Michelle Gobea wanted a “last-hurrah honeymoon,” as she calls it. “Before we have a kid, I thought, let’s go far as hell and stay as long as we can,” she laughs. Gobea, 36, owns a cycling fitness studio in Tampa, Florida, where her husband, Renier, 40, works in pharmaceuticals and real estate. Tampa-based Virtuoso travel advisor Doria Gomez put together a grown-up’s 31-day odyssey for them through New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and beyond.
“We travel to embrace our love of great food, back-road locations, and gorgeous, comfortable hotels at the end of the day. Neither of us grew up traveling, especially my husband; he’s from Cuba, where he lived in cramped quarters. We don’t take it for granted that we see the world in a luxurious way now. Best of all, we get to do it together.
We landed in New Zealand and headed straight for Otahuna Lodge near Christchurch. After the long flight, it was a perfect place to sit and do very little – very peaceful, very beautiful. We got our heads together and then traveled south to Blanket Bay, one of the greatest lodges in the whole world. We never wanted to leave.
Renier and I love listening to live music, and he’s very adventurous. He’ll grab a map and take us somewhere way outside the usual tourist zones. Sometimes it means driving for hours, but we always end up discovering great people and amazing musicians.