I traveled to Europe two Summer Seasons in a row: this very past Summer 2019 and last Summer 2018: both in the highest European Summer Season month: the month of August…! There are several reasons why I traveled twice in August than any other Summer months. Indeed, as I have mentioned several times in some of my previous published articles, I not only have this blog as one of my active projects but various other writing projects on which I parallely and continously work on…. I am also a Cultural Presenter, a Health Coach and Educator and Motivational Speaker… My Academic year is therefore fully booked until the late Western Summer, with work commitments…! As most people like to wait for the last portion of the Summer (this, most notably parents and care takers with children in school and college students), my load and schedule dramatically lightens itself at this time until around mid to late September, which enables me to travel for several weeks to a month at a time during the month of August (even though I have not taken a full entire month in a while, LOL)!!!
Indeed, as most of my sisters are presently based in different cities in France of which: Paris and Metz, I spent some New Year’s Eves either with them and relatives or they have been coming to spend it at my sister’s home in New Jersey (which is only thirty minutes away by car from New York City). Four years ago, I had to absolutely use my airline ticket which was about to expire as a year was about to reach its end. I had initially purchased my airline ticket, to fly out to witness a cousin’s wedding in Spain. Most unfortunately, a close family member who lived with me at the time, fell ill and I had to attend to her and forego attending my cousin’s wedding. (As an important sidebar note, we MUST always prioritize the family members, relatives and friends we are/and feel closest to over any leisure travel, entertainment & hobbies we had initially planned as one never knows when it sadly is too late…)! I was/and still Very Much Am extremely busy with my various projects and endeavors , that I totally did not pay attention to planning for a new trip with that ticket (as I did in fact travel for work to a few places nationally-within the states). When I realized that the deadline for me to use the mileage for a new trip, a new year was only a month away…!!!
As a very young adult, right out of Undergraduate School in the states with my Bachelors’s degree in Arts & Sciences (as I majored in English & American Litterature with a minor in Social Studies and Latin Languages (Spanish & French) in hand and with the “Cum Laude” Honors, I had already decided that I would spend about a full year in Spain, to really be able to master Spanish absolutely fluently like my oldest sister whom my Dear mother had sent to spend an entire Summer (three months) in Salamanca, Spain so that she could absolutely become fluent in Spanish prior to graduating from high school. (We were living in France at the time and all schools in France offered wither Spanish or German as a second foreign language , starting in the 8th grade since English is still the mandatory first language commencing in the 6th grade). I just cannot type and express here below, how envious I was of my sister when she returned in the Fall, speaking and writing Spanish absolutely perfectly (LOL…)! I guess looking back today that if I was already motivated to become fluent in Spanish like my sister as teenager, my envy and admiration of listening to my oldest sister just talk away in Spanish, most assuredly reinforced my own teenage will! But I do digress here, as I often do on blogs…Sorry, I cannot help myself..! Well, the upon obtaining my Bachelors’ degree, graduating and spending that Summer Season with my family in France (as my mother still had an apartment in Paris), thanks to one of my sisters whom she:herself, was preparing to spend a month in Germany, I successfully applied and was accepted to spend almost a full year as an “Au-Pair”/Live-In Nanny and to become one hundred percent fluent in Spanish. I was Oh So Extremely Fortunate to live in Beautiful Majorca, Spain (located in the Balearic Islands) with a couple of two children of whom the father was a sculptor and of whom the mother managed the Art Gallery: “La Galeria Maior” they mutually owned, which was located at the center of the small town: Pollensa in which we lived. Needless to state here that upon the termination of my Au-Pair contract, not only die I accomplish my goal in becoming fluent in Spanish but a hunger to continue to live in another Spanish speaking country, in order to be absolutely certain that I reinforce what I accomplished and that I would furthermore master it for good until the end of my life! Also, one of my sisters came to visit me for ten days from France, at the end of my stay. Together, we went bike riding to explore Pollensa and its surroundings, to a few couple of concerts, to the market, to a couple of art exhibits and dinners with friends and as my sister was dabbling in singing back then and as I had befriended a small group of local musicians, my sister had the opportunity to perform at an exclusive concert that they gave for their friends. (I as well, had my very first opportunity and time to travel and to visit Barcelona with the family for a few days right before Christmas) as I would go to spend the Christmas and New Year Holidays with my own family, in Paris. However, as I was with the family, I did not really get to sightsee Barcelona as I had wanted to. I only remember walking through “Las Ramblas.” (Las Ramblas is the equivalent of New York City’s Park Avenue or as of yet: of Paris “Champs-Elysees.”
My Stay in the Dominican Republic was quite UNEXPECTED, as like I stated in a couple of my previous posts and blog series about this Beautiful Latin-Carribean Tropical Island, most of my Dominican acquaintances and friends (aside from two), had been warning me time and time and time again about the racism I was going to face as a Black person and moreover as a Black person speaking Spanish with an audible French sounding accent (as my first language is French and not English) and as I learned to mainly write in Spanish more than to speak it in high-school, starting in the eight grade until the twelfth grade. I continued to take advanced classes and write dissertations in Spanish as I enrolled at my Undergraduate University…. And was required to converse in Spanish throughout my Spanish Conversation classes as I minored in Spanish… And even though my Spanish grammar and vocabulary were great, I knew that I had to go spend about an entire year in a predominantly Spanish speaking country. I however did not wish to do my exchange program like most American Undergraduate students in my Sophomore (third) year. I therefore stayed in college for two Summer sessions, loaded-up on my classes and credits, to graduate in three years instead of the four usual years…! At least, in The United States of America… Right upon graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in English, American, Pan-African, International Literature, and Women’s Literature, I spent the Summer Season of my graduation with my family in France; where all of my sisters (aside from one who was in The United States at that time like me) and many of my extended family and friends resided (and still do to this day). From France, I applied as an “Au-Pair/Live-In Nanny” in Spain for a year… I actually lived in the largest of the three Balearic islands: Majorca, squeezed-in between the smallest Island of the three: Minorca and the internationally renowned popular “Party Island” of Ibiza. I returned to France after my year was over in Spain. (I was very fortunate to visit much of Majorca as well as Barcelona for my very first time) throughout my stay as in “Au-Pair” with my host family. I most unfortunately have not had the opportunity to return to The Balearic Islands since my early youth! …After my stay in Spain, I went back to France to once again spend great Quality Time with my immediate family with my oldest niece recently being born and then actually went to Costa Rica for another full entire year as an Exchange Volunteer Youth and also explored most of Costa Rica’s regions throughout that entire year…! …As a result, whereas I have been speaking English since Nursery (Kindergarten) School and henceforth, have an American accent in English as I have been living in the United States on-and-off since my earliest childhood, I truly had to work on becoming fluent in Spanish by spending two consecutive years living with two respective families in the two above mentioned countries, who neither spoke English or French for that matter…!
The REASON why I was warned by my aforementioned close friends and others about the racism in The Dominican Republic was that in their perception, some Dominicans might have thought that I was Haitian… And might just therefore demonstrate some adversity and animosity to my being like any racist individual in our world, just by mere association of my French intonation and light “Frenchie” accent, to me being Haitian… I truly would not AT ALL have been bothered by this as I actually spent about ten days in Haiti (including Haiti’s National Independence Day, which happens to fall on The world’s global New Year’s Holiday: January 1st) and ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED Haiti, where I traveled to Haiti a few years back, with my niece/daughter (as I played a major role in raising her, alongside my sisters…). I will MOST CERTAINLY write about my Independence Day New Year’s Eve Celebration in Port-Au-Prince as well as about my VERY FIRST TIME Travel Experience in “HAITI LA BELLE/HAITI THE BEAUTIFUL”, similar to my very first experiences to the respective countries I have already blogged about: Canada and the one which I am currently blogging about: The Dominican Republic…!
SPECIAL NOTE: My next couple of blogs will be about my two consecutive Summer trips (this just past 2018 and the 2019 upcoming one) in Latin Mediterranean Europe and the ones after that, will most definitely be about all three: my USA Thanksgiving Panama Holiday Trip and then: my Winter Season: five day Barcelona, Spain Trip and my week long Haiti Trip… So, please do stay tuned …!!!
…As a result, back to the country at hand …!
The Dominican Republic MOST ASSUREDLY surpassed my expectations as I did not personally feel a single hint of racism and/or prejudice…! Now, I was about five hours away by car from The Dominican Republic’s capital city: Santo-Domingo and furthermore also about five hours away from a region where once again, some of my Dominican friends (including some of whose parents and relatives are from that specific region) have warned me that there is most definitely MORE racism and prejudice than in any other regions within The Dominican Republic… ! …As I nonetheless have not traveled there and can therefore not vouch about this, I am leaving this region unamed. I can SOLELY write about my beautiful week long experience in the region of: Puerto Plata… As this is the only region that I visited and where I stayed (henceforth, my series of articles about it/please refer to all of my Dominican Republic article series if you wish to find out more about my personal experiences at Beautiful Puerto Plata)! It also goes without saying that staying at a private high-end resort and spa like the one I stayed at: “Blue Bay Resort and Spa”, most assuredly implicates that the entire management and staff, will conduct themselves in the outmost Respectful and Cordial way… ! …No matter what race or tone complexion one is…! This, unless one is unruly, and disrespectful…! …And even so, the hotel’s management will most likely instruct the employees to demonstrate the outmost DISCRETION in handling such clientele…! My first point nonetheless is that 1. There were several black employees (just like myself) at Playa Dorada’s Blue Bay’s Resort Spa throughout my stay and there was absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the way they were treated as compared to their lighter skin counterparts and colleagues and neither to my regards or to the regards of any other black clientele. 2. I must emphasize the first bullet point as sometimes most unfortunately, it is NOT because one shares the same skin tone colour and/or race, that ALL individuals of the same skin tone colour and/or race identifies with one… This, more particularly when one is not from the same country and/or ethnic background… ! Please, do believe me as I have both: personally lived as well as seen others live such experiences… But ABSOLUTELY NOT in Puerto Plata…! 3. Though I can presently afford the luxuries of staying at high-end resorts with my very own finances from time to time and with EXCELLENT Planning and Budgeting (as there was a time not so far back when I absolutely could NOT), I still very much am a ‘People’s” Cultural Traveler! This meaning that: whenever and wherever my travels lead me to (whether this be for my Professional engagements or for my Personal Leisure ones), there MOST CERTAINLY still is a NEED for me, to explore the different “facets” of the place in which I find myself and to therefore intermix with the locals from various social classes……! …As this is exactly how my Dear Beloved Mother raised my five sisters and I, as she was an International Independent Diplomat for the United Nations…! …What she indeed taught us, was to be open-minded and welcoming to people from ALL Race, Cultural and Religious Backgrounds, Socio-Economical classes and from ALL walks of life…! …This, as she stated to us what my grandfather had stated to her and to my aunts and uncles (her siblings) while they were all growing-up; that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE in our world, is SUPERIOR and/or INFERIOR to another one…! It is certain Human Beings, who superficially raise themselves above others…. And these Human Beings tend to be narcissistic and ego-centric. The second group would be: certain government officials and people of great wealth and/or stature…! …This, as our WORLD’s GLOBAL SOCIETY, has an unhealthy sickly obsession relative to celebrities…! …Especially on social mediatic platforms, which I myself use as well… But in a very different manner…
…As my private shuttle bus driver and travel agent coordinator were coming to pick me up in the early afternoon, I had the chance to go sit at my hotel’s Blue Bay Resort and Spa’s main lobby for a very last time and just reminisce about my week long stay (like I often do on my way to the airport when traveling alone). It is moreover ALWAYS a bitter-sweet feeling for me, on my very last day and/or on the morning of my departure as unlike many travelers, MOST of my travels (and I have been traveling for a very longtime now), have rendered POSITIVE AMAZING LIFETIME experiences for me to share with my family, relatives and friends as well as on ALL of my social media platforms, to people from the different corners of the world as a woman of colour…! Indeed, perhaps is my mind presently blanking out but I am being truthful and honest in asserting that even in places where I have been ONE out of three or five black/black-chocolate-brown-coffee people (mainly in Western Europe), I have MOSTLY enjoyed my respective trips and the countries I have visited so far…! This, whether with others and/or on my Solo Trips……!
