Is it simply us, or was 2021 in some way more durable than 2020? That first stroke of midnight 364 days in the past felt like a contemporary begin for the world…however as a substitute, it turned a ready sport of “When will this get better?” Upon realizing there wasn’t going to be an “end date,” we acquired vaccinated and moved ahead with warning. Buddy the Camper continued to be our rock, as did housesitting, to maintain exploring whereas having a secure haven. We RVed 11,366 miles across the US, visited our forty fourth nationwide park, backpacked Mexico for 2 months, and took to the ocean in French Polynesia. We took on difficult new tasks, like launching an NFT Art & Gear Collection, reviewing two books, studying to crew a sailboat, and main a #RecreateReponsibly marketing campaign for brand new out of doors fans. And whereas 2021 wasn’t possible anybody’s favourite yr on report, we’re excited to share this annual highlights weblog and say that nothing can cease the magic of journey.
SoCal Home Turf Road Trip
I grew up in Southern California however had no thought how a lot there was to see inside a half-day drive of my childhood residence. In January, Mike and I took three weeks to discover the Mojave National Preserve Desert, Alabama Hills, Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Fossil Falls, and Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, and we had been blown away by their geological wonders and the way few individuals find out about this aspect of California. The better part in regards to the journey was that we didn’t cowl an excessive amount of distance and took time to savor every place. For instance on the unbelievable Fossil Falls, we moved our tenting spot every evening, however by no means greater than a half-mile. Looking at its cinder cone and fossilized waterfalls from barely completely different angles and occasions of day reminded us that discovering new issues may imply wanting slightly nearer.
tenth Wedding Anniversary in Mendocino
March 12, 2021 marked 10 years since we tied the knot! For our anniversary, we street tripped up the PCH and returned to certainly one of our favourite spots in California…Mendocino County! North of the Bay Area, the redwood forests turn out to be thicker, the coast extra rugged, wine nation extra familial, and all the things extra right down to earth. We stayed on the revolutionary Stanford Inn, one of many nation’s first sustainable and vegan motels—and having natural, homegrown, plant-based delicacies delivered to our ocean-view balcony every morning was a slice of heaven! From our Mendocino basecamp, we had all kinds of adventures alongside the coast—canoeing, rail biking, volunteer gardening, whale watching, and plenty extra…see this gallery.
Becoming Glamping Magazine Columnists
In spring 2020, International Glamping Business Magazine launched their “Who’s Who of Glamping” situation and guess which peeps made the duvet? Writing the primary e-book on glamping in North America definitely acquired their consideration, however our newer work consulting for glamping camps gave them the concept to not simply characteristic us in that situation, however invite us to be common columnists for his or her journal. We revealed one article per quarter in Glamping Business Americas, sharing takeaways from our 200+ boutique resort & glamping stays around the globe and the way property house owners can create an unforgettable visitor expertise. Check out these articles on the Art of the Check-in, Rooms to Remember, and Facilitating Fun.
Living in “The World’s Best City”
Mexico is a spot we may see ourselves residing sometime, so after we acquired invited to housesit a villa in San Miguel de Allende this spring, we stated ¡Si, Señor! Not simply among the many nation’s best, it was named 2021’s “World’s Best City” by Travel & Leisure. We spent a month right here, having fun with all the things this UNESCO World Heritage Site, artist colony, and heartland metropolis have to supply. Highlights included, impromptu beer making at an underground brewery, my mother becoming a member of us for Easter festivities, geodesic dome glamping, exploring the road artwork tradition, and having essentially the most lovely kitchen to hone my Mexican vegan cooking. Cactus tacos anybody? Check out extra of our adventures in San Miguel and the encompassing state of Guanajuato on this weblog and the remainder of our Mexico journey by way of Jalisco, Morelia, Guerrerro, Oaxaca, and Chiapas on our Instagram.
Our Closest Brush with Death
As if driving Oaxaca’s Highway 175, with its a whole lot of hairpin turns over an 8,000-foot mountain move (with out seat belts or guardrails) wasn’t harrowing sufficient, it was pouring rain and our minibus driver was vying for a velocity report. Turns out he was no match for the slick roads, and hydroplaned to the left, then whipped the steering wheel to the fitting, and despatched us careening towards the cliff. I noticed the underside of the ravine approaching and time slowed simply sufficient to ponder demise or dismemberment, then—WHACK! We slammed sq. right into a phone pole. It snapped in half and our transmission dragged alongside the remaining stump of jagged wooden till it introduced us to a halt—just a few toes over the sting. We scrambled to the again of the van to maintain it from tipping ahead and hopped out the rear door. Thankfully nobody was injured and dozens of locals stopped to deliver our automotive again to security (with a rope, a chainsaw, and brute energy), however this expertise definitely spent certainly one of our 9 lives. For happier tales from Oaxaca , try our journey information to discover this state’s colonial cities, historical ruins, mezcal nation, and beautiful seashores.
