We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike & Anne Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike & Anne, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
We had a dream to take a honeymoon around the world. With a new marriage to celebrate and youth/health on our side it seemed like the perfect time to dive into our bucket list. The only problem was, we’d have to quit good jobs, rent-out a our home, sell most of our stuff, leave our family and friends, and book a one-way ticket into the unknown. As dreamy as this honeymoon sounded and as convinced as I was that it was great idea, pulling the plug on a perfectly good and stable life was terrifying and to many people, foolish. When in doubt (or mini panic attack) there is a quote by Randi Komisar that comforted us and still rings true: “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” Staying home and waiting until we were 65 years old AND assuming we’d have our health, finances, and life in order to have take on these adventures seemed was a far greater risk and not having these life-changing experiences and not immersing ourselves in hundreds of other cultures would have robbed us of our greatest education. If you want something in your life, don’t let fear or pettiness talk you out of it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
While you could say we are “travel influencers,” that term kind of makes us gag. When we started blogging about our journey in 2011, when there wasn’t such a word and there wasn’t any money it if there was. We never expected to make a dime from HoneyTrek, this honeymoon was for us and to share it with family and friends. It was about showing people what’s possible–we weren’t trust fund babies or didn’t have any special skills to travel the world–we just set our mind to it (even if it meant living on $12 a day!). When you read the “About Us” section on many travel blogs (OG or newbie), a common thread is they getting away from something (a bad career, relationship, etc) and I’d while we totally respect people taking destiny into their own hands and going against the norm…you have to do it for the right reasons (and it certainly can’t be fame or fortune). Sometimes we have a nice stream of income and other times it goes dry. Though no matter what happens financially, we’ve learned to live with less and find happiness wherever we are–to us, that’s success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I haven’t lived in LA since 2000 and when we come back once a year it’s all about hanging with family and a small handful of old friends (aka we’re terrible with fresh LA travel tips….Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Krakow, Santo Domingo…then we could talk!) T Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shanta & Milan Herzog. While just neighbors from my childhood, I consider them grandparents and models of love. They married when she was in her 30s and him in his 60s. People scoffed at their age difference and tried to warn her against marrying a man with few years left in life. They knew the risks but combatted them by living each day together to the fullest. They created films, hosted events, volunteered, and loved fearlessly. He lived until 101 and she passed away about eight years after him. When we’d tell her about of our adventures around the world, she’d always say how proud she was of us and how much we reminded her of their marriage. We took this as incredible compliment.
Other: Where you can find both our glamping book (Comfortably Wild) and our Nat Geo book (Ultimate Journeys for Two) and support Indie Bookstores: https://bookshop.org/shop/HoneyTrek
Please credit all images to @HoneyTrek