10.5 years, 65 nations: US couple arrives in Kerala on endless honeymoon – The New Indian Express | Gmx Pharm

Express Message Service

KOCHI: How long does a honeymoon last? Depending on who you ask, answers can range from “a few days” and “a few weeks” to maybe “a month.” Unless you ask Ann and Mike Howard from New York, who married in 2012.

The couple have been on their honeymoon ever since, 10.5 years to be precise, visiting 64 countries and absorbing everything the nations have to offer. And they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon as travel, and on a tight budget at that – US$34 per person per day (around Rs.2,700) – is now a part of their lives. Her previous visits have included European countries as well as North and South American countries. For India, their 65th country, they decided to start from Kerala.

“We flew in from Bhutan,” said Mike, 45, who met Anne, 40, in New Jersey’s Hoboken while playing two-on-two volleyball. This is their first visit to India as a couple. “We used to come individually, about 15 years ago when we were still in college,” Anne said. The couple said that anyone planning a trip to India should start from Kerala.

“Kerala serves as India’s tourist gateway. It’s gentler than other places while also being a melting pot of cultures from around the world,” said Mike, who co-authored two books with Anne, Ultimate Journeys for Two, a couples travel guide, and Comfortably Wild: The Best Glamping Destinations in North America.

They said they were amazed by the variety of vegetable dishes in Kerala. “As vegetarians, we were amazed at the different ways vegetables were used in cooking,” Mike said. The couple will be here for two and a half weeks.

Goa and Mumbai, then off to Croatia

“We never plan anything when it comes to travel. We keep our itinerary flexible and that’s the mantra that works on long trips,” said Anne. They said a few two-week trips are the best way to travel. Anne and Mike describe themselves as “budget travelers” as they seek local, affordable food and accommodation options.

“We travel more on local buses, eat at local restaurants and interact with local residents. Not only does this help reduce costs, but it also allows us to connect with people. It’s also a great way to understand the reality on the ground, rather than believing what social media says about a place,” said Anne.

Mike explained, “We’ve been to countries that social media portrayed as a strict no-go, but in reality were very different.” The couple’s books and blog HoneyTrek are their main sources of income. In European countries they did house sitting – they looked after houses while the owners were gone for a period of time.

Sometimes they also work in the travel industry and give suggestions to the tourist boards of the countries they have visited. Goa and Mumbai are Anne and Mike’s next destinations in India. From there they fly to Croatia, their 66th country.

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