Destination Honeymoons for Frequent Travelers

In theory, I’m planning a wedding. On February 18th my Australian fiancé and I will have been engaged for a year. At the time, I said to him, “I don’t want to be one of those couples who are engaged for years before the wedding.”

Oops.http://ishouldlogoff.com/2013/02/20/luxury-mud-and-salt-a-visit-to-the-dead-sea/

In that year, we’ve finished working in South Korea, traveled through South America, and come to the US, where we’re putting together a de facto partner visa application so I can get to Australia.

Merino Destination Honeymoons for Frequent Travelers
Only in Australia.

Once that’s approved, we’ll get down to business on the wedding. Like, setting a date. And deciding which country we’ll get married in. But then you get all the messy details like catering, venues, flowers, color schemes; all the stuff that doesn’t interest me.

So I allow my mind to wander to more fun things.

Like our honeymoon.

Among all of the questions we get about our cross-cultural marriage, people are constantly curious about the honeymoon.

“But you’ve been to so many places. What’s left?”

And that is where they are wrong. There are plenty of places left. And it’s our honeymoon, so I figure we’ve got a license to splurge on some luxury. Right?

So I get lost in travel websites like Exsus, imagining what it would be like to let someone else take over the planning. To sleep in a fancy room with windows and fluffy pillows, have everything paid for in advance so we’re not thinking about the budget every day.  A vacation in pure, unadulterated, luxury.

Drumroll, please: I now present you with my top three fantasy honeymoon destinations.

Africa

As in, the whole continent. I haven’t narrowed it down to a country yet, but here are some of the things I want to see:

  • One of those blazing sunsets where the sun takes over the whole sky and multiplies in size to the point where you can’t believe the sun is this big and you’ve never seen it like this before
Africa Sunset with a tree by Spotz88 Destination Honeymoons for Frequent Travelers
Like this but BIGGER. Image Credit
  • Animals. Specifically lions, elephants, or giraffes, doing their thing in the wild. The real wild. Not a fancy-schmancy zoo that looks like the wild (although I am a sucker for those, too).
  • Victoria Falls. Though whether or not I’d get into that pool on the edge remains to be seen.
  • Morocco.  Everything in Morocco from Marrakech to romantic and luxurious Casablanca.

That’s it, really. Any suggestions for exact locations are welcomed.

Whale Sharks

Whale Shark 1024x768 Destination Honeymoons for Frequent Travelers
YES. Whale sharks are so romantic. Image Credit

I realize that ‘whale sharks’ is not a country. But I feel like anywhere that has whale sharks has other desirable aspects, like clear blue waters, tropical climates, and secluded beaches. Countries that could satisfy this requirement include Borneo, Belize, Mexico, and Madagascar, but I’m flexible. Ideally, we’d be able to surf there, too, because it’s only fair that the honeymoon be about both of us.

Caribbean

Caribbean Destination Honeymoons for Frequent Travelers
That would be kind of okay. Image Credit

I know. It’s generic, but I’ve never been there. Except for once, in college, when I went to the Bahamas with a group of friends. We stayed at a rundown spring break resort that had crazy happy hour specials and plenty of drunk students crowding the postage stamp-sized pool. One time I got on a bus and the driver was swigging from an open beer.  Taking a trip to the Bahamas or even another island like Anguilla or Antigua would be just plain nice.

I was thinking somewhere a little more swanky for a honeymoon. Not much, but a little.

Help! Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Did you go luxury or backpack?

adventure travel Destination Honeymoons for Frequent Travelers

Taking flight?

jetpack Taking flight?

That infamous bucket list keeps growing as I cross things off. When I first heard about the Rocketman experience, through an online coupon site that shall not be named, my gut reaction was – awesome. Quickly the jet pack experience was added to our bucket list and just as quickly, the deal was purchased.

I have no doubt that I won’t look as cool or do as many tricks as they do in the video, but I’m still giddy with excitement! This Saturday we’re crossing the newest item off our bucket list, and we promise to share pictures and video with you next week.

So in honor of a bucket list cross-off, how do you add things to your bucket list? I’m thinking about starting a Pinterest board for bucket list items- share yours below if you have one!

New Years Resolution(s)?

I have never been successful with New Years resolutions. Inevitably two weeks later I’ve forgotten about the promises I’ve made to myself and am charting a course into the new year without a thought as to those resolutions. I will tell you a secret…

It doesn’t both me one bit that I don’t fulfill these promises.

I know, it really should bother me, right? I don’t resolve to go places or do exciting things- those type of “resolutions” I reserve for my bucket list.  My resolutions usually involve intangibles that I can’t really be held accountable for – the ever vague and ambiguous “I’m going to exercise more” or “I am going to spend more time with family.”  It wasn’t quantified in the first place so I can be completely subjective in achieving or failing at the goal without any data to back me up.  That’s probably why the resolutions disappear within two weeks.

bucket list New Years Resolution(s)?
This year I wanted to do something different with my “resolutions.”  While my concrete goals are reserved in place on my bucket list – why can’t I resolve to cross a few of those off instead of promising myself something intangible and vague.

So out of the 50 items we put on our bucket list last January, we crossed two off this year:

30. Own our own home. (June  2011)

41. Ski (February 2011)

I don’t know how we should rate two, but at least we have a starting point for 2012.

What are you crossing off your bucket list this year?

