January 3, 2017
January 3, 2017 – 12:36 – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The atmosphere is filled with the sounds of mopeds whizzing by, dotted by cows roaming the road and truck beds full of vibrant fruit, kissed by warm breezes, and pierced by the thumping of reggaeton music in the distance. As soon as I set foot in the Dominican Republic, I am greeted by its beautiful chaos. I cannot soak up enough of this moment or place. Puerto Plata is not particularly a tourist area, but it is real, authentic, and exactly what I craved.
On our very last day, we did something spontaneously wild. We took a road trip with Cheo. We found out about a local secret we just had to visit called Paradise Island. This place was one of the pictures your desktop defaults to, and we had to see it for ourselves. We began our two-hour journey with an hour-and-a-half long car ride through farms and small villages. We eventually arrived in a town called Punta Rucia, where Cheo knew a man with a boat that would take us to the island. Looking back on the situation now, I realize that was pretty risky, but in the moment I was wildly oblivious because of my pure excitement. We traveled on the boat for about 30 minutes until a tiki hut materialized in the distance. As we got closer, we realized the island was a small island, only big enough to hold three 5×5 tiki huts and some snorkeling gear.