Official Book Reviewers
Though we don’t write about vanlife an excessive amount of, we’re proud that we’ve earned some road cred as long-time RVers and authors and had been requested to evaluation not one however two fabulous books on the subject: RV Hacks and The Falcon Guide to Van Life. In each books, we acquired HoneyTrek quotes on the backcover and had been even requested to contribute a piece. These are must-reads for blissful campers, test them out and help these stellar authors!
Four Years in a Camper
Buddy joined our HoneyTrek in 2017 and has turn out to be the hero of our nomadic life-style. Home, workplace, and journey cellular, our quirky camper has allowed us to discover North America on a finances (underneath $30 per day) whereas residing life to the fullest! To rejoice his 4th yr within the household and shed some mild on why we determined to turn out to be RVers, we made this video (above) about our life on wheels. Complete with footage from our first days campervanning New Zealand and a current inside tour of our 1985 Sunrader, it’s a take a look at 4 years of full-time RV journey in underneath 5 minutes.
Riding the Seattle Heat Wave with a Treehouse-sit
During the most well liked days of summer time, we attempt to give Buddy (and ourselves) a break, and thought we had discovered the proper hideaway…a two-week housesit with an Architect-designed treehouse and two Corgi showdogs on Bainbridge Island, Washington. It gave the impression of a fool-proof plan, however then this nook of the Pacific Northwest had its hottest temperatures in recorded historical past—during our keep! We made the most effective of it, kayaking within the Puget Sound, taking sluggish walks underneath the shade of the cedar and fir forest, engaged on show-dog tips, and hanging within the kiddy pool with our proficient pups. And Buddy was thrilled to not be driving (with out AC) within the 108-degree climate!
Losing My Cousin to Covid
My cousin Bobby had a vaccination appointment on April twelfth, 2021 and the week prior, he acquired contaminated with Covid. A born athlete and 45 years younger, he was not within the at-risk class, nor did anybody know he had lung abnormalities. He was within the hospital for 3 months, principally in an induced coma and respiratory by way of a grip of machines, till he handed away on June thirtieth. He left behind a 10-year previous son, a stunning spouse, my Thumel household, and numerous mates who miss him dearly. After going to the memorial service in Denver, we returned to Washington State, solely to search out out his spouse and son had been coming to Lake Chelan, WA to scatter his ashes. She invited us to hitch, so we cleared our schedule on the drop of a hat and drove throughout the state to spend every week with them. Together we celebrated Bobby’s life, swimming, cliff-jumping, wine-drinking, bocce balling, and having enjoyable in his honor…will at all times love you, cuz!
Of all of the work we’ve achieved for tourism boards, we’re most happy with our current #RecreateResponsibly campaign for Glacier Country, Montana. In mild of the pandemic’s name for wide-open areas, Western Montana didn’t want extra vacationers—they wanted extra conscious ones. So they requested us to take what we all know as eco-conscious vanlifers, who’ve spent a whole lot of days tenting in public lands, and present individuals methods to go away the forest higher than they discover it. Over the course of a 12-day street journey, we shared the methods we discover authorised boondocking spots, correctly put out a hearth, clear up camp, test our kayak and boots for invasive species, and volunteer and donate wherever we will to conservation orgs. We wrote this weblog in regards to the street journey (you’ll love the International Chainsaw Carving Competition and the tipi glamping we did on the Flathead Reservation) and a Responsible Boondocking article for GlacierMT.com (coming quickly).
Launching an NFT Art & Travel Gear Collection
I can’t imagine we did this, partly as a result of it was so on-trend (we’re by no means that cool) and it was such freaking exhausting work, however we launched an NFT artwork assortment! Uniquely mixing the crypto+artwork+style worlds, our mates at Wearable NFT Art invited us to collaborate with their resident artist to interpret the HoneyTrek story into three unique pieces of digital art, with a matching product line. We brainstormed, sketched, and dreamt up three artworks with the proficient Argentinian artist Santi Soulas and really feel they really communicate to our 3,500-day journey and what we love about journey. We’re so proud to have offered all 30 items of artwork, raised over $200 for charity (NRDC, FLYTE, & The Bee Conservancy), and created gear we love.
Speaking on the Travel & Adventure Show
The main client journey present within the US has invited us to hitch their speaker circuit! Presenting alongside among the trade’s greatest names (Places to Love’s Samantha Brown, CBS’s Peter Greenberg, Discovery Channel’s Josh Gates, Patricia Schultz of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Frommer’s Pauline Frommer, and extra!), we’re coming collectively that can assist you plan higher journeys. At the autumn occasion in California, we spoke about RVing and Glamping and this January we’ll be in New York to guide a panel on sustainable journey. We hope you may be a part of us at one of many upcoming Travel & Adventure Shows throughout the nation, plus get in on all their offers, giveaways, cultural performances, hands-on actions, and extra enjoyable happenings.
