How nice would it have been if I actually posted on a milestone date: the hundredth day from our wedding, like I planned?! Well anyway, that didn’t happen because my work week was crazy, but we are officially in the double digits people!!!
If you haven’t had a chance to read Update 20, today’s post is about… dun dun da dun… OUR HONEYMOON! Granted that will be much more exciting when I write about it after the actual honeymoon; but, I am in a strange wedding-planning limbo, where things are happening, but they don’t quite yet warrant a blog entry, so this is what you’re getting!
Where it started
So this is no longer new information, but way back when, when Nick and I first began thinking about our honeymoon, there were a few things we were looking for. First, we were looking to go somewhere new. I think we both toyed with the idea of going back to Aruba, which was our first vacation together and our favorite to date; but, we saw this as an opportunity to have a brand new experience. To that point, we removed Europe from the list because that “new experience” turned into looking for a new-to-us culture.
Combining that with my personal checklist of three things: beach, culture, and yoga, we landed in Asia. After a volcanic eruption put the kibosh on my dream of Bali, we turned our attention to beautiful Thailand.
Starting from scratch
Because we were now faced with starting our research over, the conversation of hiring a travel agent was introduced. I felt that if we didn’t get some help, our honeymoon would either suck or not get planned at all.
The process was very simple, though our eagerness to finalize the details made it feel long. We had a phone consultation, during which our agent got all our info, our wish list of things to do and see, and our preferences for locations, hotel-types, etc. She then took that information and started her research, which included reaching out to their contact in Thailand, all to put together an itinerary
Because we were dealing with experts, they made some incredible suggestions based on what we wanted to do, what was important to us, and when we were going. In the end, they gave us one itinerary for the two locations we asked for; but they also gave us a second itinerary, in which they suggested adding a third location, Chiang Mai, and a location switch: Phuket to Koh Samui, both in addition to a definite visit to Bangkok.
After seeing the two itineraries, we knew the three-city option was perfect for us. After a minimal change in a flight time we requested, the itinerary was complete and ready for booking. I can now say we are officially booked for the trip! So what are we doing?!
June 10–11: Flight from Newark to Bangkok—approx. 19 hours in the air and a 2.5 hour layover in Hong Kong… ouch.
June 11–14: Bangkok– In Bangkok, we have a few things planned: a visit to the Grand Palace & Wat Po, a cruise along the Chao Phraya River, a stop at Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), bargaining at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, and a late night Tuk Tuk tour on our final night.
June 14–16: Chiang Mai– A quick visit to Chiang Mai starts with a visit to Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, which is a 600-year old temple near the summit of Doi Suthep mountain, in addition to temple visits to Wat Suan Dok, Wat Chedi Luang, and Wat Phra Singh.
Day 2 is dedicated to a full day at the Elephant Nature Park, where we will start the day by helping staff load food in their trucks for the elephants, before traveling to the park to get an incredible chance to learn about their rescued elephants and the challenges elephants face in Southeast Asia. Then they teach us how to safely and properly bathe an elephant—after which we’ll get to actually get to do in the river! To round out the day, we get to feed the elephants before enjoying some Thai cuisine ourselves!
At some point—and this is super exciting—we’ll get to meet up with an incredible friend of mine from college, who is skipping our wedding because she’s… wait for it… living in Chiang Mai! We have yet to coordinate specifics, but I’m thinking an evening with her sounds perfect!
June 16–21: Koh Samui– The bulk of our honeymoon will be spent on the island of Samui. The first full day is the only day we have something planned and it will take us to Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan by speedboat for a day of snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing on the islands.
The rest of the week is up to us and it will include a ton of relaxing, sunbathing, and yoga, since the hotel that was chosen for us is a wellness sanctuary and holistic spa resort. We get complimentary attendance to their fitness activities, which includes optional morning and evening meditations, pranayama, a wide array yoga classes, and a number of other activities—it’s a dream!!
June 21–22: Bangkok, then home– Our trip ends with a quick overnight stay in Bangkok, in preparation for our 18.5 hour flight and 2 hour layover in Tokyo back home. The best part is that, even though we fly out Friday, June 22, because of the time difference, we get home Friday as well—leaving us with Saturday and Sunday to recuperate at home before going back to the real world.
Wrapping it up
There are people out there who think we are nuts for going on such a far trip for our honeymoon, when we could easily find a beautiful and interesting place closer and still have a wonderful time. I’ll be honest: no, I am not looking forward to 20–22 hour trips each way. But, we know ourselves—what is important to us as travelers, what we like to do, and our plans for the future. We know this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that the next few years will inhibit traveling, especially to anywhere like this; so yeah, we’re going to deal with the painful flights and have the honeymoon of our dreams.
It’s a huge relief to not only have the honeymoon planned and booked, but to have a honeymoon that feels like us planned and booked. We’ve worked hard over the past year and a half to save for our house and our wedding. While the honeymoon won’t mark the close of all our current endeavors, it will give us a much-needed break to celebrate such an incredible new chapter.
I’m at a strange point when 98 days still sounds like a lot… even 90 days sounds fine, which is coming up next week. What doesn’t sound fine (even though it’s the same thing) is THREE MONTHS. Don’t get me wrong; I am so excited to marry Nick—I can’t wait. But there is much to be done and to know we are almost to the three month mark is simultaneously thrilling and horrifying haha.
I’m tackling quite a bit this weekend, so I think I’ll feel better here within the next couple of weeks; but things are coming along and, most importantly, coming together! More to come soon!