountain Games and our adrenaline was pumping for the rest of the week! Three thousand athletes took over Vail to compete across 11 different adventure sports—rock climbing, mountain biking, disc golf, and slackline…plus wacky events like gladiator-style kayaking and dueling water dogs. To amp it up, the streets were lined with food trucks, live music, and art demos. For the first time in the Mountain Games’s 21-year history, they added the “CoLab Stage,” bringing together creators across the arts and sports to share their stories, tips, and creative vibes. With sustainability being a key element of the Mountain Games, we were invited to do a fireside chat giving 11 sustainable travel tips as told through stories from our 11-year honeymoon. The CoLab was so inspiring, and we were proud to have been a part of it.

See our guide to the country’s premier festival of modern mountain culture and mark your calendar for June 6th, 2024. 


Oceanside: The Perfect SoCal Getaway

Oceanside California getaway guide

As a California girl, I grew up taking family road trips to San Diego County…but never to Oceanside. It was known as a military town and a little rough around the edges, but WOW times have changed! Today, Oceanside, CA is a designated “Main Street America City ” and 1 of California’s 14 Cultural Districts for its work cultivating diversity and inclusivity through art opportunities. Their beaches host major surf competitions, from the SuperGirl Surf Pro to the US Open Adaptive Surfing Championships. And O’side’s Sunset Market is the county’s premier weekly food event with 150+ international vendors taking over the streets every Thursday. We came for a long weekend and quickly fell in love with this vibrant beach town. We went everywhere from the wine country to their birthplace as a Spanish colonial settlement and crafted this list of the best things to do in Oceanside for the perfect Southern California weekend getaway.


Tennessee Family-to-Family Road Trip 

Not only is this state home to The Great Smoky Mountains, their famed whiskey, the birthplace of blues, soul, and rock n’ roll, but it’s also home to the majority of Anne’s family! With aunts, uncles, and cousins on one side of the state and our siblings and nieces on the other, this called for a cross-state road trip! Tennessee has 16 self-guided driving routes connecting its 95 counties, plus Tennessee Music Pathways, tracing the state’s music history and legends. With plenty of inspiration for our route, we zigzagged from Knoxville to Memphis and discovered so many wonderful off-the-beaten-path places. See our favorite things to do across the state and start planning your own Tennessee road trip!


Buddy’s Worst Breakdown

In our 120,000-mile RV journey around North America, we’ve had a few breakdowns…but nothing like this. Driving through West Virginia on the Friday night before 4th of July, we blew a head gasket. Our Toyota Sunrader was billowing white smoke and no mechanic could take us last minute on a weekend…except River Rat Auto in Tornado, WV. 

As we limped into the depths of a holler along the Coal River, we realized we weren’t going to a mechanic shop, but a guy’s house, without running water, and just enough driveway to fit Buddy the Camper. At this point, we couldn’t get picky and River Rat Zach couldn’t have been nicer. So begins a 3-day saga of cracked engines, all-nighters, showering in rivers, and an Appalachian neighborhood of people we now call friends.


Cross-Canada Sojourn

eastern canada road trip

We went on a 2-month, 7-province odyssey, crossing New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. And, as you probably know, Canada is gorgeous and massive, so it was quite the 7,831-mile journey!

We spent most of our time in the incredible Newfoundland and Labrador, which has a totally distinct culture with its own dialect, musical style, and history (they weren’t even a part of Canada until 1949!). From St John’s being one of the oldest cities in North America to Saint-Pierre still being a part of France, it’s a fascinating region of the world. After having all that fun chasing icebergs and rainbows in NL, it was a mad dash across the rest of the country (watch this out-there journey across the new Trans-Labrador Highway (above) and see our gallery from Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba) but we got to slow down and smell the prairie lilies of Saskatchewan for the following week. 


Saskatchewan: Not What You Think

Sask road trip

Not many people talk about the wonders of Saskatchewan, but clearly, they didn’t get very far off the Trans-Canada Highway. We started our Saskatchewan road trip from the far north of the province because we knew it had vast boreal forests, glacial lakes, and some of the world’s oldest rock formations. Working our way south, we reached the prairie land Saskatchewan is known for, but that was full of surprises too—from artsy towns to rare wilderness. The Grasslands is the world’s most endangered ecosystem, with unique fauna, 10,000 years of human history, and dinosaur fossils in droves! Having driven 1,800 kilometers of the province from top to bottom, we came to appreciate both sides of this under-rated region and know you’ll love it too. Discover the best things to do in Saskatchewan with our road trip planner.


