My honeymoon was drastically different than what society tells you a honeymoon should look like. There were no sandy white beaches, spa treatments, massages, candlelit dinners, or room service. In fact, in the three weeks we toured Iceland, Netherlands, and Scotland there was only one week without any rain. We ate nothing but trail bars for almost a week because by the time we realized we had the wrong gas for our camping stove, we were quite literally in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. We slept in a car twice when it was too dark or rainy to set up the tent. We were smacked with hail on multiple hikes in Iceland. Hiking trails were washed out or mislabeled causing us to be gone much longer than expected. I washed my hair at 2pm when the day was warmest because it meant dumping a portion of my water bottle on my head. And it was cold!
When I tell people about my honeymoon, some express their disbelief that we would opt for such a trip. Others have jokingly told me that they would have split up before the end of the trip or changed their mind and decided to stay in hotels. I just smile and know that it was probably the best trip we ever could have planned or expected.
Despite all the mishaps (controllable or not), I loved my honeymoon. We laughed through every situation that happened and decided to take it all in as part of the experience. By hiking through the terrible weather, we saw multiple rainbows every day and had many of the trails completely to ourselves. We made jokes about whatever trail bar we didn’t eat for breakfast would be our lunch or dinner. We snuggled extra hard because the rain and wind outside sounded cold even though it was nice and warm inside our tent.
We spent every day, from beginning to end, together and that time was so incredibly needed. After a year of wedding planning, crafting, and spending every other weekend with family it was glorious to have time just to ourselves. We didn’t feel rushed, pressured, or that we had to fulfill someone else’s expectations or plans. Each day brought new adventures and we took advantage of every one of them. We were corralled Icelandic ponies, repelled down a building in Rotterdam, visited our Scottish clan lands, drove across a 3ft raging river in a bus, biked to windmills in Netherlands, and took in positively exquisite views from our tent in the morning.
The most important thing about our honeymoon was that it was exactly what we wanted. We didn’t listen to friends or family members who told us that we should spend the time relaxing or pampering ourselves. We didn’t listen when they told us that we’d regret the decision to go hiking and camping because of how much work or effort it would be. We have always viewed vacations as time for adventures, risks, and challenges. Our opportunity to have a honeymoon was no different and we created the perfect trip for us.