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Dominican Republic: How Did I End Up Here? – Part 2

Click here to return to Part 1 of Wendy Gosbee’s “How Did I Get Here?”

I love to travel, taste new food, meet people from different cultures, and see new sites. A school skiing trip to Austria at age 15 gave me the travel bug. At 18 I hitchhiked all over Europe ending on the Greek island of Mykonos, where I worked for a while putting records on a turntable for a DJ. The Greek islands still remain a huge favourite of mine. I tried to get into Albania and Persia (now Iran) but sadly was not granted entry. I was lucky to see lots of the beautiful sites of Yugoslavia before it was decimated by war.

Being a free spirit, I often wonder what would have happened if I had continued to follow my backpacking heart and continue exploring, rather than give in to my family’s wishes that I follow a more conventional way of life.

I started to look for a career that worked for me and eventually ended up in IT as a business analyst, then as a project manager in financial services. My travel was confined to vacations. Some of the more memorable places were Russia, Tunisia, Santorini, Philippines, and the Eastern Orient Express. Since I moved here I have visited , Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and toured Machu Picchu in Peru and the Mayan sites in Guatemala.

Happily, I secured a position with Motorola, which included travel in Europe. Every month I visited France, Germany, and Denmark as project manager for their finance systems. Eventually, I became their business facilities manager working as a co-ordinator between the users and the IT group.

Later, I joined Inchcape in much the same role but worldwide. I worked on projects in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Perth (Australia), Ithaca (New York, US), Houston, Dallas, Holland, and Germany. My trips would last from 1 to 8 weeks, sometimes only a single visit was required & sometimes multiple regular visits.

Then, redundancy struck! Eventually I started picking up short term contracts as a management consultant. This yielded a great variety of work, and my travels continued: Belgium, Holland, Italy, Scotland, Sweden, and Boulder (Colorado, US). Then, I took that fateful vacation to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is part of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. It has the highest point in the Caribbean. It is also home to the world’s first cable car, which is in Puerto Plata. On a clear day the view is spectacular. I now live in the foothills of this peak, Isabella de Torres. POP, as it is affectionately called, is the third largest city in the DR, after the capital of Santo Domingo and inland Santiago. POP is on the northwest coast. Santo Domingo is about three and a half hours away to the southeast. When I first came here POP had a very active tourist industry, but tax incentives have provided incentives for this industry to move to Punta Cana and Bavaro, newly developed tourist areas.

Close to POP are the towns of Sosua and Cabarete. These are large expat communities. Sosua’s beautiful beach is backed by a whole row of restaurants, bars, and gift shops. There are many restaurants in Sosua and a few hotels. On average prices are a little higher than in POP. Cabarete, the kite surfing capital, hosts large international competitions. There are lots of bars and restaurants along the road and the beach. I have heard it referred to as “Little New York.” The prices here are definitely higher.

Wendy has a house for sale in Puerto Plata that you can view on EscapeArtist International Real Estate.

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