Romantic Rwanda & The Mountain Gorillas

Rwanda sustainable travel guide

The Land of a Thousand Hills, home of the mountain gorillas, and the “Heart of Africa,” Rwanda has long captured our imagination. We featured the country in our National Geographic book, even though it was one of the few we had not yet visited because we knew their remarkable story deserved a spot in Ultimate Journeys for Two. This tiny central-east African nation, once decimated by genocide, has transformed itself into a leader in conservation, gender equality, economic development, and sustainable tourism.

No event showcases Rwanda’s success and zest for life like Kwita Izina, the Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony, so we seized the opportunity to join Visit Rwanda for the celebration and coinciding media tour around the country! Plus, we extended our stay for a proper three-week journey from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali to its four national parks, their African Great Lake, and culturally rich villages. This country stole our hearts and earned its spot on the HoneyTrek list of “The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations.” Read our experience from visiting Rwanda and discover the best things to do, the loveliest places to stay, and why you have to add this African nation to your bucket list.


Uganda, “The Pearl of Africa”

We almost decided against a trip to Uganda. While it’s known to be “The Pearl of Africa,” with snow-capped mountains, expansive lakes, big-five game + mountain gorillas, and over 50 tribes worth of culture, it’s also a country with some of the most oppressive laws against the LGBTQ+ community. So while we were near the Rwanda-Uganda border, with travel days to spare, we still had to think twice about visiting. 

If we were gonna go to Uganda, we wanted to make sure we were supporting travel companies that did right by their communities. So we looked to Greg Bakunzi of Red Rocks, who founded one of the most revered community-based tourism projects in Central Africa. He referred us to his mentor Sheba Hanyurwa, who runs Virunga Mountain Adventures and we took a leap of faith. Read all about it in the Instagram post, above.


Glacier Country, Montana

Best things to do in Glacier Country Montana

With the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, millions of acres of pristine wilderness, and the epic Glacier National Park, Western Montana doesn’t have to do much to impress its visitors. But with that kind of beauty and friendly locals who want to share it, Glacier Country has become one of our favorite places. We’ve road-tripped Montana extensively and upon revisiting areas like Missoula, Flathead Lake, and Glacier National Park, it seemed as fresh as ever because of the awesome Montanans behind each place. In this article, we’ve pinpointed the small businesses whose creative offerings and incredible hospitality make each place so special and a road trip that much better. From the fifth-generation farmer making grain-to-glass whiskey in Missoula to the Blackfeet guide risking it all to share Glacier National Park’s First Nation story, allow us to introduce you to the Best of Glacier Country. They look forward to meeting you too.

Montana Favorite Moments: Hot Air Ballooning Flathead Valley and learning the art of blacksmithing and flower arranging at a glamping camp!


HoneyTrek Glamping Consulting Ramps Up!

@honeytrek Who loves glamping? We do, and never miss the Glamping Show USA, the one & only tradeshow of its kind  in the Americas. As the authors of the first book on glamping in North America & outdoor hospitality consultants, we exhibit or speak every year and are so proud to be a part of this growing community.  This year there were ~2,000 attendees and the outdoor expo doubled in size with creative new structures from bamboo domes to 3D-printed tiny houses. Buddy the Camper was a booth of his own, doubling as a bookshop and mulled wine stand, where we signed copies of #ComfortablyWild for over two hundred glamping businesses and kept the merriment going into the night.  Watch this glimpse into the glamping world and one of our favorite events of the year! #glamping #glampingshow #glampinglife #falconguides #glampingnotcamping ♬ In The Forest (Acoustic Indie No Copyright) – Instrumental – Lesfm & Olexy

We started our HoneyTrek Glamping Consulting & Creative Services back in 2020 and this side hustle is growing into a proper business. We don’t particularly promote it but whenever we present at the Glamping Show Americas and set up our Comfortably Wild book booth, we always get a ton of new students. Since fall, we’ve conducted 10 courses helping new and existing camps enhance their guest experience and create marketing strategies to attract more happy glampers. Since most of the work we do for HoneyTrek is consumer-facing, we really enjoy going behind the curtain with fellow travel business owners and helping them meet their goals. For more about the consulting side of HoneyTrek, see our offerings.


