The honeymoon. A time for newly-wed couples to share some private and intimate moments together. Newly-weds set off on their travels to exotic or romantic destinations, to celebrate their marriage in both intimacy and solitude. Whether it’s wining and dining in Paris, or frolicking on a Paradise Island. This romantic getaway will help establish their love for one another. It all sounds idyllic, but what if the honeymoon you have been dreaming of, doesn’t quite go to plan? What if it establishes nothing more than a bitter taste of what is yet to come?
The majority of newly-weds fly off on their honeymoons soon after they get married. However, my husband and I, had to postpone our honeymoon a whole year, due to sleepless nights with our little one. As we visualized our romantic get-away together, we grew more and more excited. We were counting the months, weeks, days to our Mexican adventure. Little did we know, it wouldn’t be quite the adventure we had been fantasizing about!
The ‘How Not To Honeymoon’ Guide
Rule Number One – Don’t dye your hair peroxide blonde
A few days before we were due to fly off on our romantic getaway, my husband decided he wanted to try out a new look. Bleach-bottle in hand, I covered his head in hair dye. Originally, his dark-blonde hair turned out relatively well, but one day in the sun and it turned more orange than a dodgy spray-tan.
Lesson to be learned: Experimenting with a new look before your holiday could be far too risky. Thousands of miles from your local hairdresser, and not a hair dye in sight. Unless you want to resemble a pumpkin, it’s not worth the risk.
Rule Number Two – Don’t wear white trousers on the plane
I don’t quite know what was going through my mind, as I pulled on my white linen trousers. I guess, I was taking advantage of wearing something that I wouldn’t usually be able to wear, due to little sticky fingers. All was fine until my husband knocked his scorching hot coffee over my lap. Two minutes of screeching like a baby and my agony turned into anger. One big brown splat around my crotch area, just what I needed. What’s more, I had to do the ‘walk of shame’ down the aisle of the plane, until I reached the air-hostess. The trousers had to come off, along with my dignity, as the stewardesses dab an ice pack over my injury.
Lesson to be learned: Planes are unsteady…FACT. Coffee, stains…FACT. White trousers are impractical…FACT. Planes + Coffee + white trousers = you do the maths!
Rule Number Three – Make sure you visit the dentist prior your holiday
My husband had been complaining about his tooth for some time, too nervous to face the dentist, he postponed his dental trip. He later regretted this decision, when his filling went POP, and flew out into the palm of his hand. He spent the next 7 days complaining about his persisting toothache, looking for D-I-Y tooth repair kits and swallowing his weight in painkillers. Toothache = one grumpy husband.
Lesson to be learned: There’s nothing worse than a toothache, nope…wait a minute, there is….there’s nothing worse than a husband with a toothache. To avoid being bombarded with whimpers and moans, make sure his gnashers are in good shape.
Rule Number Four – Make sure you pack some earplugs
I wish I had purchased those ear-plugs, I was thinking after being placed next to a rowdy welsh family. Laughing and joking, it was endearing at first, but as the time ticked on, the constant screechy dialogue between family members, began to grate on me like cheese to a grater. There is only so much one can take of the welsh national anthem. 12 hours later, and the singing continued. It was somewhat of a relief to get off of the plane. “Phew, we got rid of them!” I thought, breathing a sigh of relief until I realised they were staying at the same resort as us.
Lesson to be learned: Choose your seating wisely. The cheaper the seats, the more likely you’ll end up sitting next to a bunch of rowdy’s! If you end up next to the snoring man, or stag weekenders, chanting football rhymes, pop some headphones on and turn the volume up as HIGH AS POSSIBLE!!!
Rule Number Five – Purchase some comfortable flip-flops
My husband rarely gets his feet out, and prior to our honeymoon, had never owned a pair of Flip-flops in his life. So, I was somewhat taken back, when he threw a pair of flip-flops into the suitcase. It turned out, the flip-flop were way too tight. In addition to his sun-burnt toes, and he wasn’t a happy sole (bad joke!). He spent the majority our honeymoon, hobbling around like a pensioner with a dodgy hip. After the agony he experience, having worn his flip-flops just once, I don’t think he will ever wear another pair again!