…As I was packing the day before at my hotel with a patio and balcony at Blue Bay’s Resort and looking out from the patio at the beautiful pink tropical flowers (I apologize as I am not at all a Botanical Garden “Connaisseuse” and am therefore unable to name the exact tropical flowers that were staring at me just like I was staring at them), I felt a tinge of sadness sadness as I had no idea of when I would be returning to Puerto Plata, to The Dominican Republic and to any of its other regions for that matter, including Santo Domingo: its capital city…! …But then again, (this is the case for most of my travels as I loooooooooooove to explore new countries I have NEVER traveled to, even though I sometimes MUST return to the same country such as France as most of my direct siblings live there and/or states in which I have either lived and/or visited for my Professional Engagements). …And I have still not returned to this Beautiful Tropical Latin Spanish speaking Caribbean country as of yet (but might plan to next year as my partner has strong ties in The Dominican Republic )! …Just as I have not returned to its ONLY Sister Neighbor equally Beautiful French Caribbean country: Haiti…! …Alas, As such is Life…! I however have thought about all the genuinely welcoming Dominicans I met within and outside of “Blue Bay’s Resort & Spa” as well as the various sites and places I was fortunate to visit in just one week and the several interesting conversations I had with some of the locals, with regards to: politics and more importantly, the relations between Haitians and Dominicans in general…! I at first apprehended such conversations as I readily and incorrectly assumed that most Dominicans would just refute the harsh treatment the Dominican government generally impounds on poor Haitian immigrants… But this was absolutely not so…! …Just like in any country, the local Dominicans I encountered stated that they have Haitian friends and/or neighbors and that the Haitians they know, are very hard-workers… And that many Haitians and Dominicans furthermore inter-marry…! What they (just like anyone else) do NOT wish to see, are the minority of Haitians who are “bad news as “ya tenemos bastante de lo nuestros, que son vagosos/we already have enough of our own people, who are good for nothing…!” Most of the locals I conversed with, furthermore added that one’s skin colour “no importa/does not matter!!!” as many recognized (at least to me during our conversation) that they are a mixture of African-descent, Native Indigenous American and European and that some Dominicans are even darker skinned than some Haitians and/or than any other black person from the diaspora…! …For anyone traveling to The Dominican Republic and more importantly any of the black travelers who like I admit, me-myself did, due to my pre-trip conversations with some of my Dominican friends prior to traveling to The Dominican Republic; have a pre-conceived biased notion that Dominicans in general do not relate to their black part of history and moreover despise and actually have a “built-in” adversity against MOST Haitians., I am presently corroborating that the is TERRIBLY FALSE! This, most significantly, since The Dominican government distributed Temporary Permits to the thousands of Haitians who immigrated to DR due to the horrendous earthquake several years ago now…! I rightfully CLEARLY moreover state here, that one CANNOT go by “hear say” but on the very contrary: one MUST construct one’s OWN mind through one’s very OWN personal experiences by obtaining the information first hand, through talking and interacting with NOT ONE SINGLE but with SEVERAL locals: both females and males…! This, to make one’s OWN mind instead of a generalized pre-conceived notion of the people of a specific region and/or country!
I would therefore like to re-iterate here that I CLEARLY KNOW that I will MOST CERTAINLY return to The Dominican Republic just as I presently EQUALLY KNOW that I will return to Haiti…! …I just do not know exactly WHEN and which one will be FIRST…! …Perhaps, will my return trips to these respective countries be back-to-back as they are “Sister Neighboring” countries after all and the ONLY ones sharing “one and the same” island, which used to be: “La Isla Hispaniola/The Hispaniola Island….!” …And even though some Human Beings wish they could simply ERASE the past, HISTORY on the other hand, neither ERASES nor FORGETS ANY PAST …!!!
PS: MMMMM, I PROMISE THAT IT IS A SHEER COINCIDENCE THAT I FINISHED to WRITE and PUBLISH THIS ABOVE ARTICLE on NEW YEAR’S DAY, as I AM COMFORTABLY RESTING at a QUIET, TRANQUIL SPACE after THE CELEBRATION with FAMILY RELATIVES and FRIENDS, to RING IN THE NEW YEAR 2019 HAVE SIMMERED DOWN, as EVERYONE HAS THEIR BELLIES FULL and HAS JUST FOUND SOMEWHERE to SIT DOWN and just “CHELAX” – RELAX and CHIILL… …!!! MAY “WE”, as an INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THEREFORE REACH FOR the STARS NOT JUST FOR THIS YEAR but for the REST OF THE YEARS OF OUR LIVES TO COME… …!!!
Simply “chelaxing: chilling and relaxing” outside at Playa Dorada’s Blue Bay Resort & Spa in The Late Morning After Breakfast, While Awaiting My Shuttle Bus En Route to Puerto Plata’s International Airport…
Last Selfie Picture, From Playa Dorada’s Blue Bay’s Resort And Spa’s Open Front Lobby, After I fixed my disheveled hair (LOL…)!
Beautiful Last Scenic View Photo Picture Snap, en route to Puerto Plata’s International Airport…
Puerto Plata’s international Airport…!
…Last Selfie Pictures at Puerto Plata’s International Airport on my way back to New York City… !! !
PUERTO PLATA’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’S DUTY FREE BOUTIQUE SHOPS
Puerto Plata’s International Airport’s Interior…!
As a child, When I traveled with my mother and my sisters, we truly loved being in airports because they seemed so vast with people from the four different corners of the world, traveling and/or seeing family members depart and/or yet again, coming to greet them upon arrival… Since then, things are very different, since one MUST BE ALERT at all times due to the nature of what has/of what can tragically occur in our world and at airports… Today, I am usually the FIRST, SECOND or THIRD to arrive to check-in my luggage (when I do not check it online) and just go “hang-out” at my gate and observe all all other passengers, whenever I travel alone as well as each airports’ art and architectural works… And snap some pictures like the above as well…!
Waiting for my plane to arrive, get on board the newcomers, have the airport local staff cleaning crew, clean the plane, to then being able to board on… This is my last earth view of Puerto Plata…!
All Settled In On The Plane, On my Way Back to My Home Residence:
The Big Apple…!
New York City John F. Kennedy’s Yellow Taxi Cab Line…
-WHY AM I ONLY A PART-TIME INSTEAD OF A FULL-TIME INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL CULTURAL TRAVEL BLOGGER, EDUCATOR & INFLUENCER LIKE THE REST…?
I have had and still very much currently have many passions and projects I would like to undertake in my remaining lifetime…! This, even though time is going by and my biological age clock is most certainly ticking now more than ever before…! …And yet, my traveling goals and bucket list keep on piling up! This, even though as previously stated and unlike many travel bloggers, I have NO intentions whatsoever of visiting as many countries as I possibly can without them being on my actual bucket list or yet and still: every single country in our world…! This, not just because of my age but more so because of these following reasons:
1. There are 195 or 196 countries worldwide and I neither have (never ever did for that matter), the energy nor the stamina to constantly hop on and off planes like some of the “brave”, “daring” and “enduring” Travel Bloggers out there, of which some I, myself follow !
2. I like to take short or long breaks in-between my travels as I very much enjoy being able to navigate between my steadfast paced part-time travel life but yet and still, very much enjoying my life when I am not traveling; as well as my cozy apartment in a city that I truly love and in which I have lived for the past twenty five years : New York City as it is one of our world’s most Multiethnic, Multiracial, Multi-diverse and Multicultural! cities !
3. I furthermore thoroughly enjoy exquisite wonderful quality times spent with my present male partner, my longtime friends, (my only sister out of five, who also lives in the states) and my relatives… Whether this be, long dinner get-togethers or house parties at one of our homes, going out to cafes or restaurants, hanging out at night at jazz clubs or lounges, attending a new art gallery opening or a new museum exhibit, catching a new broadway or a new off-broadway show or musical, going to see a play or a comedy show, attending a live concert etc… Or simply enjoying long walks and/or reading/writing and daydreaming at home, at my neighborhood’s Starbucks’ coffee shop or doing all of this at the park, especially my favorite one from which I live fairly close to!
4. It is absolutely undeniable that thanks to my Dear Beloved deceased mother (who was an international independent civil servant & diplomat for the United Nations) and who fed my sisters and I, with her foreign diplomatic on-going missions and official travels to meet other dignitaries in different countries, continents and parts of the world, I have ALWAYS had an outmost PASSION for traveling! It nonetheless was extremely important for me, (after a personal intimate failed four year relationship, which I was certain would lead to marriage); to pursue and fully live my passion while still creating a life balance between my travel goals and my other equally impassioned life interests and setting some time aside to spend wonderful precious quality with my numerous beloved friends and relatives…! I presently therefore believe that I am gradually succeeding in creating a harmonious life balance between my travels and my other life engagements while also including my present partner in it all, which most certainly is what makes both: my traveling and writing all worth it! This, I absolutely assure you !
5. As I am solely a Part-Time International Cultural Traveler, due to my other professional engagements (I have extensively written about my other professional obligations in a previous blog article…). You can therefore go back and scroll in my blog history to read it in full if you wish to do so !
6. As I am yet and still an entirely Free-Lance Self-Produced, Non-Sponsored International Cultural Educator, Writer & Travel Blogger (this will hopefully change in the future)! I nonetheless currently 100% absolutely finance EVERY SINGLE ONE of my cultural trips on my very own and traveling very much requires money…! I moreover clearly and distinctly separate my professional engagement travels from my cultural travels. This, as all expenses are covered for my professional engagements’ travels. On the other end, my cultural travels are specifically geared to feed and to nourish the depths of my yearning soul, to continue to explore the world as I please in order to grow as an International, Universal Writer but more importantly and essentially: as a Cultural, Humanistic World Ambassador to give free Educational & Cultural Positive Empowerment Motivational and Cultural Presentations & Workshops throughout the four corners of the world, for underserved and underprivileged communities as well as at: female shelters, family shelters, community centers, orphanages, schools, centers and agencies as I am a multilingual citizen. I moreover presently share some of my “World Exploration” through this blog with my readers who have started to follow me via my public Facebook and Instagram pages and to therefore accompany me on my Travel Stories and Journeys !!! …I genuinely do humbly thank you/them each for this…! …I nonetheless still have ways to go, as I have just reached my blog’s first year Anniversary…! I have many aspirations for my blog in the next years to come… As I just do not plan for it to be just another “Travel Blog” but a venue through which I will also write and post about my hard work as a World Global Educational & Cultural Motivational Positive Empowerment Educator and Presenter, which I have been doing as a Professional this entire past decade and which I will continue to do throughout the rest of my life and through upcoming sponsorships.
7. I can truly become “lazy” when I travel on my personal time and on vacations (LOL )! Firstly because I work a lot on different projects and as a Professional Positive Motivational Empowerment Speaker and Presenter! Secondly, because I have not yet started to travel, to empower different communities and people around the world, which will involve much “behind the scenes” hard work & strategic planning! …This, most particularly in tropical sunshiny countries, where I have the leisure to take pretty lengthy afternoon naps if I feel like it and where I am neither constrained by time nor by anyone, as I have mostly been a Solo Traveler for these about already past ten years…! This is nonetheless gradually changing as I will embark on my very first trip with my present male partner and Love… ! I also invite you to go back to my blog history and read my blog article about my experience and recommendations as a Female Solo Traveler as my NUMBER ONE MOTTO, for anyone traveling alone but more importantly for females (as I, myself am a female after all & am led to speak from my personal traveling experiences) is to be CAUTIOUS & SAFE as MUCH as you FEASIBLY & POSSIBLY CAN …!
8. Most unfortunately (or perhaps was it just my fate), I have only recently decided to create my very own Travel Blog (I wish that I had done so several years ago, when online blogging was very fresh and new on the world scene)! …Thanks to the gentle but consistent nudging of a couple of my longtime close friends (do please once more feel free to go to my blog’s “ABOUT…” link, to find out more about how my blog came about , and as to why exactly I made the bold decision and took the giant leap of FAITH to launch myself within this presently extremely extra competitive Blog Stratosphere…), I finally decided to create my present on-line Travel Blog …!
9. To tell you the truth, I initially honestly hesitated before publishing my very first blog article, which is about my trip to Montreal-Canada last year in May in honour of Montreal’s 150th Anniversary and of which some of the selected pictures I captured during my trip, are posted above. This, after not having traveled to Canada since my childhood with my family ! I truly cannot believe that I have just celebrated my blog’s very first BIRTHDAY this past June as even though I traveled to this charming bilingual city in May, I actually published my first Montreal’s Trip’s article series in June ! -Why did I hesitate to publish my articles in my current blog…?, some of you might ask. …As odd as it may seem, I had the fear of publicly divulging myself to the entire cyber space world…!