Surviving the Loneliest Road in America

Route 50 travel guide

Don’t let the title “Loneliest Road in America” fool you. Nevada’s Highway 50 has been a major thoroughfare since the Pony Express connected the West. And when mail-by-horse faded with the dawn of the telegraph and automobile, the route blazed a new trail as the first transcontinental highway, from New York to San Francisco. We’ll admit that we thought Route 66 held that claim to fame, but the Lincoln Highway came first, and Nevada’s section was a lynchpin to guiding travelers through the desert and over the Sierra Nevada mountains. We’d taken a bite out of The Loneliest Road in America on previous Nevada trips and were excited to finally drive its full length and explore all its wonders with an eight-day road trip!

Follow our Route 50 Road Survival Guide from Great Basin National Park, through eight historic towns to numerous hot springs, sacred Native American sites, sand dunes, sagebrush saloons, and so many stops to make The Loneliest Road in America a bucket-list road trip.


Madison, Wisconsin: The Best of the Midwest!

We rarely stay in any one city for more than a few days, but with such a whirlwind summer, we wanted to find the perfect place to tuck into for a couple of weeks with a proper digital nomad stay, and Madison was just the ticket! As a capital city and university town, it has a balance of sophistication and fun. Take all those cosmopolitan offerings and surround them with 5 lakes and 270 parks, and we can get our outdoor fix, too. We got a fabulous apartment within a few blocks of the Capitol Building, Lake Monona, and the hip Willy Street neighborhood, and rode the city e-bikes all over town. We went to the theater, concerts, farmer’s markets, football games, and so many good plant-based restaurants. Regularly voted one of the most liveable, happiest, and greenest cities in the USA, Madison was our kind of town. (Blog coming soon!)

Favorite Moments: Madison Circus Space Lesson in the Aerial Arts & Eating Amazing Vegan Food


Idaho: A New Collins’ Family Hub

Even though we are abroad about half the year and roaming around the continent the rest of the time, we always find our way to family. With my sister having two adorable kids, her house has become the Collins’ gathering place. That was Memphis, TN for the past ten years, but a new job and love of the Rocky Mountain West has prompted new homeownership in Boise, Idaho. She and her husband credit us for tipping us off to the Gem State since we fell in love with it on our big road trip here back in 2018, so naturally we were thrilled with their choice. To get a glimpse into their new world and spend extra quality time with fam, we got a housesit in Boise for the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and had the nicest time.


Ventura: Getting in Touch with My Inner Californian

I grew up just 50 miles south of Ventura County, California, and have so many fond memories of this retreat from LA…Mission San Buenaventura was my 4th-grade project, Oxnard was our spot for strawberry picking, Ventura Beach is where I had my 17th birthday party, Camarillo Outlets got me decked out for prom, and the Channel Islands is where I went to summer camp for years. With so many awesome childhood experiences here, it was finally time I shared Ventura County Coast with Mike and experienced the region’s latest and greatest.

We spent eight days exploring Ventura County Coast’s four charming towns, kicking it off with their namesake of Ventura. Dating back to March 31, 1782 (that’s also my birthday, btw), this Spanish colonial town is now a vibrant multicultural destination with so much to do! We love that their Main Street is pedestrian-only, and over 90% locally owned shops. Walk two blocks, and you’re at the ocean, a historic wooden pier, and some of the best surf breaks in California. To further get in touch with my California roots, we went surfing, skateboarding, and ultralight flying up and down the coast! Check out the Ventura photo gallery above, watch us hang ten (and wipe out lol), kayak Channel Islands National Park, take a microlight flight, and chill on the recently voted Best Beach in the West!

Favorite Moments: Ultralight Flying like a Pelican and learning to Surf!


