And so the adventure began. December 11, 2015 I traveled alone to Dominican Republic. This solo mission was not by choice, but in the end, was most beneficial for my soul. I purchased a 4 day vacation for two as a birthday present for my then boyfriend, in June. I was sure this trip would save our failing relationship, but to no prevail, things ended. Badly. I went back and forth about returning the Living Social purchase, but figured I could eventually go with any one of my friends. As months went on and distractions began to appear, I forgot about the trip until it was too late. When I realized the trip was expiring I had to jump at the chance to escape New York’s cold weather, even without a partner-in-crime.
In the beginning I was quite concerned: would I truly enjoy myself? Thankfully I was in good company, via text, my entire trip. Getting there was no problem at all. I flew through TSA without a hitch (but also because I was riding a scoot-case). Early 6am I was pumped to make this big-girl move. I have only flown by myself once before to L.A., but I was greeted by someone I was dating at the time. Never have I ever experienced such a terrifying yet exhilarating opportunity to grow. As soon as I got to Puerto Plata I was told I had to wait 2 hours for check-in. Bummed, but thirsty, I headed to the bar straight away for a piña colada. The weather was flawless, making me ready to party. And party I did.
Finally heading back to my room at 3pm, I changed into a cute Nasty Gal swimsuit, then proceeded to drink all of the beers and lay out. By the evening I was already showered and changed for a “Michael Jackson” performance and dancing at the resort’s nightclub, Ice. I made nice with a few ladies that night. All was not lost. I have to say, after a few Presidentes I am quite the friendly gal. As you can imagine after drinking all of the beers, I was hungover. Nevertheless, I found the beach and took a dip, went back to my room to wash up (I didn’t like the beach much), then came back out to try again. I laid out for about a half-a-second then went right back to my room to sleep. It started pouring like crazy, so I didn’t feel too bad about hiding out.
Determined to get a proper tan the next morning, I headed out early for some baking. *So, so far all I’ve done was drink and tan. But the soul-searching was on its way… I spent hours at the pool that day, basting myself in tanning oil, which eventually scorched me. Burned tuckus in tow, I decided to drink the pain away, quite literally. There was a welcoming party the resort has every week for their guests. It was huge. Like, seriously HUGE! As soon as I got there I headed for the melting pot of a buffet, then sat alone and waited for the show to begin. Looking around in boredom, I begun to realize I was actually alone. I hadn’t had time to think since I kept myself so busy, so the feels started to set in.
The good thing was I realized I am no longer broken-hearted. Time had licked my wounds clean, but my girls weren’t with me. I couldn’t share this experience with them or anyone for that matter. But great news, I realized I didn’t need company. I was utterly alone (cue Lydia Deets’ suicide note) but I was so Gucci I didn’t care anymore. I did it! I really fucking did it. Realizing this after I cried over my coconut, I pulled my shit together and decided to be proud. Last year kicked my ass and I spent so much time feeling sorry for myself. It was almost as if I couldn’t help it. But turning 33 this year really put things in perspective for me. Because I was a year older I pushed myself harder and have gotten so much further because of it.
I could have bowed out and returned the trip, and maybe waited for another chance to go away with my friends. But I didn’t. I packed my shit and jumped on a plane, carried my own luggage, lifted it onto the overhead by myself (both times), made new friends, gave no fucks about being solo, and chilled out. I’m a better person for it. When my trip was over I spent more time reflecting. As we were taking off I saw Cloudless Sulphurs (a type of yellow butterfly) fly by my window. As you know, butterflies experience the magic of metamorphosis. The butterfly is a symbol of the soul, and represents letting go of old behavior and expounding into the next phase of existence.
Each of us transforms through multiple stages in our life. It is only through exertion that we emerge into who we will be next, thus going through metamorphosis ourselves. The Universe had given me something great: time to realize fear is an illusion, that I am good whether with or without anyone, and that love in your mind produces love and happiness in your life. I truly have no regrets about this trip, and I’d absolutely do it again.
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