One of the many things that I love in life is traveling across the world. So much that I even considered a career in the traveling industry a few years back. Could you imagine being paid to travel to exotic destinations or historical places?
Having been raised in Europe, I had the chance to visit a lot of different cities and experience things like eating pizza in Rome, cruising the city of Venice on gondolas, wandering around the London parks, walking underneath the Eiffel Tower, and even skiing on the beautiful Alps of France. I am grateful that my parents gave us the luxury of spending our family vacations in such extraordinary cities. But what I always dreamed of was going to the Carribeans. I mean who wouldn’t want to be able to walk on a beach with the turquoise ocean covering your feet, and cruising on a boat at sunset while dolphins are jumping out of the water? It always seemed like something surreal, but when the opportunity for us to go on vacation to the Dominican Republic presented itself this summer, who were we to say no! So my boyfriend and I packed our bags, and headed for the stunning beaches of Puerto Plata.
The first thing that shocked us when we arrived was how NICE everyone is over there. The locals are absolutely the nicest and funniest people we have ever had the chance to be with. They love tourists and did everything they could to make us feel welcome. But then you drive through the city and realize that these amazingly sweet people are extremely (I mean extremely) poor. So much so that you end up asking yourself how the houses are still up, and how they manage to fit four (as in the number 4) people on a single scooter!! The poverty of the city was just a huge reminder that we are so lucky to live in a part of the world where fresh water and electricity are standards. Yet, those people living in those wooden houses were so welcoming, you would never guess they have struggles that we would not know how to deal with.
Then we arrived to the resort. Everything there was so luxurious, with water fountains, and golf carts, and staff available to your every need. The cultural shock between the local and tourist areas is just unbelievable. But again, the staff at the resort would never let you guess what was going on in their private lives. And the service was just amazing. Think buffets and restaurants serving food from all around the world, think beaches (many, many beaches) with beds and pillows and bars, think pools and more pools and even more pools. This was paradise. We had found paradise. And for the whole week, our days were filled with cocktails, sun, sand, and more food that you could possibly think of.
We went on a catamaran in the middle of the Carribean ocean, we swam on this tiny private island, we snorkeled and saw so many beautiful fish and reefs, and best of all, we had champagne in the middle of the ocean! A couple of days later we swam with dolphins, which was a dream of mine. Did you know that dolphins are extremely soft?!
When I think back to those amazing days in this amazing country, I am so grateful to have been able to experience this with the most amazing man that I know. I know how lucky we are to be able to travel and fall more in love in these magical places.
So my advice is GO! If you get the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic, you should definitely take it. Pack lots and lots of sun block, your best bathing suits, a few dresses and t-shirts and get on your way! Make sure you have your camera ready with you at all times (careful not to drop it in the water!) and your sunglasses, andHAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!
I will definitely go back there, and I hope that the next time I go, I can visit more of the local areas and maybe give back a little to these people who have given me a lifetime of memories to treasure.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” (Confucius)