Tim and I had a non-traditional traditional wedding in the grand scheme of weddings. We didn’t have assigned seating, we had 2 MOH and 2 best men, my little sister was the flower girl, and everything was pretty DIY. Even though I come from a Catholic family, we got married by an officiant and Tim went with me to my final dress fitting. I wore an beautiful dress and Toms and we got married on the University of South Florida-Sarasota Manatee campus where we met. Neither one of us had a “bye bye party” for our singledom and we didn’t go on a honey moon. And I am happy to report that everything went flawlessly, including our photography when Sadie and Kyle saved the day! As all of our friends said, it was non-traditional traditional. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t thought about where we would have gone! (Read: Where we will be going at some point!)
Honeymoons For The Non-Traditional Couple
Originally, when we first got engaged, we talked about camping in a National Park in Florida but if you’ve ever been in Florida you know that the mosquitoes can be wretched. I wanted none of that. We both have always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail, which led us to a list of non-traditional honeymoons we still have every intention of going on!
1. Hostel in the Forest: Brunswick, Georgia
I have wanted to stay at the Hostel in the Forest ever since my college roommate told me about it! It has operated as an International Youth Hostel for 35 years. It is sustained entirely by volunteers and visitors who have made the hostel what it is today! With 9 tree houses and 133 acres of forest and wetlands, I hate to admit that I still haven’t made time to visit! There is wildlife to watch, trails to walk and hike, and so much to do. For the hippie-nature-loving-treehouse couple, this is a must.
2. Mississippi River Cruise: New Orleans, Louisiana
With an impressive 10 state span, as someone who grew up in The South, this trip is the kind of river cruise filled with Americana charm and low key relaxing. This epic river cruise down the Mississippi River will make you feel like you’ve set back into our country’s history and see the majesty that makes this one of the main waterways that is still used today!
3. Kentucky Bourbon Trail
The KBT has long been on the list of places I’ve wanted to go, even before I was of legal drinking age! The true American spirit lives in the Kentucky foothills and from the Churchill Downs to Abe Lincoln, this state is full of history. There is a rugged sense of wonder when you think of moonshiners and our countries expansion into the West. This trip allows you to explore, drink, learn, and experience some other unique things along the way! There are so many things to do while you explore the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that going back home might be a lot harder than you thought!
4. Québec, Canada
So many times in life you find yourself with champagne tastes on a beer budget (though there are beers out there more expensive than the bubbly, you know the saying!) For those wanting Europe but not too sure about the Euro conversion, I give you Québec! This Canadian province is perfect for you Euro fix without having to cross the pond. It is full of history, french influence, and has something for the city-loving soul as well as the adventurous mountain lumberjack.
Depending on when you want to travel and what kind of honeymoon you are looking for, Colombia has it. Having traveled to Colombia over the years numerous times, I have come to realize that anything you could want in a vacation can be found here. If you have ever read a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel and wondered where he came up with his landscapes and magical realism, you quickly find the answer when seeing everything this country has to offer. If ecotourism is your thing, if adventure is your game, if museums and history are what you seek, Colombia has it all.
6. Istanbul, Turkey
For the history buffs who want to spend time in bazaars and taking in a rich culture, Istanbul is the place to go. There is plenty to do all over the city that has a vibrant night life and stellar museum scene. Bonus points: You can also tell your friends when you get back that you went to two continents on your trip as the city is located on both the Asian and European continents!
To Honeymoon or not?
The idea of a honeymoon has come to mean sunsets and Mai Tai for so many people, with all inclusive resorts where you relax all day. But we want adventure and a place that would give us as many memories as we could make. For us, travel has never been about spending 10 days doing nothing and our honeymooon choices reflected that, we wanted to learn and explore.