And it's coming back from the White Isle that has made me want to post this even more. Now don't get me wrong, having visited Ibiza a few times before, it's a stunning island with some pretty fab ways of spending your time, however, this holiday really made me evaluate travel and seeing the value in traveling further a field and making the most of any holiday time, especially if you work the traditional full time hours and travel opportunities (and holiday days) are few and far between.
Having grown up in the UK, the few times I have travelled have always been to Europe, and when it comes to a typical sun filled, beach holiday one of the Spanish or Greek islands was usually on the agenda. And yes, these are beautiful islands, but when you're pretty much sunbathing all day and having dinner and a few (too many) drinks in the evening, you could really be anywhere, most of these islands are very similar therefore most of your holidays will be pretty similar, whichever one you visit. So saying that, I wanted to do a post surrounding the importance of travel and specifically, traveling outside of your comfort zone. A nine hour flight to the Caribbean is something I never really thought I would undertake, but here we are, well over a month later and we made it out the other side.
I never travelled much in my 20's and being that I am in more of a position to do it than ever before, it's something that is really important to me. But travel is expensive, and being that I'm not in the position to flit off here and there whenever I feel like it, when it comes to picking a destination I no longer 'just want some sun'. I want culture, I want to see a different way of life and most importantly, I want a completely different experience; something out of my ordinary everyday life and something that will broaden my mind and open my eyes to the endless possibility the world has to offer. After all, our planet is so vast, why waste time visiting the same places?
So incase my travel vlogs and travel diary haven't convinced you, here's 5 reasons you MUST make time to visit the Dominican Republic...like right now.
1. The WeatherI mean that one is obvious right? I know I said sun isn't the most important thing anymore but it's definitely a requirement.
2. The CultureCall me ignorant but I didn't realise the DR was a Spanish speaking island. For some reason I've always felt particularly drawn to Spanish and Latino culture; maybe it was growing up idolising Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez and Lorena from California Dreams, maybe it's just 'coz all the hot gurls in hip hop videos were always Brazilian. Whatever it was, I love everything about it; the music, the dancing, the language; so that coupled with a bit of Caribbean spice creates the most fantastic cultural experience. The Dominican people are so diverse in how they look due to Native Indian, Spanish and African settlers that they even have a saying, 'no two Dominicans look the same'. And in light of how depressing the world can be sometimes in terms of social progression, visiting an island where the people are so friendly, so proud of their heritage and so enthusiastic to open their landscape up to tourists is a really positive and comforting experience.
3. The Beautiful Boys...like srsly, just google image search Dominican men and thank me later.
4. The LandscapeWe went out on safari tour on one of the days and it was so incredible to see the country as opposed to just our resort. I never expected the island to be so diverse in terms of landscape, the lush green countryside looks just like the UK on one of our rare good weather days and the stunning beaches are postcard perfection.
5. The FoodLike any Caribbean country the food is obvs gona bang! From the fresh mango, coconut and watermelon to the perfectly spiced meat, this is a diet I can defo get on board with...is it possible to grow a coconut tree in my communal gardens?
Have I convinced you yet? I have a huge list of places on my 'to travel' list now, but let me know any recommendations, I want to go EVERYWHERE!