“Todo Bien”

My most recent Caribbean adventure was special because I celebrated my birthday with my love in the sand, sun, and warm waters of the Dominican Republic.

Vacations are great. They are rejuvenating, relaxing, and you recalibrate. They are much needed in a society that is go-go-go all the time. There are so many distractions coming from anything that has an internet connection. By habit, one of the first things most people do upon arrival to a new place is check the wifi. Being on a small island the Wifi is usually wishy-washy and that is exactly what it was for us. At first, I was annoyed that our wifi signal was lousy but then I remembered where I was and that I do not need a connection.

While it may be annoying not having a great wifi connection abroad, it is also a blessing. It is a blessing because you are forced to just BE. You are forced to look around you, to actually communicate with someone face to face, or use your brain and memory to speak in a different language. For us, it was thinking back to high school Spanish class and trying to remember how to say common phrases. It was great! We really enjoyed trying to speak in the native language. In just one short week we had the simple phrases down pat and we were saying them to each other with no problem at all.

My favorite phrase is ‘todo bien’ which means all good! Our patience was tested many times due to “island time” and by the end up the trip, that is how we felt no matter what happened. When we couldn’t find a beach chair under an umbrealla, it was todo bien! When our food took forever to come it was ‘todo bien.’

Why is that when you are on vacation nothing matters? Does it have something to do with the sunshine, warm weather, or not giving two s***’s because you have no responsibilities for a week? Whatever it may be, we can’t stay on vacation forever. The tan starts to fade, you start to peel, or the bracelet a local gave you eventually falls off. That’s when I know the vacation high is over. As we get back to reality, back to work, rush hour, bad weather, and rude people, we try to hold on to the vacation feeling of ‘todo bien’. It gets hard but it is important to remember that you do not need to be on a far away beach to live the life of ‘todo bien.’ You can live ‘todo bien’ everyday by being grateful for what you have. When I try to be grateful for the little things I have in my life, like when the sun is shining, I find it easier to live in the mentality of “todo bien.” If you want to practice gratitude, check out these tips.

To conclude, the light always shines again when trip planning begins because nothing beats being able to sit on the balcony in the morning to watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee in your hand, taking a nap on the beach, listening to the waves crashing and children laughing, having one or three pina coladas mid-day because its “5 O’clock Somewhere”, sleeping in and waking up when your body feels ready for the day.

On day 5, I finally felt myself walking slower, speaking slower, and being more patient. By being on vacation I hope you get to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the world and enjoy the simplicity of life.