10 …Indeed! …For even though I am sitting behind my computer anywhere I feel inspired to write and to type, once I have decided to put any of my articles in cyberspace, I am 100% fully aware that my series of articles are no longer exclusively mine but become the cyberspace’s public property just like when I submit my articles to magazines…!!! …And similarly to my very first magazine article submission several years ago (for an international magazine), this very same fear re-appeared and crept on me with regards to my blog articles! ….The real justified FEAR of my blog and series of articles not being read..! …And therefore I, myself not feeling validated as the International Cultural Blog Writer that I am slowly but most certainly becoming (amongst my other existent writing forms…)! This, even though I am tremendously once again humbled and grateful to even actually have some followers whether it be via both respectively: my public Facebook page or my Instagram page..! …I initially started with one follower solely on Instagram and was stuck on the number twenty (most of them being: my friends, family and acquaintances ) for what seemed to be an eternity…!
11. I was a little afraid as well, about perhaps not always feeling inspired to write… This, even as a “Born Creative Writer”, a Professional International Public Presenter and Speaker (where I methodically write and prepare my presentations and topics in advance)! I furthermore quickly realized that: creating and producing a blog’s content is quite different from writing a newspaper and/or a magazine article and simply submitting my articles to the designated newspapers or magazines with an editing staff on hand…! …As Bloggers, we must constantly feed our blogs and therefore ensure to always have enough content materials and subject matters to write about and format, edit, create and publish articles after articles after articles…! This, as long as we wish to remain in the on-line Blogging Business…!!! I however DO NOT AT ALL ONLY see myself as a: Blogger but as I stated at the very beginning of this blog, I MOST ASSUREDLY see myself as a: as much as an AMBASSADOR of CULTURES as much as a TRANSPORTER of HISTORY, through my Cultural Presentations, Motivational Speaking as equally through my writing…!!!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
-…Perhaps, are you furthermore as well not aware that most Blog Writers are not just “Seasonal Writers…” but actual Lifetime Writers! -How then did I conquer my fear?, you might once more currently be asking yourself… I quickly came to realize after talking about my feelings and venting to a couple of my very close friends, that the beautiful miracle of the cyber world is specifically that every single one of us (adults) can choose to have a space and a live online platform, simply waiting for us to POSITIVELY and PRODUCTIVELY use it if we wish to do so… ! This, as our very experiences are each OH so extremely UNIQUE and SPECIAL..! ….And CANNOT therefore possibly be DUPLICATED! …For these experiences of ours, are caught in a very specific TIME FRAME & INSTANT…! THEY are indeed caught in a very particular moment in time that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE can take away… !!! …As a result, I very MUCH do hope that anyone who stumbles upon my hereby blog and browses through some of my articles, will fully be intrigued and interested to read most of them…! ….Be inspired by them and realize that she/he/they/YOU as well, CAN MOST DEFINITELY embark on your very own journey and commence whatever it is that fuels your Inner Spiritual Being… !!! Henceforth both, the title and the subtitle of my blog: “…Irene’s Inspirational Travels/Traveling To Inspire Others To Pursue Their Outmost Passions…!” ..This, despite the overwhelming competition and the obvious fact that many of the present bloggers (including myself), often unconsciously write articles with similar related or actually with the very same topics as the multiple presence of other bloggers via cyberspace! …Not because we voluntary and consciously plan to do so but moreso because we ALL live in the same contemporary world and therefore tend to gravitate towards the same interests and share the same feelings when traveling despite our wide age differences…! As for the purpose of my own blog’s creation…? It is predominantly to share my world travels, which I hope will fuel on-going lasting conversations as an International Cultural Travel Blogger, a Multicultural Educator, a Positive Empowerment Motivational Speaker & a World Ambassador (even though the entirety of me, has not as of yet set foot in Asia, The Pacific Islands, Australia and other parts of the world..)! …What nonetheless sets each one of us apart, are our writing and creative styles as much as our distinct experiences and travel story tales according to our respective genders, race, nationalities, ethnicities and cultural inherited backgrounds !
…And there you have it...! In addition to my blog’s introduction entitled “About Irene…” (of which I most certainly invite you to read in order to get the full picture of who I am and of my story), I have presently given you more background as to why I am only a part-time as opposed to a full-time nonetheless most assuredly still PASSIONATE Cultural Travel Blogger, Educator and Influencer as well as how I was inspired to begin my Travel Blog… ! Do therefore please make sure to ONE HUNDRED PERCENT fully invest and immerse yourselves in your very respective passions as I CAN NEVER write it enough: LIFE IS WAY TOO SHORT, to not LIVE your PASSION(S…!!! …This, as long as it is not SELFISH but on the very contrary: MOST ASSUREDLY & ABSOLUTELY SELFLESS…! This, as long as it motivates others on your street, your block, your neighborhood, your community or throughout your company, agency, organization… Or yet and still on a larger and broader scale, in your region, your country and/or throughout your continent and yet again still: throughout the four corners of our globe, to do POSITIVE things and become a ROLE MODEL for the next generations to come…!!! …The sky is truly the limit…! …With a STRONG Spiritual Foundation and a Fantastic Emotional Support of hopefully but not necessarily with your closest: family members, relatives and friends right there by your side, to support and embrace your lifetime passion(s) & goal(s) with you …!!! …As long as YOU… & YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING, believe in your VERY SELF …!!!
One thing that I have failed to disclose about myself, from my long-tern traveling and living experience in three different continents, is that I looooooooooooooooove to try different local and ethnic foods… ! ! ! I truly strongly furthermore believe that food, whether it be: the appetizer, main course or dessert is most assuredly an integral component of one’s traveling experiences as much as immersing oneself in the country’s local customs and traditions…! This is the precise reason why I decided to have my IXth blog article on my Dominican Republic Trip, about my experience with the different foods throughout my stay …! Once again, as I have mentioned in some of my previous blogs, most of my articles are so far from a tourist perspective as opposed to that of an expatriate’s or resident’s one…! My typical stay in a country presently is between a week to ten days as I am only a part-time Free-Lance Travel Blogger (which I always keep on stating in some of my blog articles…) as I am a Motivational Speaker, Healthy Life Skills’ Presenter and a Writer amongst others! I moreover really do my very best to try different places (cafes, local and international restaurants as well as the resort’s food)! I, myself furthermore originally being from a tropical country and having lived in France, Canada as well as in several other tropical countries and various states within the United States of America for a significant length of time (a month to a year to two full years), my taste bud has most certainly been able to be open-minded and inviting to multiple food scents and flavours eversince my earliest childhood …!
Just like in any highly frequented tourist countries, Puerto Plata offers a multiple of choices for one to go eat ! Indeed, from the various high end resort priced international restaurants to the extremely affordable local restaurants…! I solely stayed at Playa Dorada’s area (apart from my sightseeing travel tours) on this very first trip to The Dominican Republic and can therefore only relate to my eating experiences at Playa Dorada, San Felipe’s City Central and at more remote areas during my sightseeing tours which was ONE hundred percent absolutely excellent and exquisite…! I also wish to add that Playa Dorada’s Blue Bay Exclusive Adult Resortand Spa, has three restaurants right next to the resort, less then five minutes’ walking literally! I experienced one of them with the Russian-Canadian female (also a Solo Traveler) whom I had met within the first two days of my arrival for my week long stay. (Please, refer to my previous blog article about The Nightlife in Puerto Plata as well as my article on Traveling Solo)! I very much enjoyed the food at Blue Bay’s resort as well, which gives an eclectic choice of international dishes at its large buffet service during its flexible breakfast, lunch and dinner time…! When sightseeing for an entire afternoon or day, I was able to try out some local food… But then again, not only do I live in the Big Apple (New York City) and have been living here for twenty+ some years, where I have full access to Dominican Typical Authentic food but I also have the great privilege to have had longterm life lasting Dominican friends… ! ! ! …As a result, I already knew everything about real Dominican food !
I will not make this blog as lengthy and as long as I usually make them ! …I however will adamantly state here that I have NEVER met a person who DOES NOT like Dominican Authentic food… Whether this be at a party, at a Dominican friend’s family’s home, at a social event and/or in the Dominican Republic itself…! Just like in all countries, small details of the way and manner a dish is: baked, cooked and/or presented, it can slightly vary from a region to another but the basic and main ingredients and remain the very same…!!! My advice therefore for anyone who travels/is planning to travel outside of their very own country/countries and/or to a new country/region and in relative to this very article; to this Beautiful Tropical Spanish Speaking Caribbean Island, is to really keep a more than open-mind and to try the many eating and food options… This most especially, relative to local Dominican food!
“!…BUEN PROVECHO, PUES …!”\”BON APPETIT, ALORS …!”\DO ENJOY YOUR MEAL, !
Even though I only spent a week in The Dominican Republic and the fact that this was my first ever trip in this Beautiful Spanish Speaking Tropically Diverse Caribbean Island, I feel that I can nonetheless give my personal account and experience with regards to how I spent most of my evenings and enjoyed the Nightlife in Puerto Plata’s upscale Playa Dorada as a Solo Traveler …!!! (Please, also refer to my article entitled “Traveling Solo”, to find out how I have stayed SAFE as a BLACK FEMALE who has mostly traveled alone throughout these past seven years…)!
My personal account with regards to Puerto Plata’s Nightlife, is furthermore only that of a tourist’s as opposed to that of an expatriate or local…! …And my stay was not lengthy enough for me to patronize the various restaurants, lounges and night clubs in San Felipe known as Puerto Plata’s Downtown City Central! Also, just like the several tourist beach cities I have traveled to so far in the countries listed below, the locals who can afford it often gravitate towards the tourist filled geared restaurants, bars, lounges and nightclubs as they are more multicultural and diverse and as they as well perhaps give a sense of being more secured (even though I am of the group of travelers and individuals who firmly believe that whatever is to most unfortunately happen, WILL HAPPEN regardless of how well a place is protected… )! This is the very reason why we should most definitely live our respective lives to its FULLEST as long as we live it in a Spiritually (always FIRST in my book), Emotionally, Psychologically and Physically Healthy Positive Organic, Holistic Eco-Friendly way (again, this is just my sole and personal opinion)! As previously stated, I have moreover listed the different beach or water centralized port countries, islands and regions where I have either lived/traveled to/or both and in which I noticed the repetitive common patterns of both: the tourists and locals intermingling together in their social lives… Especially at night…! I furthermore have traveled in more cities and states mentioned below (within the U.S.) and still have three official continents: (Asia, The Middle East and Australia) as well as three sub-continents: (South America, The Pacific Islands and Antarctica) in which I have not set foot as of yet…! Then again as an afterthought, I am not quite certain to make it all the way to Antarctica …!!! Here are nonetheless my list of port water fronts and/or sea countries, islands and regions I have already been to: San Diego, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Savannah, Martha’s Vineyard (to only name a few in the United States), Cape-Town (South Africa), Marrakech (Morocco), Matadi (The Democratic Republic of Congo – my country of origin), Brazzaville (The Republic of Congo) relative to the African countries I have either lived in and/or visited so far; Marseilles, La Camargue’s region, Deauville (Normandy) and Nice for the cities and regions I have lived in and visited in France; Pollensa-Mallorca and Barcelona (for the cities I have lived in and visited in Spain); Guanacaste, Nicoya, Playas Del Coco, Limon, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Mal Pais, La Cruz and Cahuita (in one of the world’s number ONE eco-friendly countries: Costa Rica) as I spent an entire year and later returned to Costa Rica for two full weeks; La Isla Flamenco, La Isla Del Coco and Punta Culebra (all situated in Panama), where I travelled just recently: a couple of months ago! My next extensive series of blog articles will in fact be about my week long Panama trip (after my upcoming Mediterranean European Summer trip), geographically located in Central America lie Costa Rica! …And last but most certainly not least: Nassau & Treasure Cay Beach Island (in the paradisiacal islands of The Bahamas …)!
I will eventually have to periodically revisit my list as I continue on my Free-Lance World Exploration and Travel Journey …! …Yet in the meantime and without further ado, here is my list of my four top “Nightlife” Things To Do In Puerto Plata…!”:
MY FOUR TOP THINGS TO DO IN PUERTO PLATA’S DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…
THIS, EVEN ON A SHORT VISIT AND STAY!:
1. Attend at least one night show, a special cocktail or dinner party organized at your resort or elsewhere…! The perks here of you attending an event at your resort, is that: You DO NOT even need to leave your resort (if you are staying in one), as most resorts bring the entertainment to YOU and have their weekly entertainment information posted somewhere and readily available for you if it is not posted. You can furthermore request the schedule at the front desk or ask where exactly is the schedule posted! It customarily is posted at a central location …!