Island Hopping French Polynesia
The islands of the South Pacific have lengthy been calling our title, so we’re tremendous excited to lastly be in French Polynesia for a two-month journey! It’s a spot with extra than simply postcard-perfect islands, it’s the middle of the Polynesian Triangle and wealthy with tradition and extremely pleasant individuals. Though to profit from this magical but dear collection of archipelagos, we’ve needed to get artful…hitchhiking, couch-surfing, working for room & board, vegan cooking with an electrical kettle, and bartering just a few honeymoon-worthy experiences. See our photo gallery from Rangiroa (one of many greatest atolls on this planet), video from scuba diving the legendary Tiputa Pass, dreamy pics from The Blue Lagoon, and all our travels—together with our upcoming crusing journey by way of the gorgeous Society Islands (Moorea and Bora Bora to call just a few) and exploring the tiki-clad Marquesas—on this Instagram highlight reel.
Learning to Sail
One of the massive highlights of French Polynesia (and maybe HoneyTrek general) was crewing a sailboat within the Tuamotu archipelago. It was a shot at midnight, however posting our rookie expertise on the French Poly Cruisers Facebook Group discovered us our excellent captain: Jasna Tuta…an authorized crusing teacher, revealed creator on French Polynesia, and all-around badass woman. With one video chat, we immediately linked as nomads and made a plan to sail the size of Fakarava, a shocking atoll and lagoon with UNESCO Biosphere standing. We got here aboard her luxurious Oyster 56 monohull and rapidly realized how a lot we needed to study…crusing ideas, vocabulary, mechanics, navigation, and the mandatory upkeep of a million-dollar yacht. It was slightly intimidating, however Jasna was such a pure trainer and allow us to study trial by hearth. She had us hoisting sails, setting anchors, checking valves, fixing bilge pumps, cleansing mildew, sprucing chrome, and scuba-dive-scrubbing the hull…and we beloved each minute of it! We gained a lot from our week collectively, and whereas we might not at all times bear in mind methods to tie a sheet bend, we’ll always remember our time underneath sail in French Polynesia. Watch the video above of tropical paradise and see how this pair of landlubbers faired at sea.
HoneyTrek within the News
We’re honored that media retailers look to us as journey specialists on all kinds of subjects. Here are just a few of our favourite clips from 2021:
- The Knot, the venerable bridal journal, posed the query, “How long is a honeymoon” and we stated…100-day minimal 😉 Just kidding, see the article for our solutions…
- National Geographic Travel observed the massive uptick in glamping this summer time and requested for our insights and favourite locations on this fascinating characteristic on how “Glamping is helping ‘indoorsy’ families get outside.”
- RM World Travel, America’s #1 Travel Radio Show, introduced us again on for his or her “Personal Connection” phase to speak about our newest information and ideas from the street.
- Wildpreuners, an inspirational web site and energetic neighborhood of dream-chasers, inquired about our unconventional path, masking all the things from honeymoons to Trip Coach to Comfortably Wild and our excellent day at work.
- Vacation Mavens interviewed Anne for her greatest recommendations on our 1,000-mile Grand Circle sojourn.
- We let all of it cling free on one of many main journey podcasts, Extra Pack of Peanuts, dishing on our greatest journey mishap, our penchant for closing out events, and behind-the-scenes tales from our glamping journey.
- The Polish newspapers acquired wind (slightly late) that we had been trapped of their nation for the primary seven weeks of Covid.
- The Camper Report Show did a video interview with us about full-timing with Buddy.
- The Estonian business newspaper, Aripaev, requested some very private questions on how we succeed as digital nomads.
- We had been named one of many Top 40 Travel Blogs of 2021 by Let’s Roam. Check out the record for tons of superior content material creators to observe within the New Year.
- The OG Travel Website, Go Nomad , picked our mind on housesitting for a complete information.
- Outside Magazine’s resident gear man was reviewing glamping tents and wished the couple who wrote the e-book on this journey model to chime in. Coming Soon.
Ultimate Journeys for Two: The Quest for a Second Edition Continues
Throughout this yr, we’ve put collectively a bunch of videos, articles, giveaways, and interviews about Ultimate Journeys for Two. And you most likely know why by now…Nat Geo stated they’d greenlight a second version if we will present an uptick in vacation gross sales! With the assistance of our HoneyTrek followers we made a great dent this December (due to anybody that supported!) however we nonetheless don’t know if it was sufficient. Eek! We have till January twentieth, so it’s not too late to get copies of this timeless coffee-table e-book (it simply went on sale for $14 btw) and assist us make our New Year’s dream come true!
2022 Preview: 10 Honeymoons for 10 Years
January twenty second 2022 marks a full decade on honeymoon! We left residence to discover the world for 16 months, and ten years later we’re nonetheless going. Ever since 2014, it’s been referred to as the “world’s longest honeymoon,” so whereas we didn’t have a Guinness World Records man following us round (as a result of that’d simply be creepy) to validate our 10 years of honeymooning, it’s definitely a milestone price celebrating! To do this, we’re planning 10 honeymoons to rejoice our tenth yr. To us, a wonderful honeymoon is a mixture of romance and journey—with out sacrificing sustainability. We have just a few locations and experiences in thoughts…however we’d LOVE to listen to your options.
Thank you to everybody who has adopted our journey through the years and we look ahead to having you alongside for one more thrilling yr!