David and I got married in May of 2009. I was 25 years old; he was 28. I didn’t have any strong feelings towards our honeymoon destination beyond someplace warm with something to do. Neither one of us are the type that enjoys just sitting on the beach, so we decided we’d like a place that felt like an adventure. After several months of researching at our leisure, David came across a honeymoon that was off the beaten path, adventurous, yet still offered some of that luxury I was hoping to find as a newlywed. We chose to visit Young Island, a small private island, just 200 yards off the coast of St. Vincent in the southern Caribbean.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but when we arrived in the late evening to a glass of champagne and then were shown to our private cottage, I immediately knew we were in for a treat.
I learned quickly that most islands don’t have air conditioning, but the wooden slats that surrounded our one-room cottage allowed the air to flow through quite nicely. Being surrounded by so much nature made me feel free in a way everyone should feel at some point. We had only a single lock which was a wooden slat that closed the wooden fence around our cottage, and a stone back patio that led right to the beach. There was even an outdoor shower that we shared with a few lizards. I loved that this place was unlike anywhere I had been before and we wasted no time at all slipping into honeymoon mode.
Young Island gave us the gift of seclusion when we wanted to be alone, but also the perks that come with staying at a resort. For meals, we would find one of the unoccupied thatched-roof huts, sit down, and a server would appear with the day’s menu which featured a small selection of choices that always were local and fresh, but the best part was the six options of freshly- baked bread (banana, coconut, cinnamon, white, wheat and raisin) that were available with every meal! In the evenings, there was often a man playing the guitar for guests to dance to, or we were free to wander down to sunset point and bask in the feeling that we were on a deserted island all our own.
For a few days we snorkeled, kayaked, hiked, and explored both Young Island and the bustling city of Kingstown across the way on the island of St. Vincent. Halfway through our week, we switched gears. We boarded a monohull sailboat to spend three days and two nights sailing with a captain in the waters of the South Caribbean. David was giddy. I was cautiously optimistic. My sense of adventure was just starting to grow and though I was up for it, I was also a little nervous wondering if I would get seasick and how I’d adjust to showering while standing over the head (the toilet).
With a seasickness patch behind my ear, we took off on a grand adventure. We sailed in five foot seas, we explored the island of Mustique and visiting Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary on the island of Bequia. We sipped wine at sunset and I spent more than a few hours with my back leaning against the mast just breathing in the salty air.
There are three reasons I’m really glad that we chose a honeymoon that was off the beaten path.
ONE: The off the beaten path honeymoon bonded us as newlyweds. There is a reason that they plan adventurous and even scary dates for the TV Bachelor and his ladies- going through an experience with someone strengthens your bond to them. Experiencing a completely new adventure together brought us closer together. You learn a lot about each other when you are sleeping in a rocking vessel on the sea without air conditioning. Not every moment was pleasurable, but being there together was so special and unique.
TWO: It set the tone for the life we live and the life we are working towards. Many of our date night conversations circle the idea that we both want to explore. We want to take our girls on adventures and while yes, Disney World was one of those, we also have a thirst for experiences that take us to places that are a little less-traveled and places we can talk to and learn from people very different from ourselves. Though much of that dream is currently still in the works, beginning our life together on a trip visiting and sailing in the Caribbean felt like a solid start.
THREE: It’s a fun story to tell! I hope to go through life collecting stories of things I’ve experienced that are worth repeating. Our honeymoon is certainly one of those. I love that we went to a place that not many people have heard of so telling the story of our car ride, two plane rides, a taxi, and a ferry in order to get to our destination is exciting to tell. I usually leave out the skinny dipping part, but the swim up coconut bar and the rickety jeep ride around the mountainous island of Bequia always make the cut.
Life is nothing if not an adventure and I’ll always smile about our first trip as a married couple!
Tell me about your honeymoon!
What was your favorite part?