Winners Revealed for Wanderable’s 2018 Honeymoon Story Contest

Congratulations to Claudia and Mitch, winners of the 2018 Wanderable Honeymoon Story Contest! The newlyweds, who recently traveled to Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia for their getaway, have won $500 towards a first anniversary trip.

We’d like to say thanks to all the newlyweds who shared their incredible honeymoon stories! Stay tuned to Wanderable’s Honeymoon Blog and our Instagram page (@wanderable) as we’ll reveal the Top 5 finalists in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, read below for a few highlights from their honeymoon story along with a link to their honeymoon registry.

“Sometimes you just have to drop everything and go, and what better time to go than when you’re young and in love? Claudia and I were married on December 29th, 2017, and, thanks to Wanderable and our closest friends and family, we embarked on a two-month, three-country honeymoon on January 2nd.

We chose Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia because 1) we are both Spanish speakers, 2) we wanted less tourist, trendy destinations where we could be more active, and 3) we can’t visit Claudia’s home country of Venezuela due to current political issues. Below are the top things we learned.

You’re married, now; there’s no excuse to be shy.

When you’re traveling in the developing world and trying to be adventurous, you tend to do things (and eat things) that can get you into trouble. In Lima, we tried a 17-course tasting menu at a restaurant called Central and stayed in an Airbnb with a shared bathroom; we ate piranhas, octopi, and sea foam, among other things. Lima is the best place to eat on the continent, but it’s not the best place to go to the bathroom, especially not in an emergency situation. That’s when you get over your squeamishness with your spouse and some of their most unpleasant bodily functions. You have to. You’ve entered into the sacred bond of holy matrimony in sickness and in health, and if you’re not down with the sickness, you get over it real quick. I’ll never forget the look on my wife’s face when I got into our tent after a long day of hiking on the Inca Trail. All she said was “You smell,” but her face said, “I am MARRIED to that smell?” That was early on in the trip. We got used to it all by the end, and that’s love, I tell you.

 

Saving and budgeting are easy even though currency math is hard.

Between Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia over the course of two months, we had budgeted about $6,000, or $3,000 per person. We took more buses than planes and stayed in Airbnb’s wherever possible. Each country has it’s own currency, however, and each currency has it’s own conversion rate.

In Peru that rate is about 3 soles to a dollar. Bolivia’s boliviano is about 13 to one, and Colombia’s peso is a whopping 2800 to one. Math has never been my strong suit, and I was constantly overreacting to restaurant menus in Colombia — “They’re charging WHAT?” Oh wait…that’s reasonable.” Luckily Claudia was there to correct me. I’m very glad to be back in the United States where there’s much less math to do.

Altitude sickness is real, and it is NOT spectacular.

We spent much of our trip in the Andean highlands of Peru and Bolivia. After departing Lima for Cusco on January 7th, we were at least one mile above sea level until we arrived in Medellín on February 1st. That included, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and cities on both sides of the Peru-Bolivia border, and La Paz and other cities in Bolivia. We got very familiar with altitude sickness and its symptoms. Those include shortness of breath, headaches, nausea and exhaustion. You react to it like this:

– “This isn’t so bad. I’m a little short of breath, but I’m ok. Oh wait…I’m still sitting on the plane, and I haven’t tried to do anything.”

– “Holy crap I took three steps and I’m panting.”

– “How can I possibly grab a bag AND walk with it??”

– “I’m going to need a lot of breaks.”

– “The breaks aren’t working.”

– “Maybe eating will help. Maybe I’ll throw up.”

– “I threw up.”

– “Give me allllll the coca leaf tea, please.”

– “Now I feel good enough to nap! And oh my goodness do I ever need a nap.”

– “We’ve literally been here less than an hour.”

Eventually after a nap, you do feel better. You’re body adjusts. We got to the point where we were able to complete the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and we were the fittest couple in our group (not so humble brag). When we finally got back down to sea level, we were ready to run a marathon (just kidding).”

 

Stay tuned as we’ll be posting Mitch & Claudia’s entire honeymoon story in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, be sure to check out their spectacular honeymoon registry page.

 

In case you missed it:

Wanderable Real Honeymoon Registries: Best of Asia

The Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations for Wine Lovers

Wanderable’s Favorite Local Flavors

One of our favorite parts of traveling is eating the local cuisine, and from what we can tell most Wanderable users agree. Food can inspire travel (we have a friend who went on a 10 week trip to Asia after reading an article in the New York Times about Malaysian cuisine), can help us better understand a culture, and can remind us of places we’ve visited. Here are some of our favorite dishes from some of our favorite places to travel.

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Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica.  This Costa Rican mix of rice and beans is a breakfast mainstay in the land of pura vida. We love it most with salsa Linzano, a side of sweet plantains and a bit of natilla (sour cream).

Frites, Belgium. According to some Belgium is the real home of pommes frites or french fries.  We don’t mind where they’re from, as long as we have an excuse to eat them. Belgians eat their frites from paper cones with a side of mayonnaise.

Steak with Chimmichurri, Argentina. The steak from Argentina might be some of the best in the world. And when paired with the herbaceous, garlicy, chimmichurri and a full bodied Malbec, you have a memorable feast.

Phad Thai, Thailand. No matter how many times we ate it, we couldn’t get enough of this Thai classic. We ate it from streets stands off of Koh San Road, at beach stalls in Koh Samui, and up north in Chiang Mai, where we learned to make it at cooking school. We like it phet phet, spicy with lots of dried chile.

Ceviche, Peru. One of the highlights of Peru’s culinary scene is its ceviche. We love the scene at Lima’s cevecherias on Sundays, where everyone is recovering from their Saturday nights over ceviche and beer. Sea food may seem like a bad idea after a hangover but thousands of Peruvians can’t be wrong.

Croque Monsieur, France. We won’t lie, we love a grilled cheese, and the French do them devilishly well.  Combined with a gorgeous green salad and a cheeky glass of wine, this is one of our favorite things to order while eating lunch at a Parisian street-side cafe.
What meals are you looking forward to on your honeymoon?