The Great Howard Reunion with 2 New Members

With Mike’s family living around the country and a brother who worked in hospitality, getting everyone together for Xmas in the Poconos has become quite the challenge. However, we are proud to say that after eight years, the Howards reunited for Christmas and welcomed two new additions! Brother Matt brought home his new fiancee Laurel and Brother Ryan gave us our first nephew, Anders! It was SO nice to spend the holidays together as one big happy family!


Our Growing List of The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations

Our quest to find The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations has brought us to Bhutan, Costa Rica, French Polynesia, Slovenia, Greece, and Rwanda! We’ve stayed on solar-powered islands, trekked with the endangered mountain gorillas, taken biodynamic wine workshops, kayaked to ancient ruins, joined community art projects, slept in mirrored treehouses, and volunteered at seabird sanctuaries. We’ve been moved by the great lengths people have taken to protect the environment and support local communities through tourism…and we know that when you pick the right places and outfitters to guide you, travel can be a force for good. That said, it is no small feat to pull together these mindful trips and create the content that surrounds them, which is why we are so appreciative of our partners who’ve helped us along the way. A big shout-out to our lead sponsor on this project, Allianz Travel Insurance US for believing in the importance of sustainable travel and supporting eco-minded content creators like us!

As we plan for 2024, which regions do you think should make our list of The World’s Most Romantic & Sustainable Destinations?


HoneyTrek Cares: Tourism for Good

bloggers give back

In recent years we’ve made a concerted effort to make more eco-conscious decisions when we choose where we stay, eat, shop, and play. Because if you can have a good time while doing right by the locals and the planet…that’s a win for all! We’ve tried to do this in various ways—from free marketing for nonprofits, physically volunteering, to making financial donations. To show our love and support for the wonderful communities and ecosystems we explored this year, we are proud to have donated to Surfrider Foundation, Studio ACE urban arts education, One Kitchen Collaborative, Oceanside Historical Society, Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, Tennessee Trails, Knowledge Quest, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Regina Folk Festival, Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, Five Valleys Land Trust of Montana, FAST Blackfeet, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Nevada’s Trust for Public Land, Lincoln Highway Association, Olbrich Gardens, Sustain Dane, Ventura Botanical Garden, and Channel Islands Restoration.

We’re also pleased to see this trend of giving back is catching on and we were interviewed by NBC Madison about ways people can incorporate volunteering into their travels for rewarding experiences.


2024 Travel Preview

Better Cheaper Trip Insurance

We are easing into 2024 with a camper staycation in Arizona. We’ll be here tying up loose ends and plotting the year from our mobile office, and taking wellness checks with hikes and paddling excursions before we kick off the following adventures and projects. This is a working list, so if you have any ideas or tips, let us know!

International Media Marketplace, New York

We never miss this opportunity to meet with 100+ tourism boards and our peers at the travel industry’s top media event! This brings us to New York City every January and helps us plan the rest of the year. Plus, we throw a party for our travel blogging community which always brings us so much joy!

Travel Texas & Outside TV, San Antonio

We are so honored that Outside Television approached us to be in their mini-series for Travel Texas! They’ve assigned a handful of influencers to different cities and we got San Antonio. This UNESCO City of Gastronomy on the Rio Grande is full of wonders to discover, so keep an eye out for this episode in spring!

Zion Open Sky, Utah

The ultra-fabulous Zion Open Sky has invited us to their resort to do a photo shoot, social media storytelling, and give tips on how they can further grow and improve their experiential travel offerings.

Sweden, Germany, or Switzerland

These three countries are vying for a spot on The World’s Most Romantic Destinations List, so we’re going to explore at least one or more!

Malaysia

We got an email saying “You won a trip to Malaysia” and we honestly thought it was spam. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that our business card was picked from the fishbowl at a Malaysia media event! Airfare, tours, and hotels are included…details to follow. Fingers crossed for scuba diving in Sipadan, orangutan sanctuaries in Borneo, and island time in Tioman!

Southeast Asia Wild Card

We loved our nine months in SEA in 2013 and are so excited to spend more time there. After Malaysia, we’re going to give ourselves two months to explore. Where do you think we should go this time? Anyone been to East Timor or Brunei?

