Traditionally, honeymoons were considered a time for newlyweds to bond in solitude, get to know each other, make babies, or to visit family who couldn’t make it to the wedding. While all of these reasons still exist, the concept of the honeymoon purely as a holiday is a relatively modern one. Nowadays, honeymoons are associated with exotic destinations, romance, adventure.
But for a couple who has been together for many years already, living together, with no plans to start a family right away, and who already travel as much as they possible can, a honeymoon can seem a little superfluous. Is it any different from any other trip? More and more couples are foregoing the honeymoon for a number of perfectly valid reasons, so why did we find it so important to take a “capital H” honeymoon?
Well, for one, wedding planning is a lot of work. Neither of us found it all that stressful, to be honest, but there’s just a lot of stuff to think about. In fact, it was predominantly all of those details that made us put off our honeymoon for half a year after the wedding. We didn’t really want to add trip planning to the list of things we had to worry about. But we did want some time to get away, take a trip that didn’t revolve first and foremost around work (at least for the first month…). Props to anyone who manages to take the honeymoon right after the wedding. For us, my husband was jumping in to his MA coursework, so it wouldn’t have been possible to leave even if we had had the energy to put something together.
For another, travel in general is important to us. Perhaps more than anything, the honeymoon was a convenient excuse to go on the trip we’ve always wanted to take. We put our minds to saving up for six weeks in Europe, and we did it. We both love to immerse ourselves in a place, really sink our teeth in. I had gotten it into my head that Barcelona was one of the most romantic cities in the world, so we used that as our first stop on a trip through Spain and Greece. Even for two people who travel, calling it a honeymoon made every new experience, view, taste, moment, that little extra special something. Because we gave it that emotional significance, it just inherently felt different than other trips we’ve taken.
Our honeymoon also gave us six glorious weeks of complete togetherness before my husband stayed on to work while I returned home to Canada. I recently did another post on the whole long distance thing that you can read here, but the honeymoon gave us time to really just be together without the distractions of work or “real life” before being physically separated once more (that is, until we did both have to settle down to work for the last two weeks before I left).
But in my mind, it was more than all of the above. Our honeymoon was by no means the last trip we’ll ever take together (this wouldn’t be much of a travel blog if that was the case), but it may very well be the last trip we ever take *like that*. I mean, without a mortgage to worry about. Without children. Before my husband begins the nearly endless cycle of teaching contracts that are now part and parcel of embarking on an academic career. We are still relatively unencumbered right now, responsibility-wise, and that will change in the coming years. I’m super pumped for all of those other things and for the new type of travel that will go with it, but it was a luxury to take a honeymoon that was purely for us with no other responsibilities to bog it down.
In the end, we went on our honeymoon because, well, we could! I think it’s something all couples should consider, but never feel obligated to do. Nor does a honeymoon always have to mean hopping on a plane! Ultimately, we spent our honeymoon time doing what we wanted to do, which is really the point, isn’t it?
Married couples: did you take a honeymoon? What made you do it?
Everyone else: what are your thoughts? Do you think you’ll take a honeymoon if and when the time comes?