Lesson to be learned: If you don’t wear in your holiday shoes, there’s every chance, as your feet swell up in the heat, those shoes are going to pinch like crabs on a toe! To avoid sore feet, wear comfortable shoes.
Rule Number Six – Wear sunscreen
As we said Hello to paradise, we also said Hello to sunburn. Apparently, factor 12 wasn’t strong enough and we were both left resembling a brighter shade of lobster.
Lesson to be learned: Don’t miscalculate your SPF- unless you want to bear a resemblance to a cherry tomato, then smother yourself in the stuff, and be cautious of over-exposing yourself to the sun. I fell asleep whilst sunbathing once. My face swelled up like a bee-stung dog, and my eyelids were so burnt, I was practically blind (for a week!) You’ve been warned!
Rule Number Seven – Be cautious
Feeling sorry for ourselves we hit the Mexico nightlife. Some Mexican reps took us downtown, a truly terrifying place. Our night involved the consumption of lots of alcohol, drunken dancing and being pushed and shoved by a bunch of sweaty Mexicans. Ending the night with my head in some Mexicans hairy chest-wig, cushioned by his two buxom man-boobs, was not what I had in mind at all.
Lesson to be learned: don’t risk going to places of the unknown. There’s a big bad world out there, just waiting to steal the pennies from out of your pockets! If you do find yourself in a pickle of a situation, stay calm and plan an escape route! If that means running like a Kenyan, then HECK! Run like a Kenyan!!!
Rule Number Eight – Don’t drink too much
As the night went on, the more wasted we became. The more wasted we became, the less we remembered… who was that Dutch girl? And why did I kiss her?
Lesson to be learned: don’t drink too much, it only ends in tears, blood or humiliation. When you’re in the height of party spirit, quickly say to yourself….‘think of the hang-over’. Three sick buckets later, and a pounding headache, it won’t be worth it.
Rule Number Nine – Avoid over-baring foreigners
Feeling somewhat hung-over, I just wanted a nice romantic meal with my husband. All was going swimmingly well, until a German couple imposed, and quite frankly, rained on our parade. Speaking in broken English, we had to endure the next three hours, lost in translation. Whilst my husband exchanged reassuring nods, I nodded off…
The German lady, was obviously quite a bit older than her boyfriend, who looked like the 7th member of Rammstein. She must have been drinking a can of ‘up-your-own-arse’ on a daily basis, the way she thought she was God’s gift to life itself. Her poor boyfriend, she kept on a leash, could barely get a word in. You could just hear him muttering “f***my life… f*** my life” in his dreary, monotone, giving-up-on-life, voice. Too beaten down to fight back.
So what do you do? The German lady asked. Uninterested in our answers, she interrupted “I’m on television”. All I could hear was … Me …. Me….. Me….. Me……and more-fricken-Me.
Enough was enough!
Not only was I losing the will to live, but I wanted to take this bitch down. As she continued to speak mostly about herself, I sat smiling to myself, fantasying about pouncing on her like a lion to its prey, ripping the nose-ring from out her nostrils and shoving it up her…..OKAY, I’m sorry, I got a bit carried away.
My husband being the gentleman he is, insisted we meet them the following night. My heart sunk. I didn’t think I could cope with another night, struggling to make out what these people were saying. So as we walked over to their holiday resort, I stopped abruptly. “I can’t do it” I sulked.“I just can’t do it” and with that, we walked back to our hotel room, my sanity still intact.
Lesson to be learned: Don’t rush into holiday friendships. If you give them an inch they’ll take a mile, and before you know it they’re inviting themselves back to your hotel room for friendly ‘drinks’- not only a passion killer but a recipe for disaster. There’s a song, and it goes ‘just say no’…
Rule Number Ten – Take an umbrella
And then the heavens opened up and it poured, and poured, and poured some more. In fact, it didn’t stop raining until we boarded the plane to go home when the sun ironically filled the sky. Three days spent in the confinement of our hotel room was enough to drive anyone to insanity. Not even the towel origami elephant could put a smile on face.