Tunisia

We have a North Africa trip brewing with some of our favorite blogger friends! We are thinking of renting a car in Tunis and exploring their Roman ruins, golden sand beaches, festival scene, and getting to know Tunisia’s unique blend of Arab and Berber culture.

Hosting a Glamping Industry Retreat

With a fellow friend and a mover and shaker in the glamping industry, we’re in the early stages of planning a glamping retreat for prospective and new glamping camp owners. Stay tuned for more details.

You Call It!

We love hearing your travel suggestions and ideas, so drop them in the comments below. And have a happy and adventure-filled new year!

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22 Comments

  1. I love it when I see Africa on people’s travel lists! I would LOVE to go to Rwanda, seeing the Gorillas must have been amazing.

    1. Everyone should make it to Africa in their life. It’s so eye-opening on alternative ways of life. Rwanda blew us away with how clean, organized, and forward-thinking it is, even by Western standards. Definitely get there!

  2. Hi, have you thought of West Africa…Senegal and The Gambia are great countries to explore…contrasting scenery from semi desert to marine deltas with mangroves, awesome beaches, good african cuisine, lots of history around the slave trade and colonialism, african handcrafts…and lots more…I live in Senegal with my family since July 2021 and we just came back from a short trip to the Gambia.

    1. We deinitely want to get to West Africa. We’ve heard really good things about Senegal, Gambia, and Ghana. Thanks for the reminder and enjoy your time in the area!

      1. Ghana is also great! We went there end of 2022 and loved it!

        1. We’ve heard wonderful things about Ghana. it’s definitely on our list!

  3. Marie Cris Angeles says:

    Wow! Seeing all these makes me want to hike again. You had a wonderful 2023.

    1. We love getting in nature as much as possible for access to hiking and kayaking. Newfoundland and Montana were particularly incredible for that.

  4. You two have really had an amazing year! Here’s to a 2024 that just as fantastic!

    1. 2023 was pretty epic between trekking with gorillas to learning to surf. here’s to a great 2024!

  5. I can’t believe the year you’ve had. You couldn’t have possibly added more to it! LOL

    1. Lol, I don’t think we could have added more either, but wouldn’t take away a thing!

  6. From epic road trips across North America to backpacking adventures across Europe and beyond, your year was truly a whirlwind of exploration and meaningful experiences. The commitment to volunteering and giving back to local communities is truly inspiring. Looking forward to following along on your continued adventures and discoveries in 2024!

    1. Sue, thanks for taking note of our volunteering. It’s been so rewarding adding this and all these wonderful orgs into our travels. Excited to see more of you in 2024!

  7. I love this! The details about Baja’s breathtaking landscapes, the unexpected wonders of Saskatchewan, and the heartwarming experiences in Uganda and Rwanda were particularly captivating

    1. So glad you enjoyed our year in review! Rwanda, Uganda, Sask, and Baja were all yielded such incredible experiences and human connections.

  8. You have gone to some beautiful places.
    The road trips across North America to backpacking adventures across Europe sounds like an absolutely amazing experience.

    1. The contrasts of this year’s travels from the Africa to Europe to remote corners of North America were so striking.

    1. 77 countries thus far, but that’s less than half the world. Gotta keep exploring…so many wonders out there 🙂

  9. Pat Collins says:

    I am the proud papa Bear of these kids (Anne)… the one who was more than skeptical and didn’t really believe they were going ahead with this unbelievable Honeymoon idea….and then later add an old Toyota camper to the mix!

    Anne, my youngest daughter, bought into the whole bloomin’ thing with her usual enthusiasm for the weird and wonderful. Her incredibly resourceful husband, Mike, believed in her with an attitude of “Hey, Ain’t no Big Thing…we’ll have a great time.” He also made it all come alive with his incredible video and still photo expertise. Their first book didn’t end up as a Nat Geo bestseller just because they’re good-looking. They had the natural talent to deliver the Good Stuff – Mike shoots, Anne writes (and vice versa). Take the time to go back over the blog above. It gets better and better and you’ll be happier campers for it….maybe even try it for yourselves!

    1. Dad, thank you for being our biggest fan and for putting up with our shenanigans! Love you.

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