2. Go out to a Special Event and/or “Soirée Evening” outside of your resort… I have done this several times now as a Solo Traveler or even when traveling with a couple of friends and/or relatives… Try to find out in advance if there is a special “Soirée” or event you are interested in, prior to flying out, so that you can purchase your tickets in advance online on the actual event’s safe sight and/or as soon as you arrive to your destination..! I have attended galas, concerts, dinners, cocktail parties, rooftop parties etc…! Make sure however, to leave your hotel keys upfront at the main lobby and notify one of the front desk clerks where you are going and with whom…! …As you SHOULD ALWAYS put your SAFETY FIRST, when traveling…! I am furthermore NEITHER a drinker NOR a substance abuse user of any shape or form…! This, not for any religious purposes (as I have been asked many times) but moreso because I have NEVER liked the smell of alcohol and strongly believe that I am allergic to its smell as it sometimes gives me goose pumps…! I also like to be IN CHARGE of ALL my capacities at ALL TIMES…! …I as well am a pretty good judge of character when I meet people on my trips and ONLY go to an external event if and ONLY IF I FEEL SAFE and IF and ONLY IF I am CERTAIN to have a SAFE GUARANTEED ride back to my temporary residence…! In addition, just to expand on the topic, I ONLY drink VIRGINS, meaning: NON-ALCOHOLIC cocktails (this is at least the meaning in the USA) and please, do make sure to see that the bartender has actually poured the drink/drinks in your glass directly from the bottle and right in front of you…! I also ONLY ACCEPT FREE VIRGINS offered to me IF I am right there at the bar, with the person who is offering it to me (I have only so far been offered by men when traveling abroad, as my girlfriends and I treat each other to drinks back home) and ALWAYS when the bartender once again pours it in your glass…! I must add here, that MOST if not ALL of my out-of-resort outings have entailed private exclusive ones, where one MUST BE on the event’s Guest List…!
3. Explore a couple of restaurants at the proximity and/or outside of where you are staying…! I usually book one of the hotel’s or resort’s car services’ WITH driver included, in order to have him (I have never had a female private car service driver abroad so far) come back to pick me up and drive me back to my hotel…! I have found that the same hotel or resort drivers tend to be highly respectful and courteous when they know that you are a client of the hotel or resort you have chosen to stay at and also act as your private bodyguard at times, which is absolutely okay with me… as they are ensuring my SAFETY…! I also am a really good tipper ! There is furthermore a comfort level on both sides (at least for me when I travel alone) as one is not “dubious” or fearful of the “what if”s as the driver knows ALL TOO WELL, that I am a client at the hotel he works for and that “all hail will break loose” if he is to do whatever with the hotel’s clients…! This, most especially as a citizen of an economically “powerful” industrialized nation, as my Consulate will be looking for me at some point…! Especially as well, as a Public Online Person…! …And so will my close only other sister living in the United States like myself; as well as my numerous longtime friends and my present partner…!!! -Need I type more…???!!!
SPECIAL SIDEBAR NOTE:
…But here again, I need to emphasize that I have NEVER EVER throughout All of my Traveling Years, have had to wonder or second guess any of the hotel private drivers I have hired directly affiliated to the hotel.. (And I VERY MUCH PRAY that things stay this way)! …A handful of other Solo Female and Male Travelers of various race, have most unfortunately had very bad encounters which could have truly ended up in death but if my memory does not fail me, these drivers were not directly affiliated to the hotel or resort they were staying at…! Also, the private parties I have so far attended abroad, tend to be located in residential upscale neighborhoods… I ONLY go to non-upscale neighborhood parties in my longtime home residential city: New York City and in any other city I know quite well because I have either previously lived there or I frequently used to travel there and there are several of those cities and countries …!
4. Spend an evening at your resort’s beach bar or lounge, overlooking the tropical sea…! What I truly love and appreciate upon traveling anywhere at a four to a five star resort or hotel in the tropics, are the AMAZING scenic beach front views and the fact that these beaches are closed to the public as they exclusively are part of the resorts’ properties…! …This is moreover the exact reason why we are charged with extra “surcharge” or “amenities” fees on top of our hotel rooms’ costs..! It is just like when one has a condo, co-op or lives in a gated residential area… There are FOA (amenities and maintenance charges) one must pay on a monthly basis! …For resorts, private apartments and/or villa rentals, it works in the same way…! …The clients are paying for their additional luxuries, quietness and privacy included in those extra fees…! …At the four, five and the very few six star worlwide hotels and resorts, there are 24 hour security guards, surveying the beach and the entire gated compound…! …And this is why I have ALWAYS felt safe, spending evenings at the beach whether alone and/or with a few other people upon staying at a beach resort…! I however DO NOT over extend my evenings at the beach bar and lounge when I travel alone…! In these cases, I take my evening walks right after dinner time when the sun is still awakened! …Neither do I wear transparent revealing clothes, as to not awaken anyone’s obliterated or drunken physical appetite and lust! Please, do withhold in mind that as a longtime expatriate and traveler (since my very birth with my beloved mother and sisters), I am one hundred percent FULLY aware that there is this global horrible sad myth about MOST Black Female Women traveling ALONE or only traveling with one or two other equally black females…!!! That assumption is that we are either traveling for SEX or as actual SEX WORKERS…! …This, even when we are dressed to the nines…!!! …Unless we are “chauffeured” everywhere we go or until one makes it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR with direct verbal or non-verbal communication that this is ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE…!!! Thank God for me, I am absolutely fluent speaking, reading & writing) in four languages and this makes it easier to communicate in the languages I am fluent in, whenever I find myself in the countries where these languages are spoken! …As a result, I have NEVER welcomed: eye winks, long stares, lingering smiles, sexually assumed or implied staring looks and comments… And I NEVER WILL for that matter…! I only speak to hotel & resorts male fellow clients when I am alone, (as one never initially knows) when and ONLY when a polite respectful nod, word or conversation has already occurred at the lobby or while lounging for a couple of hours by the pool or at the beach…! Still yet, with the CLEAR UNDERSTANDING that NOTHING ELSE IS TO BE EXPECTED by my male counterpart if he is heterosexual…! Things are EASIER at present as I am involved in a loving exclusive relationship (my barely handful of relationships have ALL been monogamous and exclusive by the way) with my present male partner and come right upfront and let any heterosexual male counterpart who approaches me, know this…! …I do know for a fact as well that other female solo travelers ftom other ethnicities, skin colour and race have experienced the same! …For I myself, also follow a handful of female Solo Bloggers of whom two or three of them actually indirectly motivated me to begin my own blog, amongst other factors (please, feel free to read my “About Irene Inspirational Travels” Blog Section to find out more about why and how I decided to begin my very own Travel Blog )! I nonetheless justifiably feel that Black Solo Female Travelers get sexually harassed in a more NEGATIVE, AGGRESSIVE and DIFFERENT manner than our other female counterparts…! …THE “NEGATIVE” part is moreso TRUE, if it is automatically assumed by the aggressor/aggresors that the female is “MOST DEFINITELY” from an African country and/or from Haiti…!!! …I personally for the most part, do mention in our initial conversation that my country of origin is a French speaking African country…! Though I sometimes mention my country of origin, I do not feel the “NEED TO” to mention it at other times, depending on either the BLATANT IGNORANCE or the EDUCATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE of my interlocutor…!!! I am furthermore EXTREMELY PROUD of being from my country of origin: The Democratic Republic of Congo and PROUDER STILL, of the WONDERFUL, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE INTERNATIONAL presently deceased & extremely dearly missed MOTHER I had and the equally international WONDERFUL AMAZING INCREDIBLE EDUCATION SHE has bestowed on my sisters and on myself...!!! -How could I not…! SHE is THE ONE who nourished my travel desires and passions as equally and as MUCH as she herself was IMPASSIONED by her own World Travels throughout our lives until she passed away…! …And she will FOREVER live within me until our spirits reunite again…! ..And even though I VERY MUCH enjoy my beach nights in the evenings with or without my partner, relatives, acquaintances and/or friends; I usually choose to have a last stroll in order to have a last look at the Beautiful, Breathtaking Scenic Photographic Landscape (even though I might also be leaving on that last strolling seaside evening’s crack of dawn but no worries…! I barely have missed a flight since I have started to travel alone as an adult ), with a couple of mosquito bites amidst my Eco-Friendly Organic anti-mosquito spray…. …!!! …But all jokes aside, strolling by the beach at night or spending some time at its bar/lounge with a virgin drink or simply lounging by the main resort’s swimming pool, has MOST CERTAINLY become a Spiritual Inner Being Soothing and Replenishing Ritual for me as it is truly where my soul finds itself the Most Serene, Contemplative and Peaceful….! …Which most probably makes one both, wonder and ponder: -So why do I still live in The Big Apple……!? Well… simply because I ABSOLUTELY LOVOOOOOVE its ENERGY and VIBES, when I am steadfastly temporarily set PUT for a couple or several months at a time as I am solely a PART-TIME as opposed to a FULL-TIME Travel Blogger… because I also am an International Positive Life Skills’ Motivational Speaker, Educational Health Presenter and a Spoken Words’ Artist !
MY TOP TEN THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PUERTO PLATA….!
If you read my very first part: Part I of the various parts of my Puerto Plata’s week long trip, where I recounted my arrival at Puerto Plata’s Internationpoal Airport and my impressions upon arriving and visiting The Beautiful Dominican Republic for the very first time, you might have been wondering what is there to do besides lounging at Puerto Plata’s beautiful beaches…! You might already furthermore have guessed my answer to this as I posted all about my trip to El Mount Isabel via “El Teleferico” in Spanish\The Cable Car in English…. As well as my trip on the same day to “La Fortaleza”\The Fortress with pictures as a proof of my visit to these two places in a previous post (LOL)!!! I also mentioned my Puerto Plata daytime City group tour as well as my evening outings with the small group of respective people I met in Puerto Plata during my stay. Below, you will presently find my list of “To Do Things” if my Puerto Plata’s Blog Travel Series have inspired you to visit this gorgeous Spanish speaking pretty large Caribbean island (you can furthermore read all about its history as well, in one of my blog series ! I will always make sure to add my “To Do Things” List and Suggestions at the end of my articles and article blog series (as I also most definitely equally invite you to do your very own research)! Please, very much do note that I am fully also aware that we each have a different way, style, preference and budget when traveling… ! As a result, my “Things To Do” List is ONLY a suggestion and introductory guide for anyone who stumbles upon this article! Before I embarked on launching my very own blog and followed several bloggers, I would always look forward (and still do even though I hardly have the time to read them these days as I have my own blog now…)! I moreover presently customarily navigate and browse through their respective Instagram and Facebook posts rather than their blogs for lack of time!
MY TEN TOP THINGS TO DO TO ACTIVITIES’ LIST IN PUERTO PLATA:
1. Visit Mount Isabel Del Torres via The Car Cable
…If you are BRAVE enough to take it, where you can spend several hours to see and admire Puerto Plata’s and its ocean’s scenery from up high as well as admire the various plants and trees in The Mount and shop for local Dominican and Haitian art!
2. Visit PUERTO PLATA’S LA FORTALEZA:
“The Fort” in English, where you have guides taking you inside La Fortaleza’s Museum and where you can roam around outside and mentally transport yourself to another century and time when La Isla Hispaniola was one and only country…! You can furthermore listen to the interpreter’s tale of La Fortaleza’s History in your respective language (if you do not understand Spanish) and admire the views and sceneries from above…! Very Important Crucial Note: Even though there is a picture of me next to La Fortaleza’s only remaining historical canon, I by no means am promoting weapons and weapon violence! I paused next to the canon as it is a historical part of La Fortaleza! You can browse through my blog’s article piece about the history of both: The Dominican Republic and La Fortaleza! as they are and will always FOREVER BE interconnected..!
