From Virtual to Reality
It feels like every day, I’m engaging in conversation about traveling. “Where did you go?” “What did you do?” How long did you stay?” I used to get excited to discuss my fourteen-day vacation to New Zealand and seven-day exploration of Ecuador but at this point, approximately fifteen and twelve years later, I am no longer excited to discuss these experiences. Not because they weren't interesting… people love hearing about New Zealand… but because after having these experiences at a young age, I promised myself that my passport was going to be “tatted up”.
I fell back on this goal of mine for way too long, in my opinion. I was unsure of what it took to travel… who to invite, where exactly to go, how long, and when to book … For years, I was stuck on “who”. I found myself discussing travel ideas with different people but none ever took off. Discussions never led to planning, which failed to lead to any trips. Years trailed by and none of these destinations I had in mind ever had a chance to be etched off of my bucket list.
Last year, travel seemed to be the fad. Everyone on social media seemed to be traveling here, there, and every freaking where. Some traveled in groups, others traveled solo, and a handful of the same persons seemed to be traveling to hella countries back to back. The only time I seemed to travel was via virtual reality… what do I mean? Okay Okay…
Sooo… I, for some reason, had an obsession with Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood game. In this game, I was a Chic model living my best effin’ life and traveling all over the world. My favorite place to visit in this virtual reality was Punta Cana. It appeared to be such a beautiful island. I remember telling myself, “I’ve gotta go here in real life” but getting there in real life seemed to be oddly out of reach.
I recall discussing my New Year resolution during supervision at work. I shared that I envisioned myself traveling several times in 2019. At that point, I was unsure of where I would go, whom I would travel with, and when we would go. I was simply certain that whether I had a crew or not, I would be venturing off this year. Besides, having an opposite state of mind is what led me here in the first place.
After changing my perspective, I reached out to a travel agent by simply filling out her inquiry form. Shortly after, she got back to me, fees were paid, and she began planning my first getaway in what felt like FOREVER. WOW! I had no idea it could be that easy lol! Anywho… I was very indecisive of where to go but had to realize that this would be one of a ton of places I would go sooooo… I chose to take my mom to Punta Cana (planned February 2019) for her birthday this year. My virtual world would finally turn into a reality. YAYYYY!!!
D.R. was very scenic, relaxing, and adventurous. We stayed at CHIC, a beautiful all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. CHIC has a private beach, several pools, swim up and contemporary bars, plenty of restaurants, a buffet with amazing cuisine, a casino, clubs, and more. Our trip lasted five days. Two of these days were filled with excursions. We definitely got a bang for our buck. I reserved Dun Buggies and horseback rides (two separate days/excursions).
With driving Dun Buggies, we enjoyed photo opts on a beach and drove past beautiful villages in Punta Cana. Our next pit stop was a cave. We had an opporunity to swim in a cave and take pictures. I nearly drowned in the cave but thank God my “OMG Help Me” face is universal because the two men who saved my life only spoke French. Following this rescue, locals allowed us to taste Mamajuana (reread that word), their chocolates, and cigars (i didn’t try any cigars) prior to sending us off with a tribal performance.
Afterwards, we were transported back to our resort for lunch and to change our outfits before being taken to another beach to enjoy a Catamaran Cruise. This cruise offered us to partake in Scuba Diving, a Stingray and Shark encounter and swimming in D.R.’s natural pool. I was too nervous to Scuba Dive or swim with sharks so I partied on our catamaran until we got to the natural pool. To my surprise, the natural pool was literally a natural pool. It was funny because my mother and I kept hoping that they weren’t going to drive us, by boat, to a man-made pool. We pulled up to a bunch of boats where people were swimming and partying in the ocean, music was blasting, and bottles and cups of liquor were merrily wading in the ocean on floating devices. Our catamaran parked and we plunged into D.R.’s natural pool enjoying this party that was in session. I must add that I used the ladder with my floating device attached to my waist to get into the natural pool because I cannot swim. This section of the ocean was shallow… maybe 5 feet … but I’m barely 5 feet! We had so much fun during this excursion.
The next day, my mom and I enjoyed ourselves by hanging out on our resort. We laid out on our private beach while being serviced hand and foot, was entertained by people playing games at the main pool, enjoyed Indian cuisine and witnessed Belly Dancing, won money at the resort’s casino and went back into time at the Michael Jackson concert hosted by our resort’s staff.
On our fourth day, we ventured off to the opposite side of the D.R.. We were driven to El Limon Waterfalls where we rode horses through a beautiful rainforest, took pictures at El Limon Waterfalls, and waded through the rain forest’s natural pool. Afterward, we were served a traditional meal. Their food was amazing! Next, we hopped onto a truck, which reminded me of the Wild ThornBerries, that took us to a boat, which drove us to Bacardi Island. Bacardi Island was a sight to see. It was breathtaking. We were served Pina Coladas and given an option to add liquor. Between each stop for this excursion, our tour guides shared insightful information of Dominican Republic’s history and facts about their present.
Overall, our trip to Punta Cana was very relaxing, breathtaking, adventurous, and heavenly for this foodie in the making, me (lol). I’m glad that I finally put aside the who, what, when, and where. I changed my perspective because, despite any answers to these questions, I know what I want for myself. I am super excited to share that this year is a new beginning to tat my passport up!