My husband and I traveled to Thailand for our honeymoon in February 2023. I took about 3 weeks off for the trip to give me a couple days on each end, a few days for travel, and a total of 11 days in Thailand. TLDR: it was AMAZING. It truly was a break from our day to day life and felt like a magical, once-in-a-lifetime trip. While I hope that international trips are a regular part of our life together, we knew that it was important to take a trip together now, while our main focus is each other and not on kids and a lot of other commitments.
When my husband and I got engaged, we knew we wanted to have a honeymoon that would allow us to go somewhere new and, living in the Pacific Northwest, somewhere warm. We ultimately settled on honeymooning in Thailand because his company was super generous to gift us with tickets to fly to our honeymoon destination, and the rest of the cost of the trip would be substantially cheaper than staying in one of our other destination choices like Mexico, Jamaica, or Greece (I know those are all vastly different locales, but we were really looking to go anywhere!). Once you get past the cost of the plane ticket, the rest of the trip is actually very affordable.
Little did I know, honeymooning in Thailand would also greatly benefit my business.
If we’re being really real, running a business is a never-ending cycle of burnout, recharge, and growth time. I’ve been running my business full-time for over 2 years, and I’ve realized that it’s a cycle of working very hard on client projects, then needing to take some time to rest so that I can bring my best to more client projects and my own marketing. Deciding to go on a honeymoon was default for me (it wasn’t something we were going to skip), but it also ended up being so necessary for my business.
I read a long time ago that the amount of time you actually need to recharge from work is about 2 weeks. For people in 9-5 jobs, that can be really hard to fit in. When I was working for agencies, we got a max of 2-3 weeks off per year, so taking a 3 week vacation wasn’t in the cards. Ever since reading that fact, I was wanting to find a way to give myself a break like that at least once a year.
During a vacation or even a staycation, we can find time to partake in activities that help us relax and rejuvenate, like spending time outside, reading a book, or simply lying on a beach or next to a pool. I got to enjoy all of that in Thailand. How amazing is it to actually just sit and read a book in the sun?? Whether in Thailand or in the grass outside my apartment building, this is one of my favorite things in the world and is something I should actually be doing at least every week.
Originally, I set out on this personal goal to take something creative back for my business. While I kind of did, giving myself a mental break was truly the biggest win. My coach, Michelle Braswell, reminded me to take this time as a break and to not be so preoccupied by brainstorming business ideas. I really took her advice to heart, focusing on ways to feel better as a person first, business owner second. By focusing on my own needs and prioritizing self-care, I was able to have a positive impact on my mental health, which benefits my business.
Before I took this trip, I was terrified that my business was going to sink as a result. Any business friend or coach that I talked with before my trip knew this, because it was something that I shared often. I was so worried that by not being there for my business on a daily basis. I felt like I would lose the progress I’d made and burn through my savings when we returned. There was basically a lot happening with my scarcity mindset. In reality, February (the month I took mostly off for our honeymoon) ended up being one of my highest income months to date.
I can share insights into what I did to prepare for the trip in a later blog, but I basically did a lot of prep work and communication to ensure that things would go smoothly while I was gone, had some support from an operations manager, and saw my business flourish when I returned.
Being able to experience this lesson showed me that it’s okay to take time off, and my business won’t suffer because I choose to take a break. We have more travel planned for this year, and I plan to make it a regular part of my life and business.
Having a honeymoon in Thailand actually inspired my creative work. We got to check out art and design at the Phuket night market. In addition, the vibrant culture, landscapes, and unique architecture reminded me that there’s a big, beautiful world of creativity out there. I tried to pay attention to patterns and colors, getting inspiration for future creations. I tended to notice and take pictures of the graphic design and marketing around Phuket when we were in the city.
Mostly, though, I relaxed, which was what ended up being most beneficial to my work. I found myself taking countless photos and videos that will serve as amazing content for months to come. While this might feel like work to some, photography is one of my favorite things, so this was part of the vacation!
Honeymooning in Thailand allowed us an opportunity to disconnect from the daily grind and reset our minds and schedules. Along with that, we were able to have a new adventure to put in our memory book. It’s not always the easiest to connect with each other in our day-to-day lives (it’s something we’re always working to improve!). Getting away allowed us to enjoy even the smallest things together, like breakfast, many Rummy games, and discovering new plants.
Many of the clients I work with are in the hospitality, events, and travel industries. Staying at a resort helped me to learn and notice things about what people expect from these types of services. I was also able to better understand my travel agents’ businesses through planning travel ourselves. Plus, visiting such a romantic and adventurous location has given me so many fun stories to share and connect with people who love travel just as much as I do.
We met so many lovely humans on our honeymoon, and I talked about my business with several of them. While the trip wasn’t networking, it was an opportunity to learn more about what others do and share some information about what I do.
