I’ve always thought that long-term travel was the only way for me to experience a place to the fullest. It wasn’t until my best friend, Nicole, and I embarked on our first real vacation together to spend a week in the Dominican Republic, that I realized I’ve been wrong.
Nicole and I have been best friends for 10 years, but with all of our similarities, we are still very different. The good thing is, we are able to communicate and find the balance in our differences. She is used to staying in hotels when taking long-weekend vacations within the United States. I am a long-term, budget backpacker who prefers staying in the least expensive dorm room in a hostel located at the end of an alleyway in Bangkok…(one of the best hostels ever I might add!) This trip, being the ultimate merge test of our different travel styles, couldn’t have gone any better.
Our first two days were spent exploring the city beach culture in Boca Chica, and the history of the capital in Santo Domingo. We stayed in two different hostels, but compromised by getting private rooms. The Island Backpackers Hostel in Santo Domingo Colonial Zone was fantastic; very clean with a nice, cozy atmosphere. But as cool as it was in this part of the city, we were on vacation to soak up some sun and play in the sea.
On day three, we took a long and draining bus journey to the eastern side of the island. We were bound for Punta Cana, a touristy part of the island where all-inclusive resorts stretch all along the beautiful beaches. But our final destination was about 30 minutes north of Punta Cana in Macao. After spending all day finding our way, we finally landed at a tiny, tin, blue house in the Dominican countryside in the darkness of 9pm.
Macao Beach Hostel…a safe, sweet little authentic Dominican style home filled with the biggest hearts of travelers from all over the world. The communities formed there are never too big as there is only so much space inside the blue house. Camping is offered out in the yard and the host, Andres, with the help of his friends Mic and Sonja, has comfortable tents set up to accommodate guests.
Nicole and I were home. We had the beach a 12 minute walk away, a new family of friends, animals roaming all around us and each other. Nicole would argue that she needed easier access to food at all times, but she survived, haha. There was good food on the beach (fried fish, tostones, rice and beans, even really yummy fries) so we ate our big meals there during the day in between swimming, surfing, laying in the sand and slack lining.
The only way to truly share the feeling of Macao Beach was to make a video. The beautiful souls that are drawn to a place like this radiate its magical vibe with their countless smiles, tons of music and an endless supply of laughter. Macao Beach Hostel is a place where creative souls unite, but it is also a place that helps you realize that we are all creative in one way or another. Some are obvious and some are not. It isn’t just about what style of art one can create, but about the love and support that can be openly shared between total strangers to help each individual connect with a deeper part of themselves.
Thank you, Andres, for manifesting such a beautiful life for yourself that allows others to come in and feel at home. Your vibe has most certainly attracted your tribe. One love sweet brother!