Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Canoe Trip for a Honeymoon?

Now that the wedding is over, it's time to literally
'paddle' out for our honeymoon!
Photo: Anice Wong

Anyone that has gotten married, knows how much work, both physically and mentally it takes for a wedding. Yes, there are exceptions, like going to a JP, or eloping in Vegas, but other than if you are super organized or rich enough to have someone else organize it for you, wedding preparations can take a lot out of you. Therefore, a honeymoon is especially deserving to the newly wed, especially if the wedding day was stressful too! But more important and exciting, a honeymoon is the opportunity to consummate the marriage in an ideal and stress free environment. For that reason alone, who wouldn't want a honeymoon?

I mentioned in the Year in Review post about our original plans to take a honeymoon canoe trip. Well as you all know, it didn't happen. Now coming from me, after having a canoe wedding, it would only make sense that I would follow through with a honeymoon canoe trip, right? Certainly, but like the wedding, it was only appropriate that I asked my soon-to-be-wife, what she had in mind. (I certainly wasn't going to suggest a honeymoon canoe trip, even though I was thinking it!) Unexpectedly, she really didn't care, as long as we got to spend time together. I couldn't resist, so I nonchalantly suggested my idea to her. Surprisingly, she was actually fine with it! In some sense, I was not totally caught off guard. We are neither the type that go to all inclusive resorts to sit and be waited on. Anita doesn't drink and I'm a cheap drunk, so the higher costs associated with these types of resort benefits would be wasted on us. Not only that, we had just bought a house and paid for a wedding, so our funds were pretty depleted. So considering everything, a canoe trip for a honeymoon was an easy decision. Except one big thing, it never happened.

Anita has already had many opportunities to canoe trip 
across Ontario; now it's time to take her on
 canoe trips across Canada!

Six months later, I still don't have a honeymoon story to share with those that ask about our post-wedding celebrations. Not that I feel pressured by anyone or my spouse, but I feel a sense of urgency to get the deed done. (Not to be confused, 'the deed' has been done. You didn't think I'd wait this long, did you?!) Anyhow, it feels like unfinished business, like something that just wouldn't sit right if I didn't do it. Maybe it's the expectation of societal norms, or maybe it's just another reason to go on a canoe trip (No kidding!), in any case, I am set on doing it. 

Anita and I have gone on roughly a dozen canoe trips together, so how would a 'honeymoon canoe trip' be different? That's where I come up with creative, or as Anita puts it, "crazy ideas". First of all, being a honeymoon, the canoe trip should be unique, right? Secondly, why should a honeymoon only happen once? Sure, for argument sake, it really can only happen once, (Unless of course you marry again.) but why have only one blissful opportunity with your partner? It's a wonderful time that I personally think should be cherished more often. I'm sure I have your curiosity now, but before I disclose the plan to you, here's some more information of where this idea came from. 

During the formative years before I got enraptured with canoeing, there were several prominent canoeist that inspired me. Gary and Joanie McGuffin were two of them. They not only inspired me with their incredible paddling exploits, articles, books, and photography, but their honeymoon as well. As you probably already guessed, yes, it was on a canoe trip, but theirs was across Canada! I was not only awed at the grandiose of the idea, but even more impressed that they fulfilled it. After reading their book, "Where Rivers Run" years ago, I fondly recall day-dreaming and wishing for both a life-long paddling partner and a honeymoon like theirs. 

If you don't know who the McGuffin's are, or have read
this book, it is definitely worthwhile
 checking out.

Fast forward many years, I have lived and breathed an amazing paddling lifestyle in many ways I've never expected. Sure, that wishful dream has not been fulfilled, but I am more than grateful for all that I've got to experience in the paddling world so far. At times, I (nor my mom) thought I would ever get married, but fate obviously didn't see it that way. I couldn't be luckier that I'm now married to a wonderful woman that also enjoys canoeing. I don't ever expect her to be as crazy and passionate about canoeing as I am, but thankfully, she's agreed to be a part of this almost-dream-come-true honeymoon. 

I'm sure most of you now have a vague idea of what I'm hinting at, so it's time to let the rabbit out of the hat. As much as I would have liked to fulfill the original dream, I had to make some changes in order for it to be feasible. Due to both our work requirements, it would be next to impossible to get that kind of time off for one long trip, so instead, the plan is to take several smaller ones. And instead of a trans-Canada paddle, our plan is to take a honeymoon canoe trip in each and every province and territory in Canada. Sure, it's not the same as the original dream, but it would still allow us to experience every part of our beautiful country in a canoe! 

Now that I've been given the green light for these multiple honeymoon canoe trips, there are several big questions to answer. First off, where? Well, that's the fun part. Anita and I will have to take the time to search out routes from maps, route books, the Internet and other paddling friends. I would think a route which would showcase the province/territory's landscape would be ideal. This will of course be ongoing, so there will be more posts to follow on this. The next big question is when. Well, I couldn't think of a better time then this year. I certainly don't want to delay the honeymoon any longer! One other thing, I had thought to put a timeline in for these honeymoon trips to help move things along, but there are too many variables in our lives that can change year to year that may make it difficult to adhere. So instead, I've decided to try and commit to taking at least one honeymoon canoe trip per year, if not more when possible. There are definitely other details and things to consider, but they will be sorted out later on. 

There are many paddling books that provide info on canoe
routes across our vast country. We just have to
figure out which ones to take!

Lastly, this is where my readers and followers can help us. My main audience are primarily from North America, so this can obviously be both very insightful and helpful. To help this process along, since corresponding on the blog can be challenging, I will soon be setting up,....surprise, surprise,...a Facebook account! I've never been much into social media, but I have to admit, it can be very useful in many situations such as this. It will also be easier to keep in touch with my audience and update everyone with the in's and out's of my tripping life that often don't make it on the blog. I won't be setting up under my name, but under "The Passionate Paddler", so please look out for me and help me get this ball rolling! It may also be a great way to meet up with some of my readers (who may or may not be paddlers) during our travels!

So that's it! It's a sealed deal. I'd imagine we are probably going to unofficially be taking the longest running honeymoon, but hey, I don't mind! If it takes me paddling around the country, I'm all for it! Wouldn't you? It's now time to figure out our first honeymoon canoe trip in my home province of Ontario. After that, it's time to venture out beyond these borders! 

 Cheers,
 The Paddling Honeymooners!

Anita and I anxiously looking forward to
our paddling honeymoon!

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