Nisha and Snehal – Alaska, USA
Snehal and Nisha's honeymoon in Alaska - with its extreme weather, exciting terrains and enchanting experiences – inspired them to start a lifestyle blog
Nisha and Snehal were in a long-distance relationship for around five years before they tied the knot. She shares, “We dated long-distance for five years and have been married for almost a year now. Our journey to Alaska was probably our longest time spent together! It was a memorable experience which gave us much needed time together – in some ways our honeymoon was a true test of our relationship.”
The couple chose Alaska over the usual beach resorts and buzzing cities as their honeymoon destination. “It all started with a random chats on the phone when we were discussing destination options for our honeymoon. Snehal is an avid follower of the Discovery Channel show ‘Alaskan Bush People’ and was fascinated with people living in off-the-grid communities such as those in Alaska. Sensing his keen interest in that icy state, I looked up images of the Alaskan wilderness online, and we were sold on the location!” shares Nisha. The honeymoon turned out to be one of the best vacations of their lives. She adds, “People thought we were crazy when we announced our honeymoon destination. We both seek out the cold and wanted to avoid commercial and clichéd honeymoon locations. Around ninety-nine per cent of visitors to Alaska do a cruise, but we wanted to do something totally offbeat and fun. Hence we came up with our 12-day road trip itinerary through the cities and wilderness of this spectacular region!”
Apart from memories of a lifetime, the couple also came back all inspired to create their own personal lifestyle blog – ‘Yin Yang on Fleek’
“We planned a solid 12-day itinerary with hiking, adventure, ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping), and relaxation. We were instantly smitten by Alaska’s spectacular landscape when as we flew over the Alaskan terrain,” recounts Nisha.
Their itinerary included places such as Anchorage, Matanuska Glacier, Palmer, Talkeetna, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, Chena, Copper Centre, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Valdez and Keystone Canyon.
“We began our adventure in the beautiful and quaint city of Anchorage which is nestled between tall mountains. We enjoyed exploring downtown Anchorage and hiking along The Bird Ridge trail at the Chugach State Park,” recalls the intrepid traveler.
Nisha and Snehal also booked a couple’s photoshoot with wedding photographer Lauren Roberts. “We set out in light summer outfits on our first day in Alaska, hoping the sun would show us some mercy. But the wind unveiled its dramatic force as it blew and whistled that evening. We experienced a true taste of Alaska’s unpredictable weather so we stayed close to keep each other warm. We headed over for a sunset shoot along Turnagain Arm of the Seward Highway on our first Alaskan evening. We reached a scenic overlook at Beluga point and watched the water reflect a greenish tinge from the moss covered rocks. We closed our eyes to experience the beauty and to forget the cold. Our spirits felt free and the beauty of the nature around us refreshed our souls!”
Memorable Highlights of the Trip:
The couple share highlights of their Alaskan honeymoon:
Bright at night: There was bright light till 1-2am so Snehal and Nisha could wake up leisurely at noon and still make the most of the day by staying out late with no fear of the darkness.
Take a hike: Strapping on their sturdy boots, the couple strode through the stark Alaskan wilderness. “We pretended to be brave souls but were scared to death within!” shares Nisha.
Cosy comforts: The couple loved their various eclectic accommodations booked on Air BnB which included local cottages and wilderness cabins.
Wild and wonderful: They recommend going wildlife spotting at Denali National Park which houses moose, grizzly bears, mountain goats, caribous and reindeers. They enjoyed petting reindeer at a reindeer farm in Palmer. “They are such warm and fuzzy creatures!” explains Nisha.
Icy trails: The adventurous duo suggests trekking around the spectacular Matanuska and Root glaciers.
Lovely lands: The couple explored different ecosystems such as rocky mountains, glaciers and the beautiful Donaho lake during a 10-hour guided hike at Wrangell St. Elias National Park with Kennicott Wilderness Guides. “This was an experience of a lifetime and we have never pushed our bodies and tested our endurance so much before!”
Scenic Steering: A must-do the couple recommend are long drives along the Richardson Highway which offers stunning views.
Best Meal of the Trip
“There’s nothing more satisfying on a long vacation away from home and day-long tiring hikes than the taste of home-cooked food! We managed to use a mini cooker to make some yummy South Indian Puliogarai (tamarind rice) in the wilderness!” shares Nisha.
At Denali National Park area, they enjoyed delicious pizzas at Prospectors Pizzeria & Alehouse which had an interesting ambience with antler chandeliers, a peppy band and an authentic menu which was customised to include local influences. For example, the pizzas here were given names such as ‘Kodiak Bear’, ‘Elk’s Crossing’, ‘Vegan Tundra’, ‘Cabin Fever’, ‘Park Ranger’ and ‘Bison Gulch’ amongst others. “There was definitely a creative mastermind behind those! Our placemats had a great Alaskan map on it and this made for a souvenir steal!” confesses Nisha.
Most Romantic Moment
For Nisha, the most romantic moment occurred during the photoshoot. “We were posing in the crazy Alaskan weather and there were some comforting moments when I hugged Snehal and held onto him to keep warm. The wind blew away and the waves splashed… but there was a calmness in those moments and so much warmth!”
For Snehal, it was the time they spent at Chena hot springs. “The natural hot springs were such a pleasant escape from the frigid temperatures. I loved the time spent here as it was very romantic and relaxing,” he shares.
Most Adventurous Moment
“We also made an impromptu decision to join a White Water Rafting tour with Denali Rafts during our visit to Denali National Park. We layered up in our wet suits and jumped into a raft with four others to embrace the Nenana river. Our guide helped to ease our nerves as we swished past Class 3, Class 4, and even Class 5 rapids. As we drew closer to the last one-mile stretch on the river where the water was calmer, the guide suggested we jump into the river (only if we wanted to)! I thought he was crazy, and then the next thing you know, all six raft buddies were in the freezing water, holding onto our rafts with a death grip! It was the best experience ever!” recalls Nisha.
Advice to other couples
“Don’t be afraid to explore on your own. The best memories are made while travelling the roads less travelled by others.”
“Package tours and cruises are okay, but if you want a true taste of what Alaska has to offer, we highly recommend a road trip with lots of nature walks, hikes and cabin/cottage stays.”
To book a bespoke romantic trip for two, click here