Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Our big gay honeymoon!

The thing is we don't want a gay honeymoon at all, we want a honeymoon. Just like we want a wedding, not a gay wedding. We don't want to be treated differently because we are a gay couple on honeymoon, we just want to be treated exactly the same as any other honeymooning couple. And that is why initially we struggled to find a place that we really wanted to go to. I wanted to talk about the places we looked into, and the place we have decided to go to, to shed a bit of light for other couples who might be considering these places too.

The reason for writing about this today is because..... This morning we received confirmation that our booking is complete. We have a honeymoon!! So excited!

So in the initial 'let's just talk about our ideas' stage of planning, we both had a few ideas of where we'd love to go. We both were fairly matched on the idea of wanting to be somewhere hot, sunny, beautiful, luxurious, romantic, and doesn't cost the entire earth, but a bit of money is OK. And from here we drew up a shortlist;

Sri Lanka
This beautiful island offers a perfect mix of white sandy beaches on which to lie and do nothing at all, and plenty of culture and history to keep us entertained. We discussed going somewhere that had a happy mix of the two; although we wanted our honeymoon to be the perfect escape in a heavenly place, we also want to go somewhere where we have something to learn, and an interesting new culture to explore. The buddhist ideology of the inhabitants of the island means homosexuality is tolerated and accepted. Although it is illegal under the 'Act of Gross Indecency', there has never been a case of anyone being punished due to their sexuality, and travel agents who specialise is gay holidays are very happy for their clients to travel there. So far so good....
So then we considered the weather at the time of year we are travelling, July. And it turns out July is smack bang in the middle of the monsoon season for Sri Lanka, and much of the indian ocean (who knew?!). Which means that persistent, heavy rainfall can be expected on much of the island. They suggest the best time to go is December. Well we didn't want to delay our honeymoon for five months to be able to go there, so that put it out of the running for us. But has definitely made it on to the 'Places we will visit in our lifetime' list!
Sri Lanka - not for our honeymoon but definitely a future holiday


New Zealand
We considered New Zealand simply for it being a once in a lifetime trip, one that we have always wanted to take. This kind of honeymoon would be quite different, no long hours filled lying on a white sandy beach followed by a massage in a spa, this honeymoon would involve us packing our suitcases into a camper van and exploring the islands together. As romantic as it would be driving on the open road with just each other for company, New Zealand didn't fit into what we wanted from our honeymoon. It doesn't help that our summer is their winter (gah!) either, so it'd be rather cold!

Again, this is definitely a future holiday plan!
We have, however, decided that we will travel to New Zealand at some point between being married and embarking on the great IVF journey, as its somewhere we want to go to just the two of us, while children are just a little twinkle in the clinic's eye! They are also well known for being gay friendly, brilliant bonus for us in our eyes.

Maldives / Seychelles
I have lumped these two together as they are very similar in terms of proximity, culture, weather and gay tolerance. So, for many people these two sets of islands are the honeymooners paradise, the long exotic white sandy beaches, the attention to luxurious detail, the remote nature of the huts overlooking crystal clear water, everything seems to be the epitome of heaven. However, for a gay couple looking to enjoy a relaxing and carefree honeymoon, the reality might be quite different, because homosexuality is illegal in both countries, as both are Muslim countries, and both countries punish by long term jail sentences. The widespread advice from travel agents who deal largely with gay couples, is to travel there if you want to, but don't book a double room, and when asked, say you are sisters or friends. Well that sounds like an idyllic honeymoon for us....not! If we were going on any other holiday, we both agreed we could put up with not holding hands / sharing the odd kiss / sitting a little too close to each other for the duration, but not for our honeymoon. We want to be free to demonstrate our adoration for each other and not be punished because of it, this is our honeymoon after all. I don't see why we would like to go and spend our well earned money helping out the tourist economy in a country who despise us because of who we love. So I don't think we will travel there, even on holiday, until they can accept us for the couple we are.
Just to add to the reasons we don't want to go there, July - September is their monsoon season, much of the islands are closed down to prevent damage to fragile structures until the bad weather passes!

Maldives - beautiful, but not for us
USA
There are so many places in the USA we really would love to visit, for this reason I have put them all under one heading. For many, many years S has wanted to visit New Orleans and bits of the South. We both really want to go to Las Vegas and I (L) have bits of family who live in California so have wanted to visit them for a while, and see the amazing sights that CA has to offer. For this reason this kind of honeymoon would again be a travelling one...we'd hire a car and travel our way across the United States, beginning in New Orleans and ending in San Francisco, or something along these lines. Again, this type of honeymoon doesn't fit in with our ideal of complete paradise that we really long for for our honeymoon. As amazing as it would be to travel the breadth of a continent together, this trip will be saved for either pre-children (time and money permitting!) or post-chldren with them joining us too.

Mexico
Mexico has never really been somewhere either of us have dreamed of going to. I think we both considered it to be more of an any time holiday destination than a honeymoon. How wrong could we be?! The hotels offer all inclusive, luxurious heaven. Unspoilt white sandy beaches, glorious weather, crystal clear water, and by all accounts (hours spent on trip advisor!!), unrivalled service. It also has the huge advantage of being very gay friendly. Our thoughts on going to Mexico were very much strengthened by reading and hearing about Laura and Laura's honeymoon (on their blog Becoming Mums and then meeting them in person!), who said 'nobody batted an eyelid' and 'they were treated like any other couple'. Sounds pretty perfect to us! We want to be able to wander the beach hand in hand, we want to receive a honeymoon package because it is recognised that we are on our honeymoon too, we want to be able to share a kiss by the pool without worrying about who is watching or what will happen to us if we do. There is enough culture and history in the country to ensure we have plenty of places to visit and sights to see, but mainly we will spend the two weeks relaxing, reading, sipping cocktails and having a very romantic time together. Perfect!

Final choice - Mexico
So, once you have decided which country you wish to visit, next comes choosing the hotel. This was the difficult bit for us - they all look the same! But having spent months considering various different hotels, hearing other people's experiences, reading reviews on trip advisor and looking through many google image pictures, we finally decided on the one. It's adult's only (we don't wish to be disturbed by noisy children's clubs), on the beach, all inclusive, with beautiful views of the ocean and amazing reports of the service offered. Who could say no?!

4 comments:

  1. Your honeymoon sounds so perfectly idyllic, so jealous! I'm also so glad to have read what you've heard about the Maldives... I've wanted to go for ages but I'm really not comfortable travelling to a country where homosexuality is so unaccepted. It's why Dubai is off my list too! Greece and Australia are wish list destinations, and planning fire New York at Christmas too!

    Carley xx

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  2. Good article ladies. It really is an issue these days - sad but true. I always have to question where we travel as it's not relaxing having to pretend we aren't a couple. I'm glad you found somewhere beautiful you are happy with.

    Susie x

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  3. Yay for picking your honeymoon spot! It definitely does put a damper on things when we have to look into it SO MUCH. However, it will be well worth it. We did the same but are staying in California. We chose Northern CA to get out of the Southern part in which we live in. The hotel we chose came from a gay friendly site that recommends such places. I think it would be awful to arrive on your honeymoon and have to deal with discrimination. Congratulations for picking your destination! Sounds wonderful!

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  4. Your honeymoon spot sounds wonderful! We were the same way... we didn't want a gay wedding or a gay honeymoon... we just wanted a wedding and a honeymoon. You girls are going to have a beautiful wedding and a fabulous time at your destination! Hopefully, when you come to the USA, we'll be in the West Coast as well! xox

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