3. Book Yourself A Puerto Plata’s San Felipe City Tour:
4. Visit The Amber Museum:
5. Visit A Coffee, Plant and Fruit Plantation:
If you really have an extraordinarily low tolerance for any types of bugs and insects, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this tour for you…! However, for the rest of you who can take a couple of hours in the scorching tropical heat once you leave the coziness of the air conditioned small group comfortable bus, this is an absolute “Must Do” tour, to discover a typical Dominican coffee, plant and fruit plantation where your charming guide (if you are so fortunate to have a chatty funny one who is truly passionate with regards to his job and meeting a variety of diverse people visiting his Beautiful country from all four corners of the world); where he will lead you and define every single encountered fruit tree and plant…!!! You will also learn how coffee grows from the beginning to the end, until it is marketed throughout the nation and abroad! The bonus on this very tour, is visiting a traditional Dominican plantation home as well as the coffee and tropical fruit break at the end of your tour and prior to heading back on your bus…!!!! Another superb bonus, is meeting the families who live and work on the plantation … On my tour, my group was fortunate enough to even meet one of the original plantation owners, who still lives on the plantation with her children, grand children and great grand children…!!!
PS: Sunglasses are absolutely MANDATORY as well as having lathered and/or sprayed enough anti-mosquito bite protection preferably: organic product on you and you must not be sensitive to sun heat, sun exhaustion or sun stroke and be able to endure a couple of hours standing up and walking through lush bushes and trees…!
6. Spend A Day At A Wild Eco-Friendly Beach Located A Couple of Hours Away From Puerto Plata City and Get Involved In The Fun Group Activities:
As an Environmentally Conscious Individual, I try to do my part (even though a small one for now), in contributing in my own way to consciously engage in our eco-friendly environment. This tour was really an affirmative, comforting one as we visited a wild untouched beach, where there are no hotels, no resorts, no villas, no restrictions, no boutique souvenirs” stores, no man-made bathrooms so that there is no human pollution! More and more, governments from high Caribbean tourist friendly countries and nations such as: Costa Rica (where I lived in for a full year in my early youth and where I returned with two close girlfriends of mine and also served as their private guide and interpreter) a few years ago) and The Dominican Republic, are setting strict necessary Long-Term Sustainable Environmental Friendly rules! This, in order to maintain some of their beaches Ecosystems and to avoid sea water mass pollution due to the tourist influx…! My goal therefore is to travel and stay more and more in eco-friendly resorts wherever and whenever possible whnever I embark on a Cultural Trip!
If I therefore decided to at last launch my very own blog, it is primarily due to my Absolute Passion for Traveling and to inspire anyone who comes across my through my traveling blog, site pictures and various photo smiling appearing faces, to most assuredly furthermore raise awareness relative to ECO-ENVIRONMENT CONSCIOUSLY RESPONSIBLY FRIENDLY TRAVELING…!!! This, as our planet is getting sicker and sicker due to years of man’s CARELESSNESS and OBVIOUS NEGLECT of our earth worldwide…!!!
7. Visit The Worldwide Exported Brugal Family Rhum Making Century Old Factory:
No pictures are allowed to be taken inside of the Brugal Factory except for its rhum boutique store for rightful, purposeful reasons! I therefore only took the pictures of below:
The series of photo grids below, show the old traditional way in which The Brugal Rhum was made in the early century. It is presently made modernly inside of the impressive factory!
8. Visit A Traditional Cigar Making Factory
I do not smoke and have never consumed any type of tobacco but still found it quite interesting to visit a traditional cigar making factory as cigar making throughout the Caribbean has been in existence for many centuries, since it has been and very much still is being exported worldwide and gives sustainable permanent employment to its local workers!
9. Visit An Art Market Store At Puerto Plata San Felipe’s City, Downtown And Perhaps, Shop For Some Beautiful Dominican And Haitian Carefully Locally Crafted Art Frames, Sculptures, Jewelries, bags, Artifacts etc.. !
Dominican and Haitian Art Are Extremely Intermixed and Interconnected Due To Their Respective Shared Histories And Can Therefore Be Difficult To Differentiate As There Are Many Haitian Artists Who Reside And Work In The Dominican Republic, Therefore Landing Their Talent And Craft To The Dominican Industry.. !
10. Spend Some Wonderful, Exquisite Quality Time, Luxuriating At The Beach and/or Lounging By Your Resort’s or Private Villa’s/Condo’s or Rented Apartment’s Pools..
! ! !
Do please protect yourself and your beloved ones from the sun rays, by organic sunscreen oils’ anti sunburn protection when you are not in the water as prolong time exposed under the sun may cause long-term sunburn and melanoma, which is skin cancer in Non-Medical terms! I furthermore always rent a full Cabana… It is most assuredly worth your vacation investment as your health is PRICELESS and cannot be REPLACEABLE…!!! I always go to the upscale Resort’s (four to five star hotels when culturally traveling to the Caribbean. I have furthermore never as of yet been to the few existent six star ones )! The large comfortable beach cabanas and swimming pool lounging chairs and umbrellas are therefore FREE for me to use as they are part of my overall rtrip package! Be absolutely certain to therefore first verify the additional rental price range if you are not planning to stay at an upscale rated hotel resort, villa or condo apartment and budget accordingly!
TROPICAL COUNTRY’S AND AT A REGION’S BEAUTIFUL SEASHORE
-HOW DID I COME TO DEVELOP MY FASHION SENSE,
THIS MOST ESPECIALLY WHEN TRAVELING TO
…Here is my background as to when and how I began to develop my very own Fashion Sense especially when traveling to tropical countries, which transpires throughout my travels…! I will write from time to time about my specific Clothing Style on my different trips as I very much enjoy to dress-up and as I moreover have ALWAYS been and will always FOREVER BE a “Girlie Girl !” This, moreso as when I actually was a little girl, I used to absolutely be mesmerized by the classic ballerinas worldwide…! Indeed…! I ABSOLUTELY loooooooooooooooved everything about them! …Their grace, poise, elegance and what about that mandatory classic French “chignon”/hair bun in English… :???!!! …I was in such awe for them that I would tip-toe barefoot around my family’s home wherever we lived to. imitate them… ! …This, even though I more than often interiorly wondered how they could stand on their tip-toes and dance for hours on end without sustaining themselves on anything else with their arms and hands dancing on each sides! …I would indeed secretly dream about becoming a ballerina myself, and elegantly “ballereening” my way through stage just like them and alongside with them…! …Oh but at some point in my very childhood and innocent mind, I was however rudely awakened to reality where I had to forcibly weed my little naive girl’s dream out of my soft nights as well as out of my child’s brain as I realized that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those pretty ballerinas were of a DIFFERENT skin complexion and tone skin than mine …! -Or perhaps, did one of my sisters or my very mother awakened and shook me to our world’s reality with regards to my child Ballerina’s dream…! …Oh, but years later, another girl would prove the whole entire world wrong and live my dream and that of many non-white girls’ dream for us…! Her name is: Misty Copeland: the first Lead Ballerina of a darker tone complexion and race to have the main lead in a Classic ballet.. ! …And then in my pre-teen and teen period, as my family lived in two European countries, one of my closest sisters and my very self, would indirectly be driven into the fashion world… -You know, the pressure is quite emphasized when you live in a couple of European capital cities, where you are surrounded by all-around thin socially fashionable conscious friends to top it all…!!! As a result, what I call “Diversified Fashion”, was MOST DEFINITELY all around us while my sisters and I were growing up…!!! This, most especially that we were surrounded by international people from all different nationalities, cultures, ethnicities and race like ourselves …! …Due to my Beloved mother’s international profession! It was in fact in my teen years that I actually purchased my very first fashion magazine and continued to do so when I arrived at my undergraduate college here, in the States therefore following the lead of my two older sisters (I am the middle child of six girls ) as one would purchase her weekly magazine with regards to the European Royalty and the other one would purchase her weekly magazine about the Hollywood movie starts… I, in turn would follow suit in keeping up with my interest in fashion…!. ..It was in undergraduate college as well, that I would purchase my very first Vogue Magazine and it was in undergraduate college again that I would receive a thoughtful notification that I was one out of the first five monthly subscribers of a certain magazine, which is presently famous worldwide and has been for quite some time! I am furthermore certain to have kept this particular magazine’s cordial, kind post-mailed “Congrats” notification somewhere as a solid proof of my being one of the magazine’s very first subscribers… ! As my sisters and I, furthermore attended high school in Europe, one of them (the one previously mentioned above and who comes right after me as well as her twin) and some of who our respective girlfriends were already dabbling in modeling here and there… My sister herself would ultimately be hired on a non-contractual basis by one of France’s biggest top designers then (he is still very much in business today and has dressed some of our world’s most famous celebrities) a few years later as I had already left Europe for the United States, to focus on my university studies (as it was highly demanded and expected in my family even though two out of five of my sisters eventually dropped-out of college…). …But four girls out of six, pursuing and obtaining their higher degrees in different fields is still a pretty good percentage, considering that my Dear Beloved Mother was a Single Mother raising her six girls alone and moreover abroad! …My sister would eventually be hired to do several cat walks in Paris and a couple right here: in New York city but she still had to hold a full-time job, due to the fact that she was on a non-steady contract….! …As she would later mention to me, she very much also disliked and felt very uncomfortable with regards to the then extremely dangerous and toxic inside modeling world in general..! ..She could only relate this from her very own experience and from hers only and NO ONE else’s…!!! …I myself, very much have learned to avoid stereotypes years ago, as I dislike when anyone stereotypes my family, my friends, my relatives and/or myself..! …We can now fast forward to the present and to the following paragraph…
…As even though I am older today, I still very much love to dress-up and to emphasize my own unique fashion style no matter whether I am getting ready to go out for the night and/or just hanging out with my friends and/or my partner and/or as of yet, when I have a casual professional or non-professional event to attend…! I moreover am from the school of thoughts that I define my style as much as my style defines my mood…! …And this, from head to toe !!! Henceforth, the reason for this present blog article and these pics below… ! Lastly, I also decided several years ago upon my Dear Beloved Mother’s and a couple of my friends’ and relatives’ passing away, that life is simply way TOO SHORT for one, to NOT POSITIVELY FULLY live it with GUSTO and spiritually intimately explore it as one wishes…! This, even through one’s own clothing….! …Well, as long as one is 100% FULLY AWARE that there are many countries and communities where a certain dress code MUST BE RESPECTED…! If one does not wish to abide by that country’s and/or that community’s views and social norms…! -If I do not smoke at my home and let my guests know this in advance, why would a guest purposely offend me, disrespect my rules in my home or building and light a cigarette up when my whole entire building states: “non-smoking….?” …Now, let us turn the tables around and reverse this scenario… If I in turn am invited by one of my friends who is a smoker and whom I know in advance is one and smokes in her/his home… Well then, I as well have NO RIGHT to moralize and impose my smoking harmful effects and my non-smoking benefits’ speech to my smoking friend…!!! …This is the BEST analogy I could find while writing this article as R-E-S-P-E-C-T is one of the MOST IMPORTANT 101 basic rules when traveling and the way I will decide to dress-up in order to not OFFEND anyone commmunity’s already set and established rules, then one should simply abstain from traveling there and/or from imposing one’s internal beliefs and social codes… If you do not agree with them, you can always write, blog and/or post about it, mobilize & sensitize people starting on your public internet social pages, once and solely once you have safely & soundly left that country and vowed to not return until the changes for which you are s profoundly for and that you are actively lobbying for, have been made…! Otherwise, just respevtively culturally assimilate and abide by the specific community’s and respective country’s norms…. Quick Reminder: we are still talking about Clothes & Fashion here…!
…I just wanted to post my first light, fun fashion statement blog as even though I thoroughly LOVE the creative process of writing and of producing content for my fairly new blog page, I will “lighten” it up at times because life is already extremely serious as it is and because as well, if you do go to my Public Facebook Page, you can read some of my serious societal articles about serious subject matters, which should concern us all! …You see…???!! I very much do practice what I preach…! …This, as we love and breathe in the ONE and SAME ONLY world! SPECIAL NOTE: It is NOT because TERRIBLE things go on in our world on a daily basis, that we cannot “lighten-up” the mood sometimes by posts and blogs such as this one. …As MANY Bloggers also donate to Charitable Local Agencies in certain countries we travel to and similar to celebrities, we equally raise awareness on our respective platforms, whether it be via our Blogs, Facebook and/or Instagram pages about something that truly socially perturbs us…! …Through this “Light-Hearted” blog post and my pictures below, my clothes and swimwear just allow for my own ingrained fashion personality to come out !!! …Please, do also remember that my motivation for blogging and posting my personal traveling pictures, is for people & you to see that I am just like you and anyone else…! …By no means, am I extraordinarily wealthy and neither are my clothes “Haute Couture” in French/High End Fashion in English and Highly Expensive as I possibly CANNOT afford expensive high-end clothes…! …Neither do I as well fit the mold of a super model, nor are my pictures perfectly retouched…! Rather, these pictures of mine I choose to post on my blog, are pictures which illustrate my Constant Traveler’s and Writer’s State of mind…! …My Mental and Physical HAPPY PLACE I ALWAYS crave to safely be at…!!! …Well…!!! …This, simply because even though it has taken me Oh many: Years, Hardships, Pain, Labour, Sacrifice, Failure, Self-Doubt and many a Tears Shed to arrive at this Spiritual, Mental and Physical place in time and in my little corner of the world; all three: geographically, physically and spiritually (not necessarily in this order, nstnatura..,)!!!
