Dominican Republic

Landed Safe!!!

Dominican Republic
Not to be confused with Dominica

Airport code PUJ

Landed safe in the Dominican Republic, I will stay in Punta Cana for a little bit then head over to Bavaro for a bit.  After that I will head up to Santo Domingo for a few, then catch the bus over to Haiti.

Dominican Republic

Both by area and population the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,445 square kilometres (18,705 sq mi) and nearly 10 million people, one million of whom live in the capital city Santo Domingo.

After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the Dominican Republic became independent in 1821. The ruler, José Núñez de Cáceres, intended that the Dominican Republic be part of the nation of Gran Colombia, but he was quickly removed by the Haitian government and Dominican slave revolts. Victorious in the Dominican War of Independence against Haitian rule in 1844.

The Dominican Republic has the ninth largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for agriculture and mining, the economy is now dominated by services.

International migration affects the Dominican Republic greatly, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Mass illegal Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues.

The island has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great climatic and biological diversity. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built in all of the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, an area declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCOMusic and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport.

Coming from the Airport.

This place has no name just a fruit stand on the side of the road, with a blender. Had to stop and get a fresh smoothie. 

Still have not made it to the apartment yet where I am Couch surfing for  $8 USD per night.  In addition to traveling lite, I travel with a budget in mind.  For me it's more about the experience. 

Next Stop, going to exchange money. Todays rate. $45.35 to $1.00 USD
depending on the Country it is best to exchange locally.  You will get more bang for your buck. 

Next stop, Steve's Bar that is own by an american. I go here not to drink but for the free WiFi. 
I need to check my email and to let my love one's know that i made it safe to the D.R.

Next stop, Grocery store / Food Market. Need to get some food for the Apartment.  It's less expensive to cook. #Budget   LOL...

Above Photo, is the local market and the photo below is the grocery store. 

Ok so I have money, food. I think it's time to check in at the Apartment now. 

My view from the couch at the apartment.  LOL.     Hey, don't judge me I'm saving money.

It's getting late, I have showered, ate some good food. I Let my love ones know that i made it safe.  I think its time to hit the beach, for a nice cool night swim. 

Had a chance to go to a Cigar place today, met the owner. Talked about some business, import and export.   And yes I had a translator. LOL.   

I want to play with this ideal of import / export. Tell me what you think and are you a Cigar smoker?

So Far not much to report. I have been to the pool and beach....  several times and sometimes several times a day. I have had some great food both home cooked and restaurants.  

I have met a lot of people from all over.   Haiti, Canada, Puerto Rico...  and of course the United States. I went out to listen to some live music and met a group from Sacramento California. They was in the VIP section popping bottles. I told them I was from the BAY (Richmond, Ca.).  From there we dance the night away.  laughed, joke, talked HELLA shit and laughed some more.   Good Times, Good Times. 

I met this Asian guy from Canada, he loves Black Women. I mean LOVE.   It seems like he can not get enough of them.  LOL   AND I am not mad at him.   It was really funny to me to watch him do his thing. 

I had an opportunity to talk to some people here in the Dominican Republic about my up and coming trip to Haiti.   Most of the one's I met, DO NOT LIKE Haitians. They had nothing but bad things to say.   And that's ok, I'm going anyway. LOL

I think I'm hungry and I'm going back to the Apartment to eat.   NEED FOOD, cut it to close. 

Its something about the Ocean that brings me peace.  Yup! I'm going back to the beach. This beach is about 10 minutes away. and I am going to catch a Motorcycle Taxi 

I can not get enough of this beach! Words can not describe this place.  Soooooooo, here are some Photos LOL...    Life is Good    #GOD

Its time to pack up and move on from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, DR.  I hate to leave this spot, but when it's time its time. 

Headed over to the bus station ( Espresso Bavaro) for a 3 hour ride to Santo Domingo, I will stay the night then catch the bus (8 hours) over to Haiti. 

