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10 Things Punta Cana Taught Me ✔︎


After an amazing week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, I have taken my notes and decided to share exactly what I learned. Did I mention it was an amazing vacation!! I present my 10 takeaways accompanied by the experience that inspired them.

10. Value Daylight. Facetiming my sister here in the states and wondering what time it was because it was sunny and bright was eyeopening. At a mere 7pm in Punta Cana it was pitch black. It just gave me a new appreciation for our long summer nights. I adore seeing the sun peep through my window at 8:30pm. Value the beautiful daylight and be sure to utilize every hour of your day.

9. Work Extra Hard. Our servers, bartenders, resort staff, drivers, etc all worked extra hard to accompany a bunch of entitled Americans. I mean we were on vacation and they all went above and beyond to make sure our stay was nothing short of amazing. If we work harder, we'll work smarter. I was inspired to do more just by the tenacity these individuals held.

8. Be Appreciative. While the Dominican Republic is still a developing country, the Dominican's there really love the DR. I heard multiple times that they would never consider moving to America. I can't even be mad. Sometimes you have to band together and stick it out to make the change. They truly appreciated the country.

7. Take Care of the Environment. The influx of trash everywhere was astonishing. Of course everywhere that wasn't a resort or tourist attraction. I just remember riding in the car and wondering why every field, curb and corner was filled with trash. It just made me look at my own surroundings differently. We have to work together to keep our planet clean. I'm so ready to take that to the next level.

6. Be Kind. Kindness is refreshing. When people care about people then our world will change. The people of the DR were so kind that it was scary. It was more than just a "this is my job" type of thing. There was a genuine "kindness" despite what our environment provides type of feel. Everybody was just damn kind.

5. Never Judge. So after asking our driver to take us for food late night and after arriving to a shack/hut at 4am, we were greeted with some of the best chicken and plantains I've ever experienced. Although there were wild dogs running around and some random cook with a grill, the food was so bomb. The hut/shack meant nothing. Less judging and cheers to trying new things.

4. Relax. Stop doing and just be. As much as I wanted to see all that Punta Cana had to offer, there was this undeniable feeling of relaxation brewing in the air. I was inspired to stop doing and just be. I spent my early mornings, relaxing on the balcony, taking in the fresh air and scenery. It was amazing to just reflect and take it all in.

3. Enjoy the Beauty. Even in an underdeveloped country such as the Dominican Republic, there was still so much beauty surrounding. The trees, white sand, beautiful beaches, all exist amongst a very different backdrop.

2. Love People. Meeting Ben was a highlight of my trip. A Dominican man who after chatting about racism in America gave a great insight on loving people. Ben was very aware of the police brutality taking place in our country. He even told us a horror story about an experience with Haitians there. What stood out was that Ben said he loves everyone. We may look different on the outside but if you cut any of our wrists, we all bleed the same. Well said Ben! As he embraced 7 young black adults from America, Ben truly loved us as if he'd known us forever. We have to do the same and love people. We all bleed the same.

1. Repeat. My favorite takeaway. Repeat travel. The key to learning, growing, and becoming richer in life is to repeat travel and do it often. I am so ready for our next experience.

Peace & Sweet Dreaming,

Kiylise Crutchfield, Chief Dream Engineer


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