Traveling has always been a passion of mine. I have found that exploring new places, meeting new people and getting to know different cultures is exceptionally inspiring. This past summer, I went to visit my birthplace, the Dominican Republic. I hadn’t been to my homeland since I was a young boy, and I had an amazing time on my visit. It began when school had finished, and my family and I had been anticipating for this vacation trip for many months. When we get on the airplane, there was the feeling of excitement that we will finally be there in a matter of hours.
The total flight time to get there was nearly 6 hours, and that doesn’t include the many hours sitting in the airport waiting for your next flight. When we finally arrive at our destination, our family members, who we haven’t seen in a long time, greeted us. We spent our first week in the capital of the country, Santo Domingo, which happens to be the first city established by Columbus in the New World. So a lot of Historic buildings, monuments, old Spanish Forts, and first University in the Americas. During the week we usually spent our time visiting our families and friends.
Every day we would usually eat at a good restaurant; we would go to either a Chinese restaurant or a typical Dominican restaurant. Sometimes we would shop around at a mall. Some malls we visited, in my opinion, were made especially for the upper class. I remember visiting one and everything was super expensive, shirts would cost hundreds of dollars and many of the stores where elite and only found in Europe. Also many of the restaurant in the mall were really overpriced and for the high class. In the Dominican Republic, but especially in the capital, traffic is probably like no other in North America.
I remember our first day, my family and I were in rush traffic. My heart was thumping out of my chest because I’ve never seen traffic like that anywhere in the U. S. Cars were bumper to bumper, yet people still tried to fit their vehicles in spaces no bigger than a toothpick. There is really no speed limit in the city, so everybody drives with the flow. I decided right then and there that these folks were one the craziest drivers in the world. I remember thinking to myself how delighted I was because my dad used to be a taxi driver, so he drove really well.
But other than the crazy traffic, we enjoyed our week in the capital. We then headed up north in the country which happens to be more country and very mountainous. On the road, my dad would usually make stops to buy coconuts and mangos from sellers on the country road. So we would fill ourselves up with all of that in the car. We stayed over at my Aunts house in the northern coast of the country. She lives in a huge million dollar mansion on the hillside top of a mountain, in which you get a perfect view of the city and the coast of the Atlantic ocean.
Stayed there for about a week traveling around that very touristic city, going to the beach, etc. We then left for another city called Samana. We arrive there and since we drove in a nice car, a local saw us and tried to bribe us by being a travel guide around that city, we ignored him. We went to the port, got on this big Yatch, and sailed about a mile off the city to this tiny island full of exotic birds. Flamingos, dozens of types of Parrots which were so beautiful. On our way back to the port we spotted a giant whale splashing across the water along with its child.
We then drove about 20 minutes out of the city to this spot in the middle of the rainforest, parked our car. Then a tourist guide met us and we hiked about 15 minutes in the rainforest until we got horses which were provided. Rode the horses for about 10 minutes till we got to this Giant waterfall about 200 feet high. We got in the water which was clear blue, so beautiful but cold. Went back to the city and said our goodbyes to our family and friends before we left. It is memories like this that will stick with me forever, I suggest you to visit the Dominican it’s a wonderful place.