Spring break is over. I am back to work. All that reminds me of my recent vacation right now is a big pile of dirty clothes. Haha. No. Of course I’ve also got a nice tan, hundreds of photos and other memories. Not bad at all. I absolutely enjoyed my two weeks in the Dominican Republic. And I really want to travel to other parts of the Caribbean and also to Middle and South America. Thinking back, I stepped out of my comfort zone on this vacation several times. Like probably everyone I know my preferences and don’t find it easy to stray from my normal track. But once I’ve done something in a different way, I profit from my experience and feel much braver or at least better prepared for something similar next time. So all in all it was great fun.
- My flights were in the middle of the night. The alternative would have been to fly via Canada or two other U.S. airports, which would have taken at least twelve hours. That’s why I chose the only direct flights, which unfortunately are both scheduled for the middle of the night. I thus arrived at the hotel at 6 in the morning, and I left at midnight. Even though I prefer sleeping at those times, it turned out alright. I slept trough both four hour long flights. On the next day I only needed a short nap, but otherwise didn’t feel tired.
- I traveled to a country I hadn’t been to before and knew nothing about. This hadn’t happened since 2010 when I moved to Turkey without having ever been there. But I’ve realized that I tend to travel to or within countries I already know and feel totally safe in. Yes, traveling close to the Syrian border last year in Turkey might have been dangerous, but I know the Turkish culture and country well enough to travel safe. I didn’t know anything about the Dominican Republic because I didn’t find the time to prepare for this trip. I still don’t know that much about the country, but I feel that it was nice to just rely on new impressions and not knowledge I read about.
- They speak Spanish, and I don’t. I have learned many languages, but I was never interested in Spanish. Don’t ask me why. Before this trip I assumed that everybody would speak English anyways, which might be a sign that I’ve lived in the U.S. for a “long time” now. But most people seem to speak only Spanish. I of course know some of the most important words and phrases, but it was a pity that I couldn’t communicate better. It also made me feel a little lost when I arrived at the airport and my shuttle service only spoke Spanish, of which I didn’t understand a single word. I somehow managed to communicate without many words.
- Two weeks of all-inclusive vacation. Although I have stayed in hotels with an all-inclusive package before, it never lasted for two weeks. Last summer I stayed in a hotel in Turkey [here] for one week because I wanted to relax and get rid of my jetlag. I found even that week too long. So two weeks seemed like a really really long time. In the end it was much better than expected because I needed a vacation to relax. I had been sick for most of the winter and felt pretty exhausted so that I didn’t mind spending almost all days at the beach. During the second week, I also went on two trips. For those I also stepped out of my comfort zone, which I’ll explain once I’ll blog about them.
- Vacation with the parents. I always find it difficult to spend so much time with my parents. While other people visit their parents for a few hours every few weeks, I spend 24/7 with mine once or twice a year. Staying at a hotel was definitely a great solution because we had seperate rooms and nobody interefered with the other’s every day life. Also, a certain amount of cocktails always helps (both sides). I was also surprised that there were several people my age on vacation with their parents (only).