Marriage is a big adventure. Shouldn't your honeymoon be one, too?
Your honeymoon's the start of a lifelong journey with your soulmate. You should start that journey in a way that speaks to you.
If that means a week of beaches and fruity cocktails, that’s great. But if you’d rather get out there, strengthen your relationship and see the world in the process, a RTW honeymoon may be a better option.
Isabelle McKusick Marantz and Michael Marantz (the couple that produced and appeared in the video at the top of this post) did just that- taking their new marriage on their travels to Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Keep reading for more about their experiences on the road, and their tips for other couples who’d like to do the same.
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How did you decide on a RTW trip for your honeymoon?
“We put a lot of intention into our marriage and deciding to do a RTW honeymoon was no different. Marriage is a lifelong adventure and it just felt right to begin that adventure with a journey around the world!” -Michael
“I had always dreamed of doing a RTW trip and our honeymoon was a perfect excuse to make that dream come true. We wanted to do something meaningful, unique, challenging, adventurous, and our RTW honeymoon allowed us to do it all.” -Isabelle
How did you find AirTreks and why did you decide to use us to book your trip?
“AirTreks came up in our google searches for affordable and flexible RTW air tickets. The best part was the real-person service. The travel planner we worked with got to know us, what we were looking to do, our budget, and our expectations which made the process exceptionally easy to find the best flights, routes and prices.
We also knew we could rely on Airtreks to respond quickly and appropriately which was such a burden off our shoulders. It also allowed us to budget accordingly to have our travel booked in advance so we didn’t have to factor in costly last-minute flights.”
What was an especially memorable destination or experience on your trip?
“Madagascar was one country that completely captivated us. There was one day when we had just finished a three day pirogue trip down the Tsiribihina river and had to climb into a cattle cart to travel through trails to the nearest village where we had a truck waiting for us.
It was the rainy season so while we were on the cattle cart we got to a part in the trail that had completely disappeared under a deep rushing river. The soil in Madagascar is rust red so the color of the water was the same, keeping us from seeing beyond the surface. Other villagers came to the same edge of the newly developed river and we all saw there was only one way we would be able to cross.
So we took trash bags we’d packed (always a good thing to pack!) and wrapped our bags in them as best we could. Keep in mind one backpack had all our cameras and filming gear including a laptop and hard drives and so much more.
We held our breath as a few villagers helped carry our belongings on top of their heads and we all swam against the current to cross to the other side.
For more on our experience in Madagascar, see our blog entry, here.”
Would you recommend complex travel for other newlyweds?
“For a lot of newlyweds, we think it’s the best time to embark on a crazy adventure. You’ve committed to each other for life and it’s generally a time before you have kids and other responsibilities that might hold you back. You get to do something for just the two of you and join visions to plan a beautiful trip.
We would definitely recommend it for couples who are interested in a truly unique way to start their marriage. Complex travel forces you to learn how to work together effectively and lovingly in a variety of different situations.
It’s a beautiful test to see how you can deal with challenges, roll with unexpected changes, and mutually support each other in the ways you need which are tools for a lifetime.”
What was the why behind your trip, and the stops you made along the way?
“Besides the intention to just have an incredible honeymoon that we would never forget, we also wanted to have the opportunity to collaborate together.
We created a project that combined our interests and skills and allowed to get to know local people in a more profound way. What we created is the BEING Project (BEING.is), a collection of human stories told through film, photos, and written excerpts, that help us understand the world we live in today.
By providing glimpses into lives across the globe, BEING offers new perspectives, generates compassion and understanding, perhaps challenges mainstream notions, and shows possibilities we never knew existed.
We decided to try to go places neither of had been before and also places where we would be less likely to go once we have a family. We wanted to spend a good amount of time in each country to get to know the place and the people in a genuine way.
We ended up going to Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. A wonderful career opportunity shortened our trip so we were unable to continue on to Myanmar, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, but we hope to make it to those places in the not-too-distant future!”
How did you save for/budget for your trip? Do you have any tips for other couples?
“Lots of spreadsheets! We did a lot of research in advance so we were able to give some educated guesses as to how much we would need in each country.
We tried to book our shared Airbnb’s, in-country guides, or other logistics before we got there so we could keep an eye on how much we were spending and it also allowed us to take full advantage of the time we had in each place.”
Why is travel important?
“We find that travel pushes us out of our comfort zones which is important and allows us to grow and adapt. There is no better way to gain incredible shifts in perspective, generate compassion for and understanding and well as connection with people in diverse situations around the globe.
It provides you a deep appreciation for the similarities and differences in humanity and the environment. You also learn how much you can live without. In this day and age of materialism, it is a beautiful thing to learn how little you need in order to be happy.”
Do you have any good tips for surviving long-haul flights with your significant other?
“Try to sit next to each other. Don’t underestimate the benefits of being able to sleep on the shoulder of your significant other or lean against each other with one of those air pillows in between is crucial for good rest on long flights. Really good books or movies can make long flights fly by.
Take time to check in and see how each other are feeling. Do small things that show the other person that you are caring for them, even if it’s just getting another beverage from the flight attendant or pulling out a surprise snack you saved for the long flight. Traveling long distances can be utterly exhausting mentally and physically.
Making sure each other are drinking enough water, taking good care of health is so important. And of course there are going to be times when you’re just grumpy and tired and that’s totally ok! In those times we just tried to communicate how we were feeling so the other person was well aware and could try to help. Being able to laugh about those moments of stress and irritability is important too!”
What's important for newly married couples to consider before traveling long-term together?
“We’d recommend doing at least one trip to a challenging place first to see if you work well together to make the best out of difficult situations and if you appreciate many of the same things.
Our first trip together was a camping trip in Puerto Rico and it rained (like poured buckets) for the majority of the time we were there. We also had ants invade our tent and our air mattress continuously deflated but we still had an awesome time. Knowing that you can deal with less-than-desirable situations in a positive way is a good sign.
But also know that you will never fully be prepared for a RTW trip. There are going to be a lot of things that you confront that you could never have expected. This is part of the magic and also part of the hardships. Learning to travel together definitely gave us numerous tools to use in our marriage as we move forward in this life.”
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