Bucket List: Half Marathon

Is something that starts with the word “half” a worthy challenge for my bucket list?

Eight weeks before the half marathon I went out for a morning jog and came home on crutches. Somewhere between Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake (circa 2007) I missed a large chunk of coconut on the sidewalk, tripped over it and a loud pop interrupted my up-beat Pandora radio station. Crying in pain, I fell into the grass gripping my ankle. Fortunately there’s a lot of foot traffic in my neighborhood at that hour, and within a minute a guy on roller blades with his dog leaned over me. Danny came with the car and away we went to the hospital for X-Rays. In and out in half an hour, I hobbled to work with a temporary cast and crutches. Six-eight week recovery the physician said. See an orthopedist next week he suggested.

barefoot running1 Bucket List: Half Marathon

A sprained ankle humbled my first half-marathon training. So much so that prior to the race I had only done 4 miles since the incident with the coconut. I played down expectations as much as I could in the final two weeks. I probably won’t even finish I told my coworkers, secretly hoping that I would, but knowing full well that it was unlikely given that running still required a brace and a significant amount of pain killers.

The morning of the race we left the apartment before dawn, piling into my aunt’s van we cruised Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive dancing in the car to Michael Jackson. By the start I was relaxed. I’ll see you guys at the finish I told everyone, encouraging them to run their own race. Ever the gentleman, my cousin Julie’s husband stayed with me for the first two miles until I stopped to walk and shake him. I didn’t want to be embarrassed if I needed to stop the race.

My tempo was upbeat and before I knew it I was passing mile marker seven. I was in shock for deep down I truly didn’t think I’d make it. Light footed up an exit ramp to an overpass, I passed another first timer with tears streaming down her face. With encouraging words and a pat on the back, I emotionally pushed her up to the overpass and down to the first aid station. Mile markers 8, 9, and 10 passed uneventfully and I realized I was going to make it. Even if I stopped to walk, I was going to make it.

That realization passed with a deep sense of accomplishment, pride and peace. It’s a strange feeling to realize before you actually complete a task that you are, no matter what, going to achieve your goal. Personally, the realization that not only was I going to finish, but that my time was going to be respectable was incredibly emotional. For nearly a decade I’ve suffered from chronic stress fractures in my shins. Despire any number of medical and physiological treatments, my shins require constant care and attention. They have held me back in the past and for a long time I’ve been fearful about doing significant distance on them. For me running a half marathon was more than just covering 13 miles. My shins have held me back time and time again in the last 10 years, running the half marathon was the first time since being diagnosed that I didn’t feel their burden.

At the end, it wasn’t easy. Un-lady like thoughts buzzed through my head through mile 12, which was marked every .25 of a mile. Each quarter of a mile felt like an eternity and when I finally saw the finish line I was ecstatic. Without much fanfare (the cheering section was lost in the crowd!) I crossed into the welcome arms of a volunteer who held out water and a banana. Regaining my composure I quickly posed for a victory picture, and then another and another and another before getting out of the runners coral.

6137976342 d1fc524622 Bucket List: Half Marathon

This was a very personal accomplishment for me, and one I’m very proud to cross off my bucket list. I’m not sure what’s next off the list. Perhaps something fun like skydiving?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Toomas Hinnosaar.

Taking Time Off

Have you ever taken a mental health day? I don’t mean just from work, I mean taken a true mental health day, gone to do something fun and left your “to do” list for another day?

5217460762 c9de0582bd Taking Time Off

A few weeks ago we realized that we’d be in Florida for the final shuttle launch. Neither of us had ever been to a space shuttle launch and we figured it would be our first and last opportunity so we took it. That’s not to say we shirked out responsibilities for the day, but rather that we decided that we’d regret not going if we stayed home. So we took off, had a great day, and recharged our batteries.

Our philosophy in life is to live without regrets. This means taking a proactive approach to life. I know I’m not going to wake up 20 years from now and say I wish I had gone to work instead of the shuttle launch. Have you ever wished you had made the extra effort to go somewhere to do something, instead of passing up the opportunity? Living a proactive life means not passing up those opportunities. My favorite quote is from the writer, Mark Twain.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Take a page out of Mark Twain’s book, every once in a while, when the opportunity presents itself to take time out and have fun. I’m not saying take a day to go to the movies or lounge around the house, I’m saying when that music festival you’ve always wanted to go to comes around next year, go. Take a day off of work if you need to, rearrange your schedule and go. You’ll never regret it. Living a proactive life means living your life in balance.

4790843415 aed3de85d1 d Taking Time Off

Will you regret taking a day of vacation to run with the bulls in Spain? Even if it means taking leave without pay? Probably not, just skip a few meals out when you come home. Will you regret that you didn’t jump on that opportunity for cheap holidays in Santa Ponsa that you saw online yesterday? Probably, especially when you’re at home watching TV wishing you were there.

To help us live our life more proactively, we put together a bucket list.  It’s an evolving list though, as we hear about new things we’re constantly adding to it, but honestly I think that’s half the fun.  I hope it keeps us focused on living a proactive life, especially now that we’re settling into something a bit more routine.

We’re putting together a calendar of world events. Interesting, fun, unique festivals, holidays, celebrations, events, and things to do from around the world. Check it out on the sidebar. Let us know what you want to see on the calendar, leave suggestions in the comments below and we’ll be happy to add events.  We’re going to constantly update the calendar, so check back often!