I just got back from my first trip to the Dominican Republic and before I forget any details about my excursion I feel like it will only be complete once I record and reflect upon my experience.
I went there with no expectations and got blown away by the beautiful countryside, gorgeous people and delicious food. The resort was in the middle of nowhere, and it was required that we take an hour-long bus ride to get there. During the ride, I looked out the window onto the one-way street and saw numerous bikes, people, dogs, markets, and cafes. I have never seen so many people crammed into one block. The houses were nothing near extravagant and yet they provided a home for its inhabitants. Lawns were not perfectly manicured nor were the roads; just the bare minimum.
Upon arrival of the resort, we were greeted with fruit punch and friendly servers. As we wandered to find our rooms, our group exuded excitement and admired the scenary around us. We easily fell into a relaxing routine filled with volleyball, swimming, tanning, drinking and eating, with no where to be and no regard for the time or the date.
We go to these tropical places to escape our own reality, however what we do not realize is that their reality is much harsher than our own. We get to the leave the tropical island and come home to a country full of money, food and work. The one cleaning lady I spoke with gets one day off every three months. These people work grueling hours every day and they work for next to nothing. One of the vendors I visited, Felix, told me that as long as he has food and family than he is happy. While we complain about the bus being late, or our cell phone not working, these people are more concerned with just getting by. We don’t even realize how blessed we are in Canada.
I came out with a different perspective and a stronger relationship with my amazing boyfriend. John and I were able to speak honestly and spend quality time together without cell phones, TV’s, or outside stresses. It truly was a test of our relationship and I am happy to say we passed with flying colours. I was able to enhance my friendships because there was no pressure to impress, just honesty and fun company.
Travelling is not only a one time relaxing luxury but also an experience to be remembered for a lifetime. Where to next…?!