I was also reminded of how large the world is and how insignificant each of us is. I realize that sounds super negative, but to me that’s a positive. My problems are not so significant that other people haven’t experienced them, and there are people who are always struggling with more. I have the privilege to be able to run a business from home, and to be able to use some of my money to travel the world. That’s a rarity for many. Practicing gratitude each day on our trip, and experiencing this unique experience at the same time, helped me with my mindset. I took a step back and remembered that experiences like this matter so much more to me than the day-to-day stressors of the world.
This is truly the biggest one for me. When we got back, and I could feel the post-vacation blues settling in, I actually asked Shane “how do I get back into work when traveling felt like so much more fun?” The reality is, I really love what I do, but turns out I really, really love going on vacations more haha. But who doesn’t? He responded that I just need to remember what I love about it, and use the next trip as motivation to work hard. It was a time for me to remember that there are seasons to everything – seasons to work hard, seasons to explore, and seasons to recharge.
For a while, I felt guilty that my “why” in my business was to be able to enjoy time off. I love servicing my clients and helping their businesses grow, and I felt like that should be my only motivator. Over time, though, I’ve realized that it’s okay to have multiple “why”s as an entrepreneur. Yes, I love branding and website design. And, I love my clients and their businesses. But, I also love work/life balance and enjoying travel.
Travel is one of my favorite things to spend money on, more than nice cards, clothes, or restaurants. So when I work hard and save money, it’s at least partly so that I can explore a new country someday. And that’s more than okay.
If you’re interested in honeymooning in Thailand, feel free to reach out to me and ask me anything. I can share tips on how I prepped for the jet lag, how we got around, and more details on what we did for fun.
Phuket, and Thailand as a whole, is known for stunning, warm beaches with clear waters, white sand, and breathtaking views. Thailand is perfect for couples who want to relax at a tropical destination, but also experience culture, city life, and adventure.
At least for Americans, Thailand is such an underrated location to have a honeymoon. We only knew a couple people who had been to Thailand before, so it was hard to find people who could share advice! Yes, the flight is incredibly long and we were so exhausted from the travel, but it was an experience that I’d repeat in a heartbeat. Our outlook was that we can make it to destinations like Mexico and Costa Rica when we’re older. But Thailand would be somewhere best to travel while we’re young.
We only met a few Americans during our time in Thailand, and it was actually really refreshing. It was so refreshing to not hear English everywhere we went. We felt outside our element, which was a nice change of pace.
Phuket offers a wide range of luxury resorts and villas suited for travelers of any type. We met all kinds of groups during our trip, from friends groups to families to other honeymooners or anniversary trippers. The luxury resorts and villas are extremely affordable when you compare them to U.S. prices, or even Mexico or Jamaica prices. The resorts also cater to each traveler’s needs, providing privacy, comfort, and romance at any level that you prefer. We enjoyed couples massages, a private pool outside our villa, and a romantic 7-course dinner on the beach.
Thai cuisine is famous for its bold flavors and unique combinations of ingredients, and there is really so much variety. While staying in Phuket, we enjoyed everything from rice and noodles to crab, fish, calamari, chicken, and more. Phuket has a diverse range of restaurants for pretty much any price point. And the huge thing we discovered: the food is incredibly affordable compared to other parts of the world. We had lunch in a touristy area one day and spent $16 total for two teas, fried rice, calamari, spring rolls, and the tip.
If you’re looking for adventure, honeymooning in Thailand has so much to offer. From snorkeling and scuba diving to meeting elephants and monkeys, and going on bike rides, there’s something for everyone. I’m a water person and my husband is slowly warming to it, so we spent a lot of time around the water. Most of the tours we booked were related to water in some way. We also were able to meet and feed elephants on our ethical elephant sanctuary visit. At the resort itself, there was paddle boarding, surfing, bicycling, swimming, and a water slide available.
The blogs that you might have read about Thai people being friendly was completely accurate in our experience. We had some really great conversations with Thai people throughout the trip.. In addition, we met so many friendly tourists – from the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, and more. I am so grateful for the relationships we formed on this trip. We even get to stay in touch with a few people over Facebook!
Phuket is home to a rich cultural heritage that can be seen in its temples, night markets, shops, and festivals. It felt like a great place to enjoy the cultural heritage while also feeling approachable and easy to get around. If we had wanted to, we could have gotten blessed by a Buddhist monk at Big Buddha. We got to explore shops and local restaurants and get a foot massage in the back of a shop. Plus, there were so many more opportunities that we just didn’t have the time to partake in.
I am so grateful for the inspiration that my honeymoon provided and the impact it has had on my business. It inspired me to make travel a regular part of life and come back to my why when I feel burnt out. Our honeymoon, while healthy for my relationship and myself, also serves as a constant reminder to seek out new experiences. It reminds me to prioritize experiences over things, and look for inspiration in unexpected places.
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