How do your values influence your honeymoon or destination wedding choices? #Honeymoons#fiji#honeymoon November 15 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatbride With Megan in Fiji this week, the time is perfect to discuss honeymoon destinations — specifically, how your ethics and values might play into the decision of where to go. Fiji is a destination with some challenging political issues, and it's in good company when it comes to tourist destinations with sticky ethical challenges for visitors. Do you want to go to Mexico, knowing that your tourism dollars are going into a war zone controlled by the drug cartels? (Then again, are you punishing the local economy for the drug lord's crimes? Do sanctions work?) Do you travel to gorgeous Vietnam, with its child labor issues? What about lovely Thailand, and its sex trade? Irie Jamaica, with its homophobia? Maybe you go to colorful India, choosing to overlook its child beggers. You have to wonder if, during the Bush years, there were Europeans who opted against honeymooning in the United States. The mind boggles with the issues: does going on a cruise or staying at an all-inclusive resort even count as travel? Is all travel inherently wasteful? Should you just stay home? As with many wedding decisions, where you go for your honeymoon boils down to a question of your personal priorities and values. For my honeymoon, I wanted a balance of international travel and cost … and so we went to the destinations (France and Spain) where we could couchsurf. We flew there (ignoring our carbon footprint) because we prioritized low-budged cultural exchange over our environmental concerns. We compromised. For you, your priority might be on eco-tourism, so you head to a destination where you can make a low impact while learning about a lush local ecology. You might be super green and feel like flying anywhere is too wasteful, and so you and your parter plan a staycation where you bike between local wineries and lakeside towns. Your priority might be finally getting to explore a culture you've been curious about for years, whether it's Argentina or Portugal or Indonesia. Then again, you might be a Type-A control freak who DIYed every single fucking thing for the wedding and for just once, for this one time, you want to take it easy. So you go for an all-inclusive package at a place where your only concerns are whether you want to have your froofy cocktail at the swim-up pool bar or on the beach. Sanity might be your priority. I totally respect that. These priorities can get extra sticky when you have competing values — trying to balance your politics with your budget; your ethics with your need for relaxation; your dreams with our world's realities. Do you compromise a bit on your budget for the international destination you've been dreaming of? Do you compromise your environmental concerns to get in the cultural exchange you're craving? Only you can know which compromises feel right for you. (Balancing these competing values totally went into the decision to accept the Fiji trip. We totally respect that some of you might've made a different decision based on your personal values, and that's awesome.) Rick Steves has a great perspective on balancing your values when selecting travel destinations, as excerpted from his book Travel As A Political Act: Related Post Wedding and honeymoon tips from Fiji I recently traveled to Fiji to see what I could learn about wedding and honeymoon travel over there. I wrote a post about gay travel... Read more I didn't go to Iran as a businessman or as a politician. I went as what I am — a travel writer. I went for the same reasons I travel anywhere: to get out of my own culture and learn, to go to a scary place and find it's not so scary, and to bring distant places to people who've yet to go there. To me, understanding people and their lives is what travel is about, no matter where you go. I have long held that travel can be a powerful force for peace. Travel promotes understanding at the expense of fear. And understanding bridges conflicts between nations. Read the full excerpt Only you know your values, and so only you can know what your specific priorities will be. We support our readers having a range of values and priorities, and totally respect everyone's ability to make their own decisions accordingly. So, now I'm curious: how do your values play into YOUR honeymoon travel decisions? What are your personal priorities? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS Kaci & Roy's vintage Victorian junkyard wedding bash NEXT Monday Montage: feathers, wings and a hoopin’ Mother of the Bride Show/Hide comments [ 82 ] It became fairly easy for my husband and i to decide on where to go for our honeymoon. His mom had given us a week's stay a Hilton as a weeding gift because she's a member of their time-share program (i previously had no idea they had a time-share program). She lives in Costa Rica which made our decision to get married in Costa Rica something of a no-brainer because we wanted a small, memorable wedding and getting married on the beach seemed perfect. So, we were married and honey-mooned at the same resort. I also liked that Costa Rica doesn't maintain an army, a third of their GNP is from tourism, and that they have the highest literacy rate in Latin America (becuase they spend their money on education rather than military). I wanted our wedding and honey-moon to be easy and relaxing. I felt "guilty" about doing so much flying but i just had to suspend those concerns, relax, and enjoy myself. 1 agrees Reply To be honest, I wouldn't/don't feel guilty about staying at say a Sandals or a resort while locals may be living in shacks only a few miles away. I live in NYC so how would that be any different than me buying a $10 sandwich for lunch while there's a homeless guy standing outside the shop? Helping the industry of that area would probably be more beneficial than dropping a quarter in someones cup. Reply We're planning on driving up to the Canadian Rockies for a week or two. My fiance has great memories of family vacations there, and wants to show me what it's all about. 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