I got married a year and a half ago and it was the most magical, romantic day of my life. Deciding you want to be with one person forever is one of the biggest decisions there is. Once you’ve made it—once you’re sure about your love and your commitment—standing there and promising yourself to your best friend, to the love of your life… well, there aren’t words. I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy. My husband couldn’t either. We were two blubbering messes holding each other in front of our families and friends. It was the most soaring happiness I’ve ever felt.
Before the wedding I was so wrapped up in the preparations, I didn’t spend much time investigating honeymoon options. I wish I had! To follow that blissful day with a trip to help others would have been so right. I think it would have been the perfect way to share our joy, and it would have cemented our union in unexpected ways as we worked together to help the less fortunate. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time hiking with my new husband in Nova Scotia (despite the pesky stress fracture I came home with), but I know if I were making the decision today we’d be heading off on a voluntour.
Honeymoon volunteering is a growing industry. It’s become something of a trend and many voluntour companies are responding. Some offer special private accommodations for honeymooning volunteers, while others provide extra days off and tours so you can still have time for each other during your romantic volunteer getaway. You can also choose to participate in a traditional voluntour and simply take a few days at the beginning or end for each other.
Volunteering on your honeymoon may also make financial sense. We spent about five thousand clams on our honeymoon and we just went to Canada! We could have spent that money on airfare to Africa or India and then worked with a volunteer organization that provides housing. We would have had a much more exotic and interesting experience, and we would have been doing something useful! I’m not ragging on leisure—relaxing is wonderful and important—but after a wedding when you’re high on life, relaxing may not be what you’re after. I had so much excited energy coursing through me I could have rebuilt an entire village with my own two hands.
As I’ve said many times before (and will probably say many times more) volunteering changes your life. It builds character, touches you on an emotional level, and stays with you long after you return home. Why not share that life-changing experience with your new life partner? If you’re interested and looking for information, check out Voluntourism.org, Global Volunteers, Kaya Honeymoon Volunteers, and Globe Aware. Happy travels!