Lesson to be learned: don’t book your holiday during monsoon season. It might be a couple of hundred pounds cheaper, but isn’t the idea of going abroad, to catch a bit of sun? If the heavens open unexpectedly, make sure you come armed with a brolly and rain mac! Walking around in the pouring rain in nothing but a bikini and flip-flops, isn’t as fun as it looks!
Rule Number Eleven – never trust a tour guide
Before we went stir crazy, we decided to go on an excursion. Being the bargain-seekers we are, we decided to save ourselves some money and take an expedition with a local company instead. BIG MISTAKE. The crazy tour guide turned up half an hour late, in a barely illegal, white shuttle bus. We were the only English-speaking couple there. As we looked around, our fellow travellers looked just as petrified as us. As our eccentric tour guide took to the road, their fretfulness became clear. At one point, we almost fell off our seats. I quickly clipped my seatbelt into place and envisaged myself anywhere but ‘on that bus’. As we followed our pitiful excuse of a tour-guide, I began to question why we had paid him anything at all. It was evident that he didn’t know ‘what the dickens’ these landmarks were. If he got stuck, he’d just point and make some outlandish joke about killing his mother-in-law. “You think I’m joking” he’d laugh, wickedness filled his eyes.
Lesson to be learned: don’t be frugal when it comes to excursions. These expeditions make your holidaying experience. One dodgy tour guide, could ruin this in a shake of his dodgy auto-mobile! Dig a little deeper into those pockets and get the real deal.
Rule Number Twelve – Be careful what you eat
We nauseatingly climbed off the bus, to have a quick bite to eat. The run-down diner wasn’t my idea of alfresco eating. 24 hours later, we were taking it in turns to dispense, from both ends!
Lesson to be learned: if it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right. Avoid eating in unsanitary places. Unless you want a slice of ‘Delhi belly’, step away from the buffet counter! If there are flies hovering around your food, don’t put it anywhere near your mouth. You’ll be paying for it later when you’re wrapped around the toilet bowl.
Rule Number Thirteen – Prepare yourself for a culture shock
Our tour guide stopped off at a Mayan village. Amongst the mud huts, were these adorable children and a spider monkey, hunched over, looking sorry for itself. “Why does he look so sad” I said, inquisitively. “He be eaten soon” The tour-guide said. I laughed, thinking it was a joke…until I saw the shackles around its ankles. “I no joke”, the tour-guide said. A sadness brewing inside, as I longed to take him home (along with the children!).
Lesson to be learned: Make sure you are fully prepared before you embark on these culture-seeking adventures.
Rule Number Fourteen –Avoid any dodgy looking shops
Shopping in Mexico was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. We approached what looked like a thrift store, selling all sorts of holiday junk. As we closed the door behind us and begun to browse, the shop keeper slipped over the doorway and chained the door shut. Our eyes widened, and in a state of panic, we froze. You want to buy bracelet? The man asked, not taking no for an answer. Three bags full of Mexican Tat later, and we were released.
Lesson to be learned: If you don’t want to be ripped off, stay in the tourist areas only!
Rule Number Fifteen – Stay in the safe parts of your destination
As we walked the streets of downtown Mexico, we were greeted with a dodgy looking Mexican, with more gold teeth than a jackpot-hitting pirate. ‘Honeymooners!” He called, cheerfully. His eyes pointing in different directions. “You want some Charlie?!” we looked at each other, and then ran faster than we had ever run before!
Lesson to be learned: If it doesn’t look kosher, it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts. Unless you want to spend the next 10 years in a dodgy prison, stay clear of any drug dealers. They can smell foreign blood from a mile away, and will take advantage!
So, our honeymoon was far from the picturesque scenes we dreamed of. But for all its faults, it was an adventure. Besides the torrential rain, sunburn and dodgy tour guides, we had times of joy and tranquillity. We got to experience the closest thing to paradise, which was an island just off the coast of Mexico. It was on this secluded island when we had our first taste of honeymoon bliss. We sunbathed, snorkeled and swam with stingrays, and it was truly remarkable. Okay, so our honeymoon wasn’t all love and sweet haven, but it was an adventure… an adventure we will never forget!
Honeymoon Take Two, please?