The koi fish and flamingo pond at night…
so opposite to what I usually have to do. It chafed in a weird way that took me a few days to really comprehend—it was such a subconscious niggling of discomfort. And once it did dawn on me, I realized something about myself: I like a bit of a challenge. I crave independence and a lack of concrete plans and agendas. But, before this trip I hadn’t
realized that about myself, to the degree that I now do.
That being said though, I can understand the appeal of something like an all-inclusive resort. If you really want to be able to relax, it’s a great way to travel and do things. If you’re interested in traveling, but aren’t sure you’re ready to go off on your own and risk blazing your own path in a foreign country, this is a great way to get started. It’s really all about your personal preferences and what kind of trip you’re looking for at the moment.
Would I stay at a resort again? Absolutely, though I’d probably try to find one in a location where I felt like it would be totally safe to leave the boundaries of the resort. I think I would have been a lot happier if I had felt like I had the option. Having that choice would be worth everything to me.
- The language barrier.
This—as someone with a masters in Foreign Language Education, with a major in Japanese, and having also studied Chinese, Korean, and Hindi—probably bothered me the most. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t communicate in Spanish. I was defeated by Spanish—one of the most commonly taught second-languages in most U.S. public schools!
Fourteen years ago, I took Spanish in high school. I was good at it and I liked it, but I decided to move on to Asian languages and, over the years, I forgot everything I learned in high school (that can happen when you go on to study four other languages!). I live in San Diego now, where you can hear Spanish almost as much as English (which I love) but I still can’t speak Spanish.
Now, I can do greetings. I can ask where the bathroom is. But beyond that? Not a whole lot. And I wish that wasn’t the case.
In the Dominican Republic, English doesn’t seem to be widely spoken with much fluency. Of course, English is not their primary language, so I don’t expect the locals to speak my language. I feel I should try to speak theirs. That’s always been my motto and when I moved to Japan, I was fine because I was a Japanese major. Taiwan? No problem. I studied Chinese in college for a while so I could handle the basics and chat with people in Chinese. South Korea? I took a free language class and in less than two months was able to communicate on a basic, everyday level.
So this was a first for me: traveling to a country where I knew I wouldn’t be able to communicate with the locals. But I’m truly so glad I did it! It helped give me a better understanding of what it’s like for most people when they travel to a country where a different language is spoken. The language barrier did cause some confusion—there were instances where it was hard to communicate, but overall I think people did pretty well. And I think the visitors may have been surprised by how well they did—despite the lack of language skills on both sides. I think an experience like this in a controlled, safe environment might help beginning travelers feel a bit better about future travel to countries where the locals don’t speak their language. It’s amazing how much you can communicate through body language, gestures, and pantomiming.
So, if you’re afraid of the language barrier, a stay at a resort may be a good way to “get your feet wet” so to speak— a way to build up your confidence in an environment where there’s less potential for serious issues caused by a lack of communication.
Does resort vacationing sound like something you’d like to try? Maybe this seems like the perfect kind of vacation or trip, or maybe you’re in need of some serious R&R. But what’s holding you back? Are you worried that a stay at an all-inclusive might be outside of your budget, or beyond your reach? Well, you might be surprised—sometimes you can find really incredible deals on resorts, luxury cruises, and other types of travel that have a reputation for being “out of reach” for the masses.
Want to learn how you can find these deals and get access to vacations and trips that might usually be too expensive? Keep an eye out for Chief Global Gal Brenda’s upcoming “Tips to