All brightly fully smiling in my yellow top, to match the bright shiny sun with my beach basket as an accessory and double jingly vibrant yellow bracelets!
Going Out for the night with a group of two women I met a couple of days earlier on one of my group sightseeing tours ! Traveling Solo DOES NOT mean that one is a total HERMIT and anti-social to others (LOL )! I furthermore always trust my very first instincts upon people/a person’s intentions when I meet them; to judge whether or not I can hang out with them without worries as my instincts have NEVER failed me throughout these 10 years I have mainly been traveling on my very owm! …I have furthermore chosen this blue “tunique” dress and a red lipstick as a contrast to my skin colour and to also not wearing any jewelery at all, aside from my earrings !
Okay, okay, okay !!! So, you have seen this light red and white striped dress several times in my Puerto Plata: Dominican Republic’s Trip’s blog articles! I just love these light sleeveless dresses as they neither do they take much space in your luggage: a carry-on more specifically, nor do they wrinkle easily and they are oh so comfortable to wear ! …Whether on a group day tour (where I wore the dress pictured above on my scheduled Puerto Plata City Tour) or exploring interesting sites with your significant other (if you have one) and/ or as yet still: whether simply going on a sightseeing boat ride or hanging-out with new or longtime friends at the resort’s/villa’s/hotel’s you are staying at and/or town’s, city’s restaurants, cafes you are going to and/or as of yet, while visiting a museum, an art exhibit or attending a concert or aa music festival or simply lounging at the beach or even as of yet at your room’s or villa’s patio and/or balcony for a nice cool afternoon with your travel buddies, relatives and friends… Or as it has customarily been the case for me throughout these past 10 years of my life: in your very own company …! …As a result, a simple light dress with reusable accessories (such as my beach pink and blue basket bag ) are absolutely on my “Must Have” clothes to pack in my luggage list….! …That is, when I am headed to being greeted by exquisite, soothing, warm, tropical weather ￼! ….Oh and I ALWAYS bring along with me, at least two and at times, three or four pairs of sunglasses as I can truly become bored with always having to wear the same sun glasses all of the time ! ! ! …And it furthermore did not hurt in this particular picture, that my resort’s security “not to be removed” red bracelet actually matches my red and white striped dress ! (I should have furthermore worn a red tank top underneath my red dress…)! It is moreover very helpful to take a series of pics and lay down your clothes prior to the trip as I have had to repack my luggage a few times over in the past (which truly is NOT at ALL my favourite thing to do…)! I presently just get several sets of clothes out and spread them on my bed, to make sure that I am taking what I want and will NOT miss any of them in case my luggage gets lost! I also equally spread my accessories to match my carefully selected items alongside my shawls, jewelry, flip-flops, sandals, shoes and other additional accessories such as my belts, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, purses etc…! …And please, do notice my matching red nail polish !!! Special Note: I ALWAYS make sure to get my fimger nails manicured and my finger toes pedicured all: freshly painted as well and a gentle hands’ & feet massage and everything painted (might as well as I am there at my nail salon, right)?! & as I have furthermore carefully budgeted to treat myself prior to traveling (as a self-sponsored Traveler, Travel Blogger, Travel Writer, Travel Influencer & Travel Explorer, I mostly still travel the least expensive & most affordable way I can, to stretch my finances even in my Forever mid thirties’ age: Economy Class …)! This, even if I need a retouch on my sixth, seventh or tenth day on my trip! Oh and I naturally also go to my hairdresser… ! …For as I have previously stated either at the beginning of this blog and/or in a previous one, I am & have ALWAYS been a Girlie Girl after all……!!!
…Above is, another Bright Light Blue outfit (can you tell that blue is amongst my favourite colours… LOL) ????!!! Anyhow, this was a formal event I was getting ready to go to and as this dress is very revealing relative to the ahem… Bosom area… ! …I strategically placed this white sweater over my shoulders…! Also, as I am very “matchy-matchy” during my busy work weeks when I have meetings, professional engagements and “rendez-vous” when I am NOT traveling but am at my longtime home of residence in New York City; I purposely often just mix my colors (except from my sandals, flip-flops and shoes when I find myself in a warm tropical weather…,! …And even though my hair is short, I still manage to “mess it up a bit” and to diversify its short style… A throw-on sweater can furthermore easily replace a shawl and/or a jewelry piece or set and even be more useful than the two other accessories as by the time the event you attended with relatives and friends and/or with your partner is over, it might have gotten quite frisky and the mosquitoes might have gotten your events’ attendance memo as well… !!! Special Note: I usually have a small anti-mosquito bite lotion or spray at all times in my purse and light pastel coloured pants at times when I know that the event is taking place outside near the beach, lake, pond etc; as it really can get cold, to change in later…!!! …Oh and having a couple of different lipsticks’ shades and colours is also somethng I bring along eiwi me on my travels, (if you do wear lipstick…)! Most of my products are organic and free of strong chemicals! Your make-up wear are also items to bring with you and choose the one(s) you want to wear and take in your purse for a touch-up at some point throughout the evening !
…Now…! Just imagine me eating at this particular event with a couple I met and had a small chit-chat talk during cocktail hour, without this white sweater…! …Or rather, DO NOT IMAGINE…! …As I have previously stated, a nice pair of accessories (long earrings with a tip of blue to match my royal blue dress colour for me in this case), is all that is needed to put an accentuated overall touch to the outfit ! I apologize if this picture is a bit blurry…! The person who took it forgot to gently wipe the camera’s lenses off, most unfortunately leaving it a tidbit blurry and foggy!
This full body picture above was taken on my very last night out: dinner outside of Puerto Plata’s Playa Dorada’s Beautiful Blue Bay’s Resort & Spa and then for a live show after dinner back at the resort with the small group of people (a Russian-Canadian woman traveling solo like me and a very young Russian couple) I had met and hung out with here and there for a couple of days before. An off-the-shoulder top is ALWAYS one of my favorite contenders as I find it quite elegant and classy..:)! …Yes, indeed ! I am totally a “mini” dress and a “mini” skirt Tropically Infused kind of girl ! …Plus, mini outfits were NEVER excluded in my household when I was growing up…! This, as long as they were worn with elegance, class and poise…! …My sisters and I, still have a bunch of pictures of my Dear Beloved progressive evolved modern mother wearing minis () on week-ends and vacation trips in the western countries we grew up and lived in…! I furthermore DO NOT BELIEVE in clothes’ age restrictions either…! …As age is truly a “socially established mindset” in my book! …At least, when it exclusively comes to legal adults (meaning, adults above eighteen)! We moreover have eighteen year olds and minors for that matter, being parents to their own parents and fifty/sixty year olds totally despicable, atrocious adults such as: abusers, molesters and pedophiles (men and women alike)!!!! I also ALWAYS choose: Class, Charm and Elegance over Vulgarity…! …And as I have previously stated, vibrant colours are just a lot of fun to mix and match with the more subdued colour scheme ranges out there..! …And I simply topped it all off with the only pairs of heel pumps I brought along with me on this trip :)! Important Memo: I used to travel with a large suitcase where I customarily brought too many outfits and at least five pairs of shoes of which some never actually left my suitcase (LOL) ! …I have just recently (about a year ago) learned that traveling with a simple carry-on and just packing for the exact amount of clothes I will be wearing on my trip, is not such a difficult undertaking after all, thanks to my partner… ! …That is, relative to trips that are no longer than ten days or less and when I only have a minimum amount of events and night-outs to attend ! …If you too are like me and presently wish to downsize your packing, try to pack your carry-on in advance (at least a week to five days prior to your short trip) and spread all of the clothes you think will be best to wear and then (because if once again, you are like me: most probably taking the double or even triple of clothes out of your closet like a maniac !, carefully sort them out by “casual day” and “evening wear” (the same goes with your shoes and accessories ! …Once you have done this, you can at last downsize by calculating your selected outfits and accessories to match the amount of times you will actually be changing your clothes… ! …Including your swimwear attires if you do plan to be anywhere near the water…! …And also pack three or four sweaters and shawls as well for those frisky evenings! ….I always have a bright colourful vivid shawl, an either black, white, off-white, beige and a pastel coloured one… As for those of us who have fallen in love with those charming Sumner hats , two summer hats are more than sufficient for a five-to-ten days’ stay and/or for less anywhere you travel in this world ! …Oh and do keep in mind that you might be purchasing a new outfit or two as well as some accessories and/or a new bag and some extra souvenirs for your family, in-laws, relatives and friends before returning home…! You therefore MUST NOT forget to leave some extra space in your carry-on luggage to avoid having to buy another one at the airport and pay an extra luggage fee… :(! …Once you have given (oh NOT without an internal battle & dire want to take that bigger non-carry on suitcase with you and transfer all your clothes inside of it…. Trust Me, I have been there several times already ) …! …The only other important “MUST TAKE” items with you, will therefore be your: passport, some cash money with the country’s appropriate currency and at least two of your travel credit cards…! ….NOT TO FORGET: your smile and some soulful positively infused vibes and energy… …! …And you are all set to jet-off to your travel destination with your very own Uniquely Effortlessly Personalized Fashion Sense & Style :)! :)! :)! “Excellent Voyage, alors…!!!”/”Que sagas un excellent via, entrances…!!!”/\MAY YOU HAVE AN EXCELLENT SAFE TRIP THEN… …!!!
Here above, is a double close-up picture of the same outfit.. With a different lighting…. Well, -why not..
!? : !? !?
It does not really matter what you are wearing: whether in a casual outfit, an evening outfit or a swimsuit… it does not matter what age, race/multi-race and/or nationality/nationalities you are… What matters MOST is your Self-Esteem, Self-Confidence, Personality, Elegance, Poise, Class and Sassiness…!!! Whether with wet hair or dried hair, whether in white or in any other colour you have chosen to wear….. “Wear it, Own it and Show it… …!!!
PS:I have just patented and copy written myself….
I know that I have already posted this picture below in a previous post but I am nonetheless reposting this very pic from a previous article blog, as I omitted to mention that I also suggest that you bring a pair or two of shorts…. And FYI: they make very affordable fashionable high-end ones these days ! I, myself tend to buy mine at Anne Taylor Loft, The Gap and/or Zara when I find GREAT sales as I find that their short styles respectively fit and hug my silhouette… ! A belt and a nice well ironed tank top, are all you need to shine in your Fashion Uniqueness…!
As I love bracelets, I have one matching my tank top in this very picture….
!! ! !
Below, you once again see me in an off the shoulder’s bright yellow top… There was a time in my adolescence, that my mother was so worried as I used to dress-up all in black… Alas, those teen years …!!! ..Thank goodness, those days are long gone and whenever I embark on a TROPICAL trip to any tropic country in the world, I ALWAYS effortlessly pack the clothes that have the brightest colours in my closest..!
I was told a longtime ago, that Bright Clothes bring out the HAPPINESS in people… ! I truly had no idea that I would even blend in and match with the landscape’s scenery upon choosing this off-the shoulders’ top
! ! !
….Here below, is a full picture of me, wearing tmy bright blue dress with a white sweater over my shoulders and a pair of black heel pumps that are open in the back. I paused for a picture, right before attending a Cultural Artistic event with the two young women I had met a couple of days before while eating breakfast !
