Traveler’s Joy was exactly what we were looking for during the wedding process. We wanted our guests to help us achieve an unforgettable honeymoon adventure that we would never forget. And thanks to Traveler's Joy and our friends and family, we soon discovered that it was not just a honeymoon but an adventure into the unknown.
It all started six years before I met my wife Yana. As a huge fan of travel and culture, I was watching a travel show and they were showcasing the island of Mauritius. I had been to some out-of-the-way places before and was interested in visiting more, but once I saw that show on Mauritius, I knew I had to go!
However, I couldn’t go just yet. For some reason I knew right then and there that I wanted to take my wife with me, once I would eventually meet her (of course).
Only about 85 miles across, Mauritius is a small island located about 1000 miles east of Africa and in the middle of the Indian Ocean. There is a lot of history to this island and carries a large French, Indian, and African influence. Today, the locals speak primarily French (and also creole among themselves). As I continued to travel to places with friends, Mauritius always stayed in my thoughts as I knew I would be there one day.
When it came time to plan our honeymoon adventure, the decision was easy since I had already mentioned my intentions several times at that point. Being the amazing wife that she is, Yana didn’t even think of taking this dream away from me, so the plan was set. Our only problem was figuring out how we could afford to go that far. In addition to having a nice wedding, we were on a budget.
So we soon did some research on the web and found this amazing website, Traveler’s Joy. I have to say that more than half of our guests expressed just how great of an idea it was to have them help for our honeymoon. It seemed as if they were much happier purchasing something more meaningful than say an ordinary household item, one we would MAYBE use in the future.
Being from Orlando, Florida, it took us about 20 hours to reach the island, and our plan was to stay for 20 days, stretched out from the initial 14 days since we were going so far and had to make it worth the travel!
Our plan was to just get there, relax a bit, have fun, and just do as we pleased. One of our main interests was to get to know some of the locals around us, learn a little, and live a lot. We had a few books featuring ideas of fun things to do, so we referenced those and planned about one day in advance for the activities we wanted to pursue.
I'm not about to give a detailed description about all 20 days we spent there, but here are some highlights:
With the 11-hour time difference, it took us three full days to finally wake up later than five in the morning.
Meanwhile, our favorite hangout spot was the Beach Lounge, a place were we could put our bare feet in the water and enjoy our favorite cocktails.
We got used to driving a tiny car, on the left side of the road, and shifting with the left hand.
Only once did we see fellow Americans. It turns out a lot of French and Russians go here. We met some great Russian neighbors and ended up having some good times with them.
Walking with lions and getting to pet them in a natural setting was truly unforgettable.
The offshore reef sitting about one mile out from the island was an amazing sight to see. Also, the mix of mountains, forests, and beaches on this small island is a bit of a wonder. Remarkable in every sense.
Sky diving with Sky Mauritius was our first jump ever. It was absolutely thrilling!
We got emotional saying goodbye to the small hotel staff. They were easily some of the nicest people we have ever met.
Finally, once we got back home, we thanked our guests by taking a picture and sending them a personal email. I highly recommend this, especially after we received terrific feedback from friends and family as they felt like their gift was truly appreciated!