Wedding planning has been fun and exciting, but I’ve become overwhelmed at times with the big decisions. Honeymoon was next on our list and Kyle and I were just not agreeing. I finally gave him control to book a trip…but with my 3 requirements.

1. Beach!
2. No to Mexico.
3. I didn’t want to be on a plane for 20 hours (I’m not one that enjoys flying).

Kyle started looking into St. Lucia and Hawaii, but they were too expensive. He soon realized all-inclusive resorts were probably our best bet. After numerous Trip Advisor reviews and Expedia searches still feeling unsatisfied, Kyle actually contacted a family friend who is a travel agent. She helped us narrow it down to about 4 places that fit our criteria and budget. Three out of the 4 resorts were in the Dominican Republic. We were unfamiliar with the gorgeous beaches, buy my travel agent described it as “Cancun before it was Cancun.” It is not too crowded or too developed. So we narrowed it down and finally chose the The Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana. I thought travel agents were a bit outdated, but she was great! I would recommend looking into one if you are overwhelmed. Also, another benefit is the transportation to and from the airport.

The hotel is an all inclusive resort, which we have never experienced before. It is adults only with 5 restaurants, multiple bars, a spa, and pools for days! Kyle and I have traveled a lot together to Europe and big cities in the U.S, but never a resort or beach. I am thrilled to finally have a relaxing week with no tourist attractions and lines to wait in.

The best part….it’s during the winter. We will be spending a week in 80 degree weather instead of 15 below 🙂

Heading East into Turkey

Yesterday, I posted about the first half of our Turkish Honeymoon. The first three cities: Istanbul, Ephesus, and Fethiye are easily traveled. However, as we headed East, the trip became more of an adventure. The country’s Muslim culture became more apparent too. We didn’t see any Arabic until we arrived in Urfa. And while it is not a reason to make the trip, we were upgraded EVERYWHERE when we mentioned that we were on our honeymoon. (Take that, you Hawaii obsessed newlyweds!)

Goreme is in the middle of the country in an area called Cappadocia. Known for their mountainous landscapes, we decided to take a hot air balloon ride. It was amazing! Goreme is known for the cave dwellings that have been turned into hotels. It was the coolest thing ever.

I took this photo from the hot air balloon.

Denton is standing in front of the Open Air Museum. We stayed in a hotel that was in a cave. Don’t think I roughed it either: there was a hot tub, hot water, satellite television, and all the other amenities that you might crave!

Our shadow!

In Urfa, we saw a traditional dance at a local restaurant.

The Euphrates River

Bakalava in Antep

Our fantastic Turkish Honeymoon…

Often when I meet with a couple for a consultation, they me where did we go on our honeymoon. When I reply Turkey, there is usually a look of surprise. Well, there used to be a look of surprise. Now, Turkey is becoming more and more popular! Our first stop is Istanbul! We then went to Ephesus for a few days to see the amazing ancient city and then relaxed for 5 days seaside at Fethiye.

On a cruise up the Bosphorus River, with the New Mosque in the background.

Turndown service at the Ritz

Spice Market- Denton bought all sorts of treats!!

Aya Sophia in the background. It was a beautiful day!

In Fethiye, we didn’t to anything but lay out, read, and eat.

Ephesus is an amazing archeological site: Library of Celsus, the Roman Govenor of Asia Minor in 2nd century AD.

View of the rest of the city of Ephesus from a hilltop

Happy Honeymoon

We are finally back from Turkey!

The country has been in the press lately, mostly all good news. Shortly before leaving for our trip, we received a note from a friend to read this article on Istanbul. We both really enjoyed our trip. We traveled to Selcuk, Ephesus, Fethiye, Goreme, Urfa, and Antep.

We loved every minute of it…well, until the last 36 hours. It’s a long story but it ended with us being stranded in Antep for 12 hours and then getting a nasty stomach bug. Alas, we’re home. As soon as I start to feel better, regular posting will resume.

Planning Our Dream Honeymoon

My FI and I share a peculiar coincidence of traveling solo on more than one occasion. FI went to New Zealand, southern California, and Boston whereas I’ve traveled to Morocco, Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean solo. Travel is passion for the both of us. We both agreed that friend cannot necessarily travel together. There is a certain chemistry that is needed.

Six weeks after we started dating, I asked my FI to go on a 17 day trip with me to Thailand. A lot of people were shocked; they felt that we were still too new in our relationship to be taking such a “serious” trip. Little did they know, the trip was a sign for both of us—we were meant to be together!

Well, our relationship not only survived Thailand but flourished. Since then, we’ve taken a 25 day trip to South America as well as a 12 day trip to the Canary Islands and Ireland. Being such avid travelers, planning the trip of all trips – our Honeymoon– took quite a bit of compromise.

I agreed to pay for the honeymoon. Being a feminist, I felt that if he was shelling out for a ring, at the very least I could pay for the trip. Without hesitation, my FI agreed to the arrangement. Our top picks included:

Since I was young, I had always wanted to take a month off and see Australia. Since Denton lived in Brisbane for six months while studying abroad, I decided that I rather go somewhere neither of us had been.

African Safari
The wilderness of Africa was calling my name. Denton looked at me while I was crazy. “You hate the outdoors.” I responded that I was thinking of safari luxe—think 500 count linens, running water, and a personal butler. The idea was dismissed since we wouldn’t be able to use my Marriott Points or my American Airlines miles.

What could be more romantic then the Taj Mahal and then relaxing in Goa? India has been my top dream location for years… but Denton hesitated. Travel in India isn’t easy. He wanted something more relaxing. He also brought up the long flight. IT was a strong contender but eventually we made up our mind.

Istanbul—the only city to straddle two continents is in the country that has two distinct flavours—the European Mediterranean and openness on the east with the traditionalism and Muslim based West. What could be more exotic than spending our days drinking Turkish coffee, shopping in bazaars, and getting massages in Hamans?

Where should we go?