Book Review | Ultimate Journeys for Two: A Refreshingly Different Adventure Travel Book
Ultimate Journeys for Two is the adventure travel book we’ve been waiting for. Through their refreshing, keep-it-real style, Mike & Anne Howard deliver unique perspective that’s both entertaining and informative, effectively revealing the true essence of over 75 remarkable destinations.
The book offers insights into many elements of travel, reminding us that people are mostly good, the world is most definitely beautiful, and that sometimes, when you plan less, you get more out of your travels.
While you can put a price on a trip, the opportunity cost of not going is far greater. And if you’re given the option, choose the adventurous path. After all, the authors remind us, today is the youngest you will ever be.
But most importantly, Ultimate Journeys for Two reinforces the idea that experiences are almost always made better when shared with the person you love most.
Meet the authors
As a professional traveling couple, Mike & Anne have pretty much nailed it. They left for their Honeymoon in January 2012…and have kept it rolling ever since. For the past 7 years, they’ve visited over 50 countries across all 7 continents, chronicling the epic journey through their website HoneyTrek: The World’s Longest Honeymoon. Most recently, the multi-talented team turned to the printed page with Ultimate Journeys for Two, published by National Geographic.
Ultimate Journeys for Two represents a milestone for the authors and a new category for National Geographic: couples adventure travel. Since the outset of the project, Mike & Anne have been humbled by the opportunity to serve as pioneers for the iconic travel brand.
Having had the opportunity to meet and speak with the couple during a recent travel conference in Austin, we were struck by the humility and down-to-earth nature of these self-described serial adventurers. We love their style, and we’re confident you will too!
Ultimate Journeys for Two: format & flow
Ultimate Journeys for Two artfully blends the informative elements of a guidebook with the esthetic appeal of a coffee table book. The book also introduces a different approach to the traditional country/region/city format of most guidebooks.
The chapters are organized by destination type: beaches, jungles, deserts, snow & ice, road trips, history & architecture (to name a few). This approach allows you to explore based on interest, then discover amazing new places—across the world—that match your style.
If a past trip to the Swiss Alps leaves you yearning for more cowbell, turn to the Mountains chapter and find alternative mountainous beauty across the ranges of Nepal, Rwanda or The Philippines.
Ultimate Journeys for Two features more than 75 destinations, spread across these 11 chapters. Each destination is covered by a 2-page spread that includes a concise, easy-to-read profile: history, culture, when to go, places to stay and other useful tips.
Recommended activities include an adventure rating to indicate level of intensity. Nice!
The people behind the places
As you turn the pages of Ultimate Journeys for Two, it’s hard not to feel as though you’re along for the ride with Mike & Anne. Each destination includes a brief personal anecdote that paints a vivid picture in your mind and transports you to that place.
Re-live their epic sunset feast in the majestic Urubamba Valley of Peru. Join a pickup game of volleyball in Vietnam. Paraglide over the cascading travertines and turquoise pools of Pamukkale, Turkey. Or find yourself suddenly recruited off the street (as they were) to carry rocks on your head and help build a home for a couple of Indonesian newlyweds.
Ultimate Journeys for Two is built on a foundation of Mike & Anne’s experiences. But as quickly and effortlessly as their writing pulls you into each of their stories, the couple smoothly fades back behind the scenes, allowing the spotlight to re-focus on the place, its people, and the possibility of inspiring your adventures and memories.
Universal travel wisdom
In many ways, Ultimate Journeys for Two offers truly universal wisdom and advice that can lead to more fulfilling experiences for any traveler.
One level deeper, the book explores concepts that will appeal to specific niche audiences:
- Give-back opportunities for the positive-impact traveler
- Extreme adventures that’ll fuel any adrenaline-junkie’s fire
- Affordable destinations and cost-cutting strategies for the budget traveler
- Helpful commentary on remaining culturally conscious, for the less-seasoned traveler
But in the end, the book is called Ultimate Journeys for Two for a reason.
Finding balance. Reaching compromise. Conquering fears. Embracing the unexpected. Adding a bit of romance. These are all important dynamics of couples travel, and they’re common themes throughout the book. After all, the authors have been on the World’s Longest Honeymoon, and they offer a wealth of knowledge for those interested in wandering the globe and cohabitating as a team of 2.
Give the gift of Ultimate Journeys for Two
This holiday season, give your favorite globetrotting couple a copy of Ultimate Journeys for Two on Amazon Prime or have it personalized by the authors.
For the other travelers in your life, just tell them to close their eyes during the romantic parts! Or better yet, tell them to take copious notes, and prepare to sweep their next international romantic encounter off his or her feet 😉
Mike & Anne: you guys had us at Peruvian moonshine, and we never looked back! We will be taking several pages—quite literally—out of your playbook, for our upcoming trip to South America.
In a few months, be on the lookout for a pic of us cruisin’ across Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni in an Airstream trailer.
PS—these penguins though!
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Disclosure: We received a free copy of Ultimate Journeys for Two, but as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own.