From terrifying bungee jumps and exhilarating dirt bikes to quaint, romantic horseback rides, Million Dollar Listing New York newlyweds Ryan Serhant and Emilia Bechrakis have dished on how they fell in love with each other all over again during an action-packed New Zealand honeymoon.
“We’ve only ever known each other in New York, so it was awesome to be together for that long in an environment like New Zealand -- we really brought out the crazy in each other!” the reality TV real estate agent tells ET. “I had no idea Emilia had an affinity for dirt bikes, jet skis and motorsports, or that I’d ever be bungee jumping. We learned that we like doing exhilarating things together and we’re not just a boring broker and attorney in Manhattan who sit in the back of a car all day.”
“We've been on vacations before when we would go to a beach or island and just relax,” adds Bechrakis. “This was the first time we were spontaneous and adventurous together. We definitely bonded over this newfound appreciation for exploring and adventure.”
The couple tied the knot in Bechrakis’ native Greece in July last year, with Serhant having shut down Times Square to propose in 2014. The extravagant nuptials aired in Bravo’s three-part wedding special, Million Dollar Listing New York: Ryan’s Wedding, in September.
However, there were no camera crews as the couple kicked off their adventurous honeymoon with horseback riding, beach hikes and their first Christmas together at Northland resort Kauri Cliffs, which has previously hosted romantic dates on The Bachelor.
“We woke up at the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs and had a glorious breakfast, spent the day mountain biking and hiking at the waterfalls,” says Bechrakis, 31. “The day before we went on a cruise in the Bay of Islands, so it was all in all a heartwarming Christmas.”
“It was a big deal because I’ve never not spent Christmas Day without my family and I’ve never been with Emilia on Christmas, so it made us feel like we took the next step in life,” adds Serhant, 32.
Relishing peaceful picnics and picturesque walks, the two then moved onto the South Island, where they helicoptered around Milford Sound, slid down glaciers and rode dirt bikes.
But it was plunging 439 feet down the Nevis Bungy in the southern tourist mecca of Queenstown that Serhant still can’t believe he braved.
“Before going to New Zealand I would have sworn that I would never bungee jump in my life,” admits the actor-turned-real estate mogul, who initially chickened out of the jump. “It’s stupid, dangerous and I’m not an adrenaline junkie. But New Zealand convinced me to do it. There’s this feeling when you’re in New Zealand that you only live once and might as well live it to your fullest in both work and play. I was thinking about that as we went back to the car, then our guide said to me, ‘You know you only live once?’”
“I was like, ‘Fine, let’s do it!’” he continues. “That jump was a personal milestone for me and doing it in a place like that was the best part of that trip. It was me and a bunch of Australian college kids, so I was like, ‘If these guys can do it, I can’t let America fail. I stand for all Americans right now!’”
While Emilia didn’t take the plunge -- “she did not have the whole YOLO feeling,” jokes Serhant -- she did instigate the pair riding dirt bikes on their final day Down Under.
Following their thrill-seeking trip through Middle-earth, the couple headed to Bora Bora, where they soaked up the sun, kicked off the New Year and “played with sharks and stingrays.” The beach time was cut short so they could detour back to New York via Arizona to surprise Serhant’s dad for his 70th birthday bash, which coincided with their six-month wedding anniversary.
Reflecting on their first months as husband and wife, Serhant says being married is more than just a title and “takes a lot of work.”
“I don’t get it when people say nothing changes when you get married,” he says. “I don’t think they’re working hard enough. Marriage takes a lot of work, and Emilia’s Greek so she’s very emotional and connected with herself personally and I’m not. I’m a mixture of German and Irish, so I’m about getting my work done, doing what I need to do and coming home.”
“We’re very different people in that way, so the honeymoon was important in terms of learning as much as we can about each other and making an effort to do so,” adds Serhant. “With any successful relationship, whether it’s broker and seller or husband and wife, you have to make a concerted effort to communicate even if you don’t think it’s necessary… because it is.”
While the possibility of expanding their family is the next natural question for the pair, Serhant says they have another busy year ahead, so won’t be getting clucky just yet.
“The last thing we want to do is get thrown into being parents when we have so much going on,” he shares. “We’re going to take the first year of marriage just to be married, travel and work our asses off to try and build the strongest foundation we can for a future kid because we know we’re going to be crazily obsessed with the kid and want to spend lots of time with them. Things are great for us right now and there’s no rush.”
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