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Who says your honeymoon needs to be all pool lounging and fruity cocktails? More and more newlyweds are opting to take a different approach when it comes to their honeymoon destinations — and we’ve got the real stories to prove it. From a week at baseball fantasy camp, to spending a year in the Peace Corps, and even a stint at a haunted hotel, these real couples’ wild honeymoon stories will inspire you to think outside the box when planning your post-wedding trip.
“We spent my honeymoon camping throughout New Zealand for 21 days and it was wild and crazy and wonderful all at the same time. Not many wives would choose to camp for their honeymoon — and far fewer would choose to camp in a camper van for the entirety of the honeymoon. But that’s what I did and I have no regrets. It was the best way to see the country and meet the locals and submerge ourselves in the Kiwi culture. We spent our days driving primarily, but when we’d arrive at each destination an adventure waited. One day we bungee jumped off of the oldest bridge, another day we rode at top speeds through river canyons in a jet boat, once we kayaked through fjords that were straight out of a movie, and yet another day we ended up walking/hiking nearly 20 miles! There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I was still on my wild and crazy honeymoon, exploring the vast New Zealand landscapes with my husband.” —Erica
“Bill and I met while doing volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina. When we decided to marry, we also made the decision as a honeymoon gift to ourselves to do something that was a childhood dream for both of us. After the ceremony we spent a weekend at a lush hotel, then packed up and joined the Peace Corps to spend a year working in a rural village of Ghana. Conditions were primitive but it was an amazing way to start our lives together. The memories of this special adventure bonded us forever.” —Amy
“My honey and I wanted something that taxed us mentally, physically and spiritually. So after we said ‘I do,’ we took off to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was arduous to get to the top, of course, but the views were the most breathtaking we will ever see!” —Tasha
“Phil and I met in law school and married spontaneously while in Vegas for a romantic weekend. Our timing sucked as we were both taking our boards the following week. So that was our honeymoon — cramming.” —Ruth
“Since we are both into ghosts it seemed appropriate to honeymoon at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. The place is haunted by a woman who arrived in 1892, never checked out, and is reputed to ‘haunt’ lovebirds. I did get a glimpse of a gorgeous young, mournful woman in the bathroom mirror — which was a total thrill.” —Cynthia
“Okay, we’re both Mickey Mouse geeks so we went to Disney World. It was Mark’s 30th time at the amusement park and my 18th! It never gets old: We recently spent our 5th anniversary back at Disney.” —Pam
“We were so drained from 18 months of wedding planning that our decision was to go nowhere and relax in our brand new home. It was even better because everyone thought we were off somewhere exotic so Dan and I spend 100% quality time together.” —Sue
“Since the two of us both love baseball, our honeymoon was at a week-long Mets Fantasy Camp where we could meet and be coached by former pros like Mookie Wilson. It was surreal and totally fulfilled our expectations. Play ball!” —Laura
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.