Let’s talk Dominican Republic: Many of you know that last year (2015) I went to The Dominican Republic. It was a truly memorable experience for me. I spent about seven months in the island of the Hispaniola (which means Little Spain), also known as Quisqueya, which is the Taino name believed to mean “mother of all lands.” On this occasion, I did not go to the island as a tourist, but, among other things, I went to reconnect with my roots.
I grew up in the United States, hence I’m a Dominican American Millennial woman. I try to visit DR for a week or two each year. This time was different because I got to experience life in DR as a local Dominican, although for “some reason.” people would ask me where I was from when they would hear me speak. I still remember the general manager of super mercado Pola (Pola super market) in plaza San Juan, asking me “where are you from?” “I’m Dominican,” I answered. He said, “no, you are not. Local Dominicans don’t ask the questions you ask.”
While I was in The Dominican Republic, I definitely developed a deeper connection with my native land. I did a lot of road trips with my boyfriend as one of my main goals was to get to know the country better. The Dominican Republic is so beautiful. Yes, it is known for its beautiful beaches, but there is so much more about the nature of this country. I visited a few places while I was there and there is so much more I have to explore in the Dominican Republic. The pictures above are from Playa Macao (Macao beach), and the pathway of Bibijagua beach in Bavaro Punta Cana.
A few things to consider when you go to the Dominican Republic:
- If you are a woman with curly hair, very curly hair, take your own natural curly hair products with you.
- If you have naturally curly hair and you try to blow dry your hair in DR, be prepared for that blow out not to last as long as it would last in the US, east coast, for example. It is hot and humid in DR, hence my recommendation is that you style your hair naturally-plus you are going there to explore and to get to know DR. That being said, you need a hairstyle that will withstand that. So keep it natural!
- On the east coast, (Punta Cana, Bavaro), which is where I was living, do NOT use tap water to wash your hair. Instead, use the bottle water to wash your hair as the chlorine used in tap water can damage your hair (this is specially true, if you plan to be in the area of Punta Cana long term).
- If you go to the north coast, the south, or to the capital, it’s ok to use tap water to wash your hair.
- Warning: Dominican food can be EXTREMELY delicious, so be prepared to gain a few pounds. If you go for just a couple of weeks, this is nothing to worry about, but if you go for months or more, set healthy goals to not loose track. I’m speaking from experience. :-)
- If you go to the area of Punta Cana & Bavaro, you MUST eat the fresh fish. The fishermen catch them daily. It was my favorite.
- And of course, coconut trees are in abundance in Bavaro Punta Cana. You have to have some coconut water. Coconut water is super healthy and it’s in the coconut! not in a carton box.
Go and explore life,