Apart from the fact that I will be flying into Ghana and out with my grandfather’s clock ticking on my head because my wedding is sandwiched in between my Legal Practice Course examinations, my wife-to-be has not mentioned any honeymoon.
Of course, she knows I want us to go to Japan after our wedding—but it ought to be arranged at our convenience and when she is back to the United Kingdom. We wouldn’t call it a honeymoon because it’s not squeezed in the traditional perimeters of honeymoon, which mostly happens right after weddings, planned and packaged with the wedding.
This is a trip we would have taken this year, irrespective of the wedding. I’ve always wanted to see Tokyo and she loves the Japanese culture too.
Yesterday, a female friend asked where we will be having our honeymoon—and I asked, honey—what? The shock in her voice couldn’t be missed as she added, don’t tell me you are not going to take the Mrs on a honeymoon.
This kick-started a lengthy conversation about the essence of honeymoon, examined together with the general essence of our human existence.
I started by telling her that, when I was in Ghana in September, I took my girlfriend (now wife to be) to almost every place most Ghanaians consider as honeymoon destination in Ghana—MovenPick, Golden Tulip, Kempinski Hotel, Holy Trinity Spa and Health Farm, Elmina Beach Resort, Coconut Groove Resort and others.
And it was not a honeymoon, it was us living and building valuable experiences together.
It’s reasonable that after exhausting wedding activities, the couple would want to take a break to relax and revitalize. I am all for that and even more—that’s the couple can also take a trip to experience uncommon activities, such as visiting the Safari or something they wouldn’t normally do.
If honeymoon is understood as taking the challenge and building a new experience, unrelated to what we would normally do, then that’s perfectly fine. A road trip to Northern Ghana, somewhere like Bawku or Wa would have been a perfect choice of exciting experience for us if time was not of the essence, post the wedding.
However, what a lot of Ghanaians call honeymoon is to check-into Golden Tulip hotel or the Royal Senchi hotel for 3 days, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have s*x. That’s not just boring but pathetic, especially when you got married to someone you’ve obviously shared the sheet with, which is the norm of contemporary boyfriend-and girlfriend relationships.
Traditionally, honeymoons were taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in intimacy and seclusion. This was essential for newlyweds, because traditionally that was the period for them to s*xually knock each other over and spend time together in seclusion. Today, s*x even starts before most relationships.
It’s therefore no more necessary or does not amount to a new experience to dwell in the traditional honeymoon setting of locking yourself in a hotel room for days, purposely for intimacy and seclusion, something you probably have done throughout your relationship.
Traditional honeymoon captured the zeitgeist of the era before enlightenment, perhaps even way before that, and I therefore find it uninteresting to tow the same line today as most Ghanaians do.
Today, a honeymoon should be activity packed—climbing a mountain, running around at a Safari, visiting a place you wouldn’t normally visit and doing things that the memory wouldn’t ever diminish in value. Sincerely, I don’t think eating English breakfast at any restaurant or hotel in the world at this stage of my life would have the requisite value, except if the restaurant is built under the sea by Vikings.
I think human beings should aspire to have new valuable experiences all the time and couples should work on sharing such experiences together throughout their lives. If you do something on a regular basis, repeating that after a wedding is not the essence of honeymoon—that may be a vacation, but would still lack the spirit of honeymoon.
Perhaps I should add that, I also find it extensively worrying when couples in Ghana take a single trip after marriage they called honeymoon and never ever take a vacation together again, until it’s over for them.
The last time I was in Ghana, Busia Beach resort in Takoradi was on our list of places to spend a night or two but we couldn’t make it because of time, we may make that trip if we find time within my limited stay after the wedding. But that’s not a honeymoon, it’s something we would have also done, irrespective of the preceding event.
My wife-to-be wouldn’t get any honeymoon in the traditional Ghanaian sense, but she has had a lot of experiences which qualify to fit into the honeymoon pot—and for the rest of her life, she will have wonderful modern ‘honeymoon’ experiences including a travel around the whole world within a year, sometime soon.
And the reason why I believe she has not mentioned honeymoon anywhere is that she knows from post wedding experiences that, her entire life will always be full of new experiences and travels, because we both love to travel and we both understand the value of unending new experiences.
What most Ghanaians consider honeymoon ought to be scrapped; it’s still implemented around the traditional concept which has lost its relevance when evaluated alongside our way of relationship and life.
One of my mates from Law School’s honeymoon was to the Amazon forest and she says, the experience was priceless—that’s what I call a honeymoon befitting our time.