Click here for a refresher of Part I: To Ring or Not to Ring
Before we left for Central America, my husband and I decided we were going to leave our wedding rings at home and pick up some cute and locally made bands on the road. He'd already lost his first wedding band on our honeymoon in Jamaica and we weren't looking to repeat that mistake again!
We tucked away our gold and diamonds once we arrived in the States and continued to Honduras bare-fingered. We spent a whole month in Utila and since it was such a small island there weren't many artisans with rings to choose from, especially unique pieces.
I was hoping to pick up rings towards the beginning of our trip as I like the idea of wearing jewellery to acknowledge we're married. Call it the romantic or sentimentalist in me, but I think wearing wedding bands is a sweet and subtle way of saying you're spoken for, saying, “Yes I'm married!!!” without bringing it up all the time or screaming it in anyone's face like my excessive exclamation points suggest. A ring on that conspicuous fourth finger is definitely something people notice, even if they don't comment. Also, considering how travellers are some of the best at partying and all that comes with it, I have to be honest that didn't hate the idea of people knowing we're together and it's serious, so yes you can stop hitting on my husband now thankyouverymuch.
|Our original rings. Photo courtesy of Dave and Charlotte|
On my initial post about rings, a few readers commented that they didn't think it was necessary to wear a wedding band, especially when travelling. I agree, it's totally not; it's simply a matter of personal preference. We didn't find our rings until we arrived in Belize, so we went a month without jewellery and it was fine with no real difference in our day to day lives. Once we arrived in Belize and found our rings though, I must say I loved wearing one again!
The story of how we found our rings is one that brings a smile to my face. We'd just gotten settled in Placencia, Belize and were thoroughly enjoying the laid back beach setting. We were sitting at a beachfront bar that had excellent wifi so I took advantage of the time to catch up on blog stuff. As I was tucked away behind my computer, my husband got approached by a Belizean salesperson trying to tempt him into buying cha chas and bongos. Even though he'd already been turned down, the local was persistent that M should at least try out the instruments because how often could you play cha chas on the beach in Belize.
[Sidenote: I hate when restaurants allow salespeople to come inside and hawk their shit to customers. It's so annoying that I don't even have a break from vendors while I'm eating. Such a pet peeve!]
Anyway, so there I am working away on my computer as my husband and this local start playing a duet in the middle of the bar. M's shaking those cha chas with all the rhythm he's got and dude's busting out a beat on the bongos. I sipped on my bingo bag – a fruity mix of coconut rum, pineapple, and mango juice – and chair danced along until their song was over.
I have no problem turning down salespeople but my husband doesn't like to be as direct, and as a result, they're often all over him. The local happened to offer a variety of souvenirs and had M trying on necklaces, bracelets, and other little artifacts as I smirked beside him. Once M mentioned we were interested in rings, he pounced on the challenge. “I'll be right back,” he said and returned a few minutes later with a pocket full of wooden rings.
Each piece was too big for my finger despite the local's self-proclaimed eye for sizing. I really didn't feel like leaving the bar and shopping at that moment, so M and the guy negotiated details as he made five very determined trips back to our table, dripping in sweat with a new spread of rings each time, in an effort to close the sale.
The options weren't quite right but I didn't have the heart to turn down this guy after he'd gone through so much trouble. M bargained the rings from $20 USD apiece (supposedly) to $10. They were actually the first souvenirs we'd purchased since beginning our trip five weeks before. The money probably made a significant difference to that local so even though I didn't love my ring, M found a beautiful band that fit really well, and we called it a win.
|His and hers wooden hand carved rings|
Later that week we went shopping at the largest market in Western Belize where my sister and I spotted some beautiful handmade silver pieces. The vendor was from Guatemala and her husband custom made each ring. This jewellery was much more my style and it was still only $15 USD. I chose a simple ring with brushed silver detailing that held up really well even after two more months in Central America. Several people commented on how pretty it was and even thought it was my original wedding band.
In the end, our travel wedding rings didn't match like I'd originally hoped but it didn't matter. We each had pieces that we loved and got to bring home a small piece (and story) from our travels.
What do you think – do you like the idea of wearing a ring to acknowledge you're married? How about when you're travelling?
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