My stay in the Dominican Republic.
It was supposed to be a little mini family vacation to get away from everyday life and noise that can sometimes take away your joy and happiness. But this trip turned out to be so much more for me and my family. You can call it an eye-opener, nutrition for the soul, self-awareness, or a search for inner peace. Despite the fact that the country is relatively poor and the financial struggle of the locals once you leave the luxury resort bubble is obvious, having a $300-$400 average monthly salary with a relatively high cost of living, this didn’t seem to be able to take away the never-ending smiles, generosity, dance, and joy from the Dominican people. Signs of depression, bitterness, or stress that I see too often here in the States, especially in LA, were nowhere to be seen during the short time I was there. But most of all, what I found the most genuine was people’s openness and their desire to get to know and truly feel other people; to offer help and share warmth without expecting anything back.
All the locals who worked in our all-inclusive resorts were kind and genuinely helpful even though there were no tip jars around, most people didn’t carry cash, and where demanding tourists can rub off their negativity- they were still the same. It made me realize that some people are overall happier, know how to live, know how to love other people, and know-how to appreciate life and what nature has to offer – that others have found a way to see past the everyday struggle and just love and appreciate life and each other.
Their joy and happiness are contagious and they don’t leave anyone untouched. Now I know why they say that traveling makes us rich. Thank you for everything Dominican Republic.