I’m at the bus station I had to arrive at 9am for a 11am bus ride. I have no ideal where I will stay once I get to Santo Domingo. But I’m sure I will figure it out.  #NoFear

Ok after I have checked 3, 4, 5, 6 times that I’m on the right bus going to the right place.   I have bought my ticket, handed over one of my bags to be stored underneath. I am ready to board and take off. 

The Bus took off on time,  mostly Dominicans on the bus. No surprise their.  Most come to Punta Cana from Santo Domingo to work in or with the casinos. Hustles whatever goods they have for sell. OR, Prostitution. 

Arrived in Santo Domingo on time.  short and sweet bus ride.  Got my bags and 1st things 1st. I have to find out where to buy my bus ticket to go to Haiti tomorrow.    Talking to everyone.  Ok, Ok you speak broken english? Cool.   “ I want to go to Haiti on bus”   Ok, Thank you. 

Got in a short (20 min) cab ride and off to the next bus station.  
Arrived at Caribe Tours, bought my ticket. they tell me I have to come back tomorrow to buy my border pass for Haiti.  Me: Why I can’t just buy it now? Them: Because. Me: Because, What? Them: I don't know, Just because.  Me: OK… What time do I come back tomorrow?  LOL. 

Ok got my ticket, now I need to find a hotel for the night.  On the 2nd try with the cab driver we /  he found this hotel. Hotel Riparbella,  10 min away from the Caribe Tours Bus Station.   Cool, with me.

All checked in, now to find something to eat. I think I will go for a walk about around the neighborhood. 

Ran into this guy at the smoothie shop, he’s form England. Cool pep’s Did not exchange info. But he spoke english and that was cool with me. I had a banana and pineapple smoothie.  Fresh fruit from the Islands.  Can’t beat it.   

Rice, beans and salad for dinner. going back to the hotel. I think I’m going to call it a night, I have to get up early tomorrow. 

This is a nice hotel and all. However, There is a Karaoke bar right across the street.   LOL   Its gone to be a long night.   

I told the cab driver to meet me back here at 7:30 am, so I need to get some sleep.   But this Karaoke is so loud.   Oh, well I will try to rest my body. 

5am and my stomach is upset.  Not sure why, I will sit here for a bit to see if it passes.   6am still sitting.    7am still sitting, but i got to shower and go. Cab will be here in 30 min.    I truly hate to ride this 8 hour trip with my stomach like this. 

Cab is here and we are off to the bus station. 

Now wait a minute! you want me to do what!   I’m here at the bus statin to buy my border pass and they are asking me to leave my passport with them and they will give it back to me at the border.   Me: FUCK THAT!    Them: well you can’t get on the bus.   Me: Wait lets talk this over.    OH! they don't speak english. My bad…   Sooooo, now what?    I’m at the counter not letting anyone go next, passengers are mad as hell. I can see it in their face.  But i need somebody to help me out and tell me what is going on. Why do you need to hold my passport?   Ok, Ok, Ok, Two passengers came up that spoke a little english and told me that this is what they do here, with every one.   OOOOOK, so I now have my Border Pass.

Me:  (side face)   ok…  Whatever...

On the Bus and this 8 hour trip begins. Haiti here I come. 

The bus left on time.     

Most of every one on the bus is from Haiti.  They come to the D.R.  for a better life, work, service, I meet one lady on the bus that just came to get some dental work done. And yes she has a nice smile.

One hour into the trip and they stop for food, great!   beans, Rice and meat. I did not eat the “Meat”.   A movie is playing up front, I can’t understand what they are saying. But thats ok.   A random man got on the bus at one of our stops and start selling more food. I bought some peanuts and water.   I am the only american on the bus so everyone who wants to practice their english is coming to me.  It’s cool, glad I can help. #JFKHighRichmondCa

Out of nowhere the Bus turns off the beaten path and take a dirt road, 

Wait, What!!!

I see men with guns,

Wait, What!!! 

The bus stop’s, us and another bus.  More men with guns.

