When Charles and I got engaged last year, there was a lot we had to learn about planning a wedding. But there was one area in which we felt pretty confident: our honeymoon. I used to be a travel editor at Condé Nast Traveler and The New York Times, and Charles was for years a freelance travel writer (that's how we met).
There was just one issue: the common notion of a honeymoon is one big, long trip. Charles and I both have jobs that don't really allow us to go away for long periods, so what could we do that would still feel special? Enter the "many-moon."
Rather than taking one honeymoon, we decided to do a full year of celebrating by taking as many trips as we can. Now, Charles and I are lucky to be able to subsidize out travels thanks to our jobs. But even for those who don't have that luxury, there are lots of ways to do this without jetting across the globe. (Stay tuned: I'll be sharing ways you could do it soon.)
To give you an idea of what a many-moon can look like, here's how we've been doing it.
The Pre-Wedding Getaway: Taking a pre-wedding trip can help you reconnect as a couple as it's easy to forget your relationship isn't all about logistics and negotiation. We kicked things off a month before our wedding with a weekend at Twin Farms, a Vermont resort. Our cottage had the feel of a Japanese ryokan, with huge picture windows looking out on a grove of apple trees and two wood-burning fireplaces. It was Zen and perfect for holing up in the dead of winter.
The Mini-Moon: Instead of a big post-wedding trip, we flew to Turks & Caicos for a three-night stay at the luxe villa resort Amanyara. In addition to its sandy-white beach, there's a show-stopping infinity pool with lounge beds overlooking the water and Asian-inspired design that lends the place a serene atmosphere.
Tip: If you do a mini-moon, try to minimize your travel time. For us, Turks & Caicos was a direct flight of three-and-a-half hours, which allowed us to maximize time away without a lot of hassle.
More Trips: Since then, we've done a quick visit to Las Vegas for a friend's wedding that we extended a few days. The Neon Museum was a fascinating find, and we're still talking about an authentic Thai dinner we had at a hole-in-the-wall called Chada.
Also, Charles's cousin was having a birthday party in Ireland, so we spent a weekend at Ballymaloe, a country-house hotel that's known for its food. From there, we flew to southern Spain. We toured the main cities of the region — Seville, Cordoba, and Granada — doing a mini-study of Moorish architecture (something we both love) and eating lots of croquetas and jamón (ditto).
What's Next: Right now we're planning a summer trip to Tanzania. A company we like, Asilia Africa, is opening a new camp called Namiri Plains in the Serengeti. To me safari is about as romantic as it gets, and Charles and I have never done one together, so we're excited about that.
There will be other trips if we can manage, but we haven't made plans — dreaming up options is part of the fun. A friend asked me the other day if I thought a traditional honeymoon might have been more memorable, and I think that would be true for some people. But for us at least, the many-moon has turned out to be just right: It's the perfect reminder that getting married is just the beginning of a great adventure.