….As I have previously stated and as I am presently once again stating here, I truly DO NOT BELIEVE in Clothes’ Age Restrictions…! Like I have nonetheless stated in one of my previous articles, is that I VERY MUCH do believe in respecting a country’s dress code when there is an established one if I choose to travel to a specific country and/or visit a particular community within that country. As a result, I really take advantage when traveling to any place, where I can wear light clothes and/or a sexy, body appealing swimsuit ! …There was a time in my late adolescence and really early adulthood, when I did not dare wear a two piece suit as I was not at all comfortable with my figure, shape and body (even though my dear beloved mother always had my sisters and I, follow a healthy balanced diet and a regular at exercise routine). They were indeed always emphasized and practised in my family household while growing up. …Random people I encounter while lounging at the swimming pool or wading and playing with the acquainted blue water at the beach, often ask me where it is that I purchase my bathing suits… I have been quite fortunate to find really affordable ones at H&M stores…. I customarily purchase the higher priced and stylish ones at New York’s City’s 34th Street’s Macy’s or at New York City’s Downtown Fulton’s Century 21st (since I live in NYC: New York City… )! …And I also have purchased some of them online… You see, you do not have to live in New York City, to physically come to shop to the stores I have just mentioned above as you can actually shop online without having to move from the comforts of your home ! This, most especially if you either have a million and one things to do and/or live with children as one CANNOT beat shopping online in any country and/or parts of the world one finds herself/himself in ! ! !
…Even in swimsuit wear, I love to try different shades and ranges of my favourite colours… ! Blue is most definitely one of them ..! I fell in love with this royal blue swimwear as soon as my eyes fell upon it ! …A matching accentuated summer hat, flip flops, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion, a good 100% organic oil scented mixture of my own making, my beach bag, my cell phone, i-pad and a really interesting book are all I need to spend some great R&R (rest and relaxation) time anywhere I choose to travel to where the tropics and the shining sun rays are there to greet me !
Black or white are two of my “safe go to” colours as I really cannot go wrong with either one… ! When I however choose a black and/or a white swimsuit, I ALWAYS look at the style that equally suit my personality…! I therefore still try to have have fun with my plain black and white bathing suits (as one of my white swimwears is featured in a couple of pictures above). What I absolutely love about the black bathing suit below, is that its strategically placed colorful brooch, adds vividness and a rainbow palette to my otherwise “simply all black” suit ! PS: Your stomach is bound to stick out a bit in a picture, when you just had a full lunch buffet and head out straight to the beach and pool, for the entire afternoon… Well, just because…
(LOL ) !!!
Thoroughly enjoying a full afternoon in my black colourful brooch swimsuit!-Who ever said that black could not be fun…???!!!
MY LATE MORNING SITE SEEING TOUR TO PUERTO PLATA’S:
“SAN FELIPE’S FORTALEZA!”
I just CANNOT write about Puerto Plata’s Fortaleza without going into not only The Dominican Republic’s HISTORY but I MUST go into: The European Crusades’, Expeditions’ and Colonization’s HISTORY as much as I MUST go into its Sister Neighbour’s: Haiti’s History as well! This, as both long lived histories are and will ALWAYS BE DIRECTLY CONNECTED FOREVER for these two Caribbean islands were once ONE and the VERY SAME NATION!!! Indeed, unbeknownst to many who have NEVER studied LA ISLA HISPANIOLA’S HISTORY and/or are furthermore not really interested to study either countries’ histories, many Dominicans and Haitians (not simply the intellectual social class) on the other hand, know LA ISLA HISPANIOLA’S story ALL MORE THAN WELL…!!! My very hope for these two BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, therefore is NOT to LOOK at each other’s NEGATIVE parts of their histories but because they are the ONLY TWO CONNECTED Caribbean SISTER ISLAND NATIONS (as the other next closer islands: Jamaica, Cuba, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos’ as well as recently devastated Puerto Rico tragically caused by hurricane Irma; are all disconnected islands, which stand in the middle of the Caribbean ocean on their very own…)! As a result, my trip to Puerto Plata’s “Fortaleza” is most definitely intricately linked and connected to LA ISLA HISPANIOLA’S history! Indeed, in order for one to understand the story of “LA ISLA HISPANIOLA” which was initially called “LA ISLA ESPANOLA” by its Spanish Colonizers and which was then the second largest island within the Caribbean region after Cuba, one MUST GO all the way back to the history books in the 15th Century…! …As we now know that the Italian explorer: Christopher Columbus was more “LOST” than anything else with his financially sponsored expedition by King Ferdinand of Spain in 1492, according to the research. This, even though Christopher Columbus was from the port city of Genoa in Italy. He had effectuated several expeditions in the African continent and in the Americas, where he had almost lost his life and had to return to Europe, to recover prior to his new venture. The real story of his new ship’s expedition states that his expedition was actually en route to Asia through the western oceanic route as the explorer wished to avoid crossing with the middle eastern explorers, who were at that time numerous and bountiful throughout the eastern part of the ocean. The Asian continent in those days, were perceived and considered as “The Mecca” of gold, spices and silk as well as opiates…!!! Opiates in those days, were highly sought after by European doctors as they were known by the Chinese traditional holistic healers, to soothe and cure certain severe ailments that modern European medicine of that time could not…!!! Sidebar Note: Isn’t it just bizarre and strange how history truly tends to repeat itself history after history after history…???!!!
….The Italian born: Christopher Columbus’ supposedly arrived to the island in winter (the month of December out of all other months) of 1492, which his expedition crew and himself, initially referred to “LA ISLA HISPANOLA” as “LA ISLA ESPANOLA…”, which literally means: The SPANISH ISLAND in English! This makes absolute sense, since Christopher Columbus’ crew was actually financed and sponsored by the kingdom of Spain..!!! …Somewhere, somehow however, the word “ESPANOLA” got lost in translation and “ESPANOLA” therefore transferred to “HISPANIOLA…!”, by the European “CONQUISTADORES!” Parallelly, the GLOBAL EUROPEAN TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE was what would be: today: a MULTI-BILLION dollar industry and through which a reported 10 to 12 million native Africans were captured in their respective homelands, separated by gender, age, height, stature, strength, endurance etc.. Who would be chained from their necks, hands and feet where they were stacked up like sardines and cattle (as an animal lover, even neither livestock nor cattle DESERVE to be stacked up in such an atrocious manner) where the conditions were HORRENDOUS and where many of the Africans would become severely weak and sick and some would more tragically never make it through the very end, across the Atlantic ocean :(! :(! :(! …And as if matters were not humanely horrendous enough, the slave capturers would have no qualm whatsoever in throwing an entire enchained row of the poor enslaved Africans (whether men, women and/or adolescents and children) on top of the ships unto the freezing ocean, to be fed by the sharks as soon as one of them was deemed “useless” to be sold at the slaves ports and markets in Europe but mainly however throughout the Americas…!!! This is sadly most certainly the IMPOSED and FORCIBLE way through which the very first Africans arrived in Europe and throughout the newly discovered Americas….! …For the Native Americans (as clearly defined by the Europeans), were the very first inhabitants of the entire Americas…! Europe had just most recently passed from its Feudal period, transitioning to what many historians (liberals as well as conservatives) believe to be the continent of Europe’s MOST SIGNIFICANT & IMPORTANT part of History as the gun powder was discovered and kingdoms were fighting amongst each other, to gain more land and territories throughout the old continent through expeditions and “crusades” to conquer the world…. To avoid further conflict of interests, the kingdoms diplomatically agreed that whatever country’s expedition arrived first on a new found land in any parts of the world: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands and the Americas… …That very expedition’s sponsored country could claim the land and territory as its own,… This, regardless of the presence of the native inhabitants and of tribal or ethnic belonging… :(! :(! :(!
-How does this above CRUCIAL historical fact tied into my ten day Solo TriP in the Beautiful Dominican Republic, for my very first time…??? Some of you might come to ask yourselves… Simply because the newly Europeanized and Baptized “Isla Hispaniola” we can ascertain that the native Americans present there for centuries prior to the European expedition’s arrival, had named their lands with another definition more most probably much more meaningful to them… Of which I will try to research and report before the end of my writing and editing this very article.. :)! As a result, The history of “La Isla Hispaniola” ties indeed perfectly well with the history of the European crusades and expeditions as its kingdoms’ colonization… …As these thousands expeditions were highly financed by each respective kingdoms… Some expeditions would miserably fail from: shipwreck, pirate invasion and kidnapping, hunger and illness, harsh traveling conditions and far below temperatures’ climates (as there was no high tech gadgets and pollution, which are most unfortunately destroying our earth’s ozone) etc, etc, etc….!
When Christopher Columbus arrived to “La Isla Hispaniola”, his expedition crew and himself were hungry and practically starving to death… The Natives took them under their protection , housed them, fed them and healed them with organic herbal natural medicine throughout several months…. Not solely did the explorer and crew leave in excellent recuperated health but with a more acute awareness of organic natural medicine as well as a thirsty desire and want to return to the tropics, the women, the bountiful gold and what not more…. At the same time of the Isla Hispaniola’s discovery, there became an absolute obsession for dire cheap inexpensive man labour…. As cotton became the 15th century’s most lucrative new billion dollar export business in the Americas….!!! …But due to the fact that cotton picking was hard labour and required a huge amount and percentage of manpower, someone somehow decided to treat the also newly discovered Africans as cattle as Europeans could control the masses of captured African natives now that they had the gun powder and could easily defeat the greatest and most powerful African invincible European armies by simply shooting its commanders and tribal chiefs, dividing its fighting tribes to better conquer and enslave them, since the European explorers had observed and studied the integral structures and organizations of each respective tribes just like they had done in other continents they explored at the same time… In the New Americas, which they first named: “The West Indies” since the natives to them, came from India… They defeated the Native Americans with great difficulties as most of the natives were migrant populations… By migrant, this means that they would displace themselves according to seasons of the year… At least, in North America… In the wintertime, some of the Native tribes would migrate to the east or south due to the freezing cold… In the warm northern seasons, they on the other hand, would migrate back to the west and the southern parts of the continent… In the West Indies, the natives were more settled in a same place…. Similar to the Africas, the European explorers observed and analyzed the native Americans’ respective internal societal structures and then once again used it to their advantages, to conquer and divide. The Natives, just like the Africans did not have to however be enchained and shipped aboard, to be brought to the Americas since they were already there… As: gold, silver, spices, opiates, herbs, tea and cotton most especially, kept on rising in demand amongst European aristocracy and nobility, so did the demand in production and manpower…! -Do you presently now see the direct correlation between the expeditions’ discoveries of the Americas and the Isla Hispaniola…???!!!
Since many of the enduring and hard fighting respective native tribes would be killed, destroyed, annihilated and.or decimated by the newcomer, the European colonizers soon realized that there were oh too few that could be used to work in the cotton fields…. This is how the four to five hundred year’s Transatlantic Slave Trade would come to be…!!! The Africans were separated by tribal affiliation, ethnicity, identity gender, height, stature, strength, age, muscle built etc, etc, etc… So that there would be NO ABSOLUTE BLOODLINE amongst the slaves…. :(! Even though inummerable Native American women, men and children were slaughtered and assassinated during the many wars, there were still some survivors, who hid and protected themselves from Europeans (henceforth, the tanned indian like complexion of what the Latin Americans call the descendants of the natives: “Tainos!” The “Tainos” are the non-mixed Latinos’ descendants with Europeans, who managed to keep their origins and roots as well as their legacy of hundreds of centuries prior to the Europeans’ arrival, absolutely INTACT…! …And here comes the story of Intermixity between the Europeans and the Tainos as well as the separation of the LA ISLA HISPANIOLA..!!!
