Honeymooning on the Amalfi Coast

Sam and I closed our honeymoon out with 4 days in Positano. We went in October (considered shoulder season) and I’m glad we did. Positano wasn’t too crowded, and it still got hot-hot in the afternoons, enough to warrant a dip in the cold ocean water a few times.

I’ve tried to write about our overall experience on the Amalfi coast multiple times but I’ve always scrapped my drafts. Our time here was incredible and transformative and I refer to it or at least think back on it frequently. But it’s been hard to capture. To be crude about it: Positano is exactly what you’d expect – book your tickets now. You’re gonna love it. Stay at the Florida Residence.

Our journey to Positano was a long one. We flew, early in the morning, from Venice – where we took a water taxi to the airport – to Naples. From Naples we took a ferry to Sorrento, and from Sorrento we took a ferry to Positano. Don’t get me wrong – the journey is more important than the destination and all (and anyway, the worst day in Italy is still a day in Italy) – but I’m painting the picture here. Two exhausted backpackers, hot in the summer sun on the Amalfi coast. Lugging along their a week’s worth of travel on their backs (including a beautiful piece of art we purchased in Santorini – but more on that later), climbing the narrow, windy streets in Positano. We arrived at our hotel tired, sweaty, and ready for a drink.

From The Vagabun Travel Guide “Our Favorite Hotel in Positano Italy”

After our inaugural sip of Limoncello, served to us freely upon arrival at our hotel, we headed to our hotel room. Inside we were greeted by a bed of rose petals and a view of Positano we could only dream of. That night we picked up dinner to eat on our balcony and went to bed anticipating the adventures to come.

The next two days we spent exploring the two small, rocky beaches accessible by foot, as well as the beautiful, windy boulevard leading up from the beach to our hotel lined with shops, restaurants, cafes and beautiful residential (probably Airbnb’s now) properties. We took a ferry to see Amalfi, the town, and spent about an hour there. Looking back, I wish we would’ve explored it more. But at the time, we were weighing the beauty of Amalfi against Positano and quickly agreed to get back to our little spot on the coast. We also took a ferry to Capri, where we spent a bit more time hiking up to their hilltop town (which was beautiful) and swam in the ocean there. The water was clear and blue and almost warm. We grabbed some lunch before leaving and it seemed to us Capri was just waking up with party-peeps and backpackers as were we docking our ferry back to Positano.

That third day in Positano, as we tried to capture the beauty of the town, we hit a slump. We had been feeling it since our wedding day – and again at times during beautiful moments in Venice and Santorini.
There had been something keeping Sam and I on edge. Going and going and going and now, finally, we had time to unwind and reflect.

At the time we didn’t really know what was bothering us – and just feeling the bubbled up emotions can lead to fights.

Our wedding didn’t go the way we expected. I don’t know if anyone’s ever does, truly – but the cozy, close-knit elopement we had planned turned into an awkward get together of people we hadn’t seen in too long. Wind and cloudy skies didn’t help with that. In Santorini we realized we never packed the right stuff in our two tiny backpacks – Sam didn’t have a dress and I didn’t have slacks. We never went out on any fancy dates. We kept not getting any pictures right in Venice, and that got frustrating for us. And Positano it kind of hit us all at once, and we knew we had to figure some stuff out. I remember sitting at the edge of the water, discussing what we wished was different. At the time we didn’t really know what was bothering us – and just feeling the bubbled up emotions can lead to fights.

The key is in the detail.

I always start off by advising people to listen. But listening is a passive behavior and it can be hard to do right. So instead, focus on finding the detail. We have a system of broadening scope before narrowing in on the details. Through that we were able to discover what exactly was bothering us – something as simple as nailing pictures and packing the right clothes was impacting us because it was this vague, growing frustration.

Now that it was clear and detailed, we knew what to work on.

Our last day in Positano, we not only practiced our dream pose we wanted to capture on the beach, we also decided to spend the money we were trying not to spend to have a reserved spot on the beach, lounged about drinking limoncello and swimming in the ocean, and felt close and truly happy.

Moments like these are pivotal for me. They help me explore a more intimate side of Sam that I wouldn’t be able to reach if we hadn’t explored the “negative” emotions. I get to hear about dreams and desires she wouldn’t normally think to share with me – or maybe would even feel bashful to share with me, worried that she might sound needy or random. Same goes for me. Sometimes I don’t realize I’ve been getting irritated until Sam stops me and asks me about it. And then we don’t drop it till I reflect on it all.

Don’t be scared of the “bad” feelings. They are so important and help you grow so close. It was important for me to blog about this – especially for our honeymoon wrap up post, to be transparent and hopefully offer some insight to any other newlyweds!

Where did you go for your honeymoon? Were there any frustrations that came up? We’d love to hear from others and how you overcome challenges with your partner!

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