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How to “Plan your own surprise vacation”

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Surprises are funny things. Some people love them, others could really live without them. Andrea would definitely be the latter on that list, while Josh would tend towards the first group of the two. How about you? Which one do you fall into? Well, regardless, there is one thing that is common across both groups…it normally involves someone ELSE surprising you. But have you ever heard of someone surprising themselves? No? Well, we hadn’t either…until last year.

Random fact: Until last year, we had never been on a vacation just the two of us. What can we say, we both really like our families! Each year, we would enjoy traveling with either Andrea’s or Josh’s families to different places for vacation during the summer! However, in 2019, we decided to change that up! We had saved a little bit of extra money (If you want to know how we were able to save for the trip, check out our blog post, "The Savings Box”) and we decided we would love to travel somewhere that was going to be new to us! And so, the search began!

man and woman standing in desert

The final two contestants ended up being Arizona/The Grand Canyon and Denver/The Mountains. Eventually, we decided on Arizona (We had friends there and our photography mentors live there too!), bought the tickets, and started getting excited for our first ever vacation with just the two of us!

….confused yet? Maybe you’re sitting there thinking “What does this have to do with surprises?” Well, if that were the end of the story, you’d be right! However, fast forward about 2 weeks after this travel planning to an afternoon where, as we sat in our house, Andrea randomly looked at Josh with a puzzled expression on her face and said,

“Josh….we scheduled our trip to Arizona in August right?”

“Yeah, why?”

“And…our anniversary is in August too, right?

“Yeeeeeep. And?”

“And…..since we got married in 2014….this year our five year anniversary.”


“Josh! Did we literally plan our own 5th Anniversary celebration trip….WITHOUT KNOWING IT?!?!”

man and woman standing next to the Grand Canyon

And with that, we began looking forward to our very own 5th anniversary trip that we planned for and then surprised ourselves with! We are still laughing about it even today, and if we learned anything from the trip (well, in addition to remembering important dates, obviously), it is to make sure to set aside time for each other as husband and wife. No matter how busy life gets and even if it costs some money, we are always seeking ways to carve out time for each other…and we can’t encourage you enough to do the same. From going to get a single scoop of ice cream at Mcd's to flying halfway around the world, find it in your budget to do stuff together! Who knows, you might even wind up surprising yourself like we did! ;)

What's your dream place to visit? Would you mind sharing it with us? It can be anywhere! We're already looking for ideas for our 10 year anniversary! :D

(All photos are property of Josh and Andrea Photography, LLC)


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