Wait, What!!!

ok here we go, every movie about stuff like this is coming to mind. My PTSD is in high gear.  I’m looking around to see what I can grab to cause some damage with....   WTF!!!

In the mean while, All others passengers are at peace.     LOL

Ok let me chill.  lets see what is really going on.  Oh ok, just a check point,  Drugs…    cool, we are off the dirt road now and moving pretty fast and thats ok with me.  LOL.

I dont know how many movies they have played, I’ve been in and out of sleep. every time I wake up someone wants to practice their english.  

ok now, I want to sleep… 

I tell God thank you and ask for peace and patience.  #God

The countries landscape is very nice.  Love it! But after the men with guns thing. I do not want to stop. LOL

I think i made a new Facebook friend from the bus ride. We are at the border of the D.R. now.

 Lot’s of folks out selling everything from food, sex, money, water…

Military and police are everywhere.

We have to leave the bus and now they are giving us our passports back.


I feel better now.   Checked in at the border and back on the bus.  crossing over into Haiti.    Ok one block away and we have to get back off the bus to show our passports to Haiti.   SMH

We are officially in Haiti.  

More about my Haiti trip (Here)

Long bus ride back to Dominican.

We are officially in Dominican Republic.

Santo Domingo, DR

More about Dominican Republic coming soon


Couple Sells Everything to Go On ‘Indefinite Honeymoon’ to 12 Countries (and Counting)

This is what happens when you say ‘F convention’ and live life on your own terms. Instead of spending money on a “lavish one-day wedding” Amirah Cook and husband Jarrell decided to see the world. They left their jobs in corporate America, sold all their possessions and began traveling about a year after marrying. Here’s the crazy thing; they’ve been on this honeymoon since October 2013! And their travels include three months in the Italian countryside, two months in the English countryside, and three months on Bastimentos Island in Bocas Del Toro, Panama!


My husband and I decided that instead of spending our money on a lavish one-day wedding, we would prefer to take an extended honeymoon. So that’s what we did. We left the states on October 1, 2013 and have been traveling ever since. So far we’ve visited over 30 cities in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Italy, England, France and Spain. Enjoying extended stays on an island in Panama, a mansion in Cancun, a villa in Italy, several homes in England and two months on the beautiful island of Majorca, Spain. Many people will read that or hear of our story in general and assume we’re trust fund kids, but that is not the case. We have discovered that there are so many different communities and opportunities for travelers to save. Our flights to Panama were only $120 and we caught a flight glitch that got us both tickets to Italy for $300, total.
When we were visiting Panama, our first country, we met a woman from Brooklyn that had just bought a guesthouse and found ourselves running the business. Living on the Caribbean Sea, we managed her guesthouse on a remote island, for two months. In Italy we stayed in a beautiful Italian villa with a gorgeous view of Tuscany, in exchange for learning Italian recipes and cooking for guests of the B&B four nights a week. Oh, and we had to drink a lot of wine to pick a house wine (hard work). We dog sit two shih tzus in London in exchange for free accommodation for a month, which included Oyster cards (metro/bus cards), groceries and a stipend. We’ll be living in a gorgeous house on a Greek island for three months this summer, looking after the property while the owner vacays in another part of Greece. By mixing in these gigs between renting apartments (usually on Airbnb), we’re able to cut our costs down tremendously.
When we left, we really didn’t have a plan or even a budget, we were just winging it. Neither of us had ever been out of the country, I didn’t even own a passport. In our first year we focused on developing our crafts into careers. My husband is an artist; he has painted murals in Panama, Italy and England, and created illustrations for clients around the world. I am a writer and run a blog detailing our journey, as well as writing for others. By creating our ideal careers, we have become location independent, able to work from anywhere in the world (as long as there’s WIFI). Traveling the world is life altering. Experiencing new places and ways of life expands your mentality in the most beautiful way possible. Every new place makes us eager to see more and question if we will ever return home. This year we are headed to Paris, England, Amsterdam, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and India.

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