As more slaves kept on being brought to the Isla Hispaniola, the English, the Dutch, the French and Spanish armies kept on battling each other for control and conquests of their colonies in the Americas… Such battles included the disputes, which ensued to the redistribution of the following colonies and their regions: Quebec, Canada, New Orleans: Southern North America prior to its Civil War and La Isla Hispaniola, to name just a few… After years of fighting and squabble against each other, The Spanish reliquished some of its more western coast to the French who named its capital: “Saint Domingue” which would then be renamed by the Spanish after yet another CRUCIALLY IMPORTANT WAR on the isand, “Santo Domingo!”…Just like the Spanish, the French would soon acquire numerous colonies worldwide! In the Caribbean alone, they had the islands of Guaedeloupe and Martinique as well as part of the Guyanese region… Henceforth its name: “French Guyana” and as there is a British Guyana as well! The Spanish still controled the rest of the Isla Hispaniola island, which also had a big portion of the Native American Tainos. Both colonies often traded their slaves with each other even though they governed their respective portions of the island separately and distinctly. The island was furthermore divided by its colonists’ European culture and latin originated language. In one part of the island, Spanish was still the language of its settlers and on the other part of the island, French was the pre-dominant spoken language… As the years and centuries nonetheless went by, the French slaves developed their own language as they were not allowed to read and write… This language is a mixture of the complexities of various African languages intertwined together, alongside with the basic French the masters instructed their house slaves, to be able to communicate with them and the French that the slaves heard and retained with their very ears here and there…. What was at that time considered “The very 1st modern revolution”, the French Revolution started abruptly and succeeded to topple the entire French Aristocracy and Nobility social class as well as its entire royalty…! The French Revolution actually took place from 1789 to 1799 and influenced other major historical revolutions of that time not solely throughout Europe but The American Revolution as well…!!! ….Unbelievable as it sounds today, the French Revolution played a CRUCIAL ROLE on the French slaves on the French part of La Isla Hispaniola, where self-taught slaves revolted against their French masters and created their own Revolution! Yet, this revolution was nonetheless TOTALLY DIFFERENT at its very chore…!!! …For this revolution was not a revolution of conquests an IPd battle for more territory and land… Oh noooooooooooo, not at all….!!! This revolution was a revolution for Survival, for Life’s Basic Civil and Human Rights, for an entire RACE, who had been forcible put into submission just because of the colour, the tone and complexion of their skin: that of being of a darker skin tone and black…!!! As Metropole France plunged into Protest, Bloodshed, and Constitutional Conflicts; the most astute slaves of Saint Domingue, decided that it was time as well for them to Rise-Up and Regain their four hundred + years of FREEDOM and LIBERTY…!!
One can clearly see the intermixture of the La Isla Hispaniola People, post slavery!
These two above pictures are courtesy of: El Museo de La Fortaleza De Puerto Plata, Republica Dominicana.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF El Museo De La Fortaleza De Puerto Plata,: Republica Dominicana.
…And this is how La Isla Hispaniola spit into two…! …Spain and France had both been arguing and fighting for La Isla Hispaniola since Christopher Columbus’ Expedition, financed by the Kingdom of Spain, had landed on the Indigenous land… However, similarly as to how Europeans had divided the continent of Africa and of Australia in slices: attributing these slices to each other without caring at all for the native existent and already present population, they did the same with La Isla Hispaniola where France claimed its western coast and Spain its geographically larger eastern coast. Spain finally agreed to give its western portion to France, of which its new governor officially gave its French name: Saint Domingue… Yet however, while France was busy battling its historically significant French Revolution(as it influenced other European revolutions and most importantly: the United States’ Civil War, another revolution would creep up far away from the “old” continent within Saint-Domingue…! The largest slave revolt, with the support and assistance of freed people of mixed race known as the “Kreol”/”Creole” in French/”Creole” in English in La Isla Hispaniola’s French side, erupted to the Spanish side governor’s dismay, who called for reinforcement to Spain as there was a great FEAR from the Spanish “Bourgeoisie”/”Burguesa” that the slaves on the eastern region of the island would follow the lead of those from the French side and begin to revolt as well…. And this is whee Puerto Plata’s Fortaleza holds such an important place in history as equally as Haiti’s “Fortress”, located in a little further south the region of Cap-Haitian, at the Bonnet mountain in the town of L’Evque. This fortress is called: “”La Citadel” in French/”The Citadel” in English. Haiti’s “La Citadelle” is protected by UNESCO: an umbrella of The United Nations’ of which its acronym means the following: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, “La Citadelle” was furthermore built at the end of the slave revolt by Henri Christophe who was a leader alongside Toussaint De Couverture, during Saint-Domingue’s slave rebellion and war; which lasted from 1791 to 1804. -The outcome of this slave revolution led by Toussaint Couverture…? The slaves won the revolution with France and Spain recognizing the region as a Sovereign nation which would be named by its indigenous Taino Native American language: “Ayiti”; literally meaning: land of the mountains” for all Haitians and “Haiti” for the rest of the world and which was the original name the European colonizers has kept to call this entire Caribbean island, which still stands strong today! Unbeknownst to many, “La Citadelle” was actually created after the black slaves won their revolution, which would come to be the ONLY SUCCESSFUL slave revolt within the world and Haiti has historically gone down in history as being: the second republic within the entire Americas…!!! My outmost wish is to most assuredly one day re-visit Haiti and go see The Citadel just as I hope to one day go visit The Island of Goree in Senegal (a West African French speaking country) from where thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of Africans throughout the continent’s coast and mainland, were captured, separated, chained and forcibly thrown into boats like cattle, to cross all the way to The Americas to work on the then billion lucrative cotton plantations… :(! :(! :(!
…As much as it is important to me to therefore visit Haiti’s Citadel, it was also important to me to travel and to visit the other side: The Dominican Republic and Puerto Plata’s Fortaleza as one tries to mentally transport oneself back into history and imagine the fear of the unknown on both sides…: The European descent people who had no traceable black ancestry, the remaining Taino descent people who had survived their people’s massacres and the African descent slaves and people of “mixed” race who rightfully and justifiably rebelled and fought for twelve years, to obtain their Freedom after ~400 years of their race being enslaved… :(! :(! :(! …This is the reason why I had to come visit The old Isla Hispaniola and both countries and nations are as equally fascinating…! For as I stated at the very beginning of this very blog’s article I am presenting typing about: this is the only Caribbean island which is tied at its “hip” together…!!! …And more importantly, which share a Unique, Extremely Special History and Intermixity…! This, even if the majority of dark skinned people are found in Haiti and a great majority of the Tainos’ descent people are on the other hand found in The Dominican Republic…. It does not matter…! For both people are equally beautiful…! …And there are also inter-marriages between both populations…! If one island is markedly poorer and less developed than the other, this is due to a longstanding corruption from the Duvalier’s (father and son) respective dictatorships…! The lack of sustainable infrastructure in Haiti, similar to many underdeveloped nations including within my own continent of origin and many countries worldwide, is what enables natural disasters to cause more devastating effects such as Haiti’s earthquakes, where the poorest rural Haitian men actually break rocks from the coastal land’s mountains to sell them to being able to feed their families :(! :(! :(! …What they are totally oblivious about, is that they by breaking rocks they are in fact causing sediment destruction & weakness, therefore causing irreparable damage for natural disaster protection! …As a result, as a black woman, my group visit to Puerto Plata’s Fortaleza was most definitely touching and moving to me, as I realized that both sides fiercely protected themselves from each other but that however yet nonetheless, both societies are inter racially mixed…! More still, many Haitians from various social classed, live in the Dominican Republic (and not just the illegal immigrants that we are used to see in the western influenced media) and that they are well integrated within the Dominican society… And that like everywhere, most Dominicans embrace ALL races as they have a full awareness of their diversely mixed one… :)! :)! :)!
….I know, I know, I know :)! :)! :)! I purposely made a typo error on the word “Fabulous”, to emphasize this above picture”s Tropical Awe-Stricking Dominican Landscape :)! :)! :)! …And below, you will find my last picture for this article and my visual visit to such a historical landmark…! The last time I actually visited a fortress was in Dubrovnik, Croatia in my late teens…! …OH, Nevermind… :)! :)! :)! …And I truly do very much apologize for any not corrected additionnal typos…!!! I copied this remaining pictures from my instagram page directly for lack of time to crop and copy and paste my from my Google saved pictures…! …This last pciture furthermore wraps up my San Felipe’s intriguing and moving Fortaleza’s Day Trip, along Puerto Plata’s acqua deep coral blue seaside and me hanging by the pole with a large smile; just humbly happy and amazed to being present and living in the moment of such wonderful traveling experiences…!!!
So sorry for the last sad face in my caption…! I had meant for it to actually be the third Happy Face on my instagram post ! …And on presently to my next blog article… about my Dominican Republic’s Trip in the beautiful region of Puerto Plata still.. !
During my Cultural Trip in The Dominican Republic’s region of Puerto Plata, I made sure to have several organized small group tours of which: taking “El Teleferico” or “El Cable”/The Teleferic Cable”, to spend an entire day at The Observatory. Even though one can arrive at the top of Puerto Plata by car, taking the Teleferic Cable is MOST ASSUREDLY an experience within itself where one is told that we are giving our lives away, similar to when one signs up for the most daring adventures such as: bungy jumping, rope sliding, line zipping air balloon flying or sky diving….!!! In The Dominican Republic, there is however another humourous twist to it all…:)! …We are greeted by a small group of older traditional local musicians who perform a small show while we await for the cable…:)! On our scary cable ride, from which one can most certainly admire Puerto Plata’s breathtaking scenic landscape from above as we are 793 meters high to arrive to “El Pico Isabel”; we are all holding tightly unto the poles and rails while our guide is making jokes to sort of “soften” the mood as he informs us that inspectors from Spain -not from D.R. mind you, actually come to inspect the telephonic cable ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS ONLY, which makes all of us gasp more (including the most seemingly emotionally and mentally contained ones) and makes us hold on even more tightly to the pole while some of us laugh at our guide’s statement by pure meager choice of not becoming histerical as we are in the middle of the air in this manmade cable rolling built box, taking us higher into elevation… :)! :)! :)! …And the ONLY individual to whom we have completely surrendered our dear beloved entire respective lives to, is the cable conductor (LOL)! Sidebar Note: I used to take the Roosevelt Island tramway (to and from) school with my sisters when we were children, while residing and attending school in Manhattan, New York City due to our mother’s employment…! Our school bus would pick us up and drop us off at the Manhattan’s tramway’s stop throughout any season of the year and throughout the entire school year as neither my mother not our caretake possibly could. Today, one can easily get to Roosevelt Island by subway. Back then, the only other option to get to and from the city was by car. My mother drove to her office in the city as she worked for the United Nations and could not come to pick my sisters and I up as she was a “single mother” and would typically finish her work day several hours after school dismissal… We had a baby-sitter to watch us at home, (as my oldest sister was only eight at the time and my youngest sister was still a toddler then and as my father could not be with us either)!
…But returning to my Dominican Republic Sightseeing Trip via “El Teleferico” (as I have already stated in my previous blog post, I often have a tendency to digress when I am writing creatively and freely… :)! :)! :)! …I MUST acknowledge here that once one semi overcomes one’s fear of being squeezed and stuck in that man made rolling height elevated rolling box called the “teleferic cable box” 🙂 for a good fifteen minutes; (which seems more like forty minutes to an hour :)…! One does eventually relax a bit to observe and admire the amazing views below after one’s sensation of the highly trained car cable conductor, taking us straight into the luscious bushes and trees has dissipated… (LOL)!!! …And furthermore, amidst the heavy air fogginess due to the extremely elevated height….! Sidebar Note: two middle aged adults from my sightseeing tour group on that day, decided to remain behind and wait for us at the cable’s air-conditionned station on firm solid ground, where we had embarked to ride on the cable….! …The rest of us were battling for the best spots to photograph Puerto Plata’s Dominican scenery and landscape view, while still doing our very best to respectively hold on to cable’s poles and rails (TRIPLE LOL)! …But once we arrived at the other side of “El Pico del Monte De Isabel De Torres”, OH WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY FABULOUS EYE CANDY TREAT…;)! :)! :)!!!! …The same sensation one arrives at any high building Observatory in the world such as: The Rockefeller Center and/or The Empire Building in New York City or yet still, The Eiffel Tower in Paris..!!! We were allotted ample time to walk throughout El Monte (which has a restaurant as well as an extensive art gift shop store… Our guide was oh too proud to stop and tell us about practically every single Beautiful carefully landscaped botanical flower, tree and/or plant…! As an adamant Nature Lover and born Poet, I was absolutely DELIGHTED , despite the pair’s high humidity, hitting us hard..!!! We also took pictures at leisure…! The only pre-caution I have for anyone who plans to visit El Pico Del Monte De Isabel Del Torres, is that climbing the hill can be tiring towards the end… This, most especially that the climb is quite hilly…!!! Also, if one does not book a tour, please make sure to bring a large bottle of cold water as you may rest assured that you will indeed be quite thirsty…!!! Some visitors and tourists are furthermore discouraged by the immense fog if visiting El Pico early in the morning as it is high up in elevation…! …My small group tour arrived around elevenish, when the fog was dissipating and giving way to clear amazing views of Puerto Plata and the Dominican Republi’s Coral Blue Cariibean Sea… !!!
…One No Longer remembers one’s FRIGHT and FEAR of the “TelefericO’s” cable ride… ….Oh, wait… …Until it is time to get back on it once again…
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All Pictures featured below Exclusively Belong to: Irene N.L.K. from: Inspirational Travels and CAN therefore neither be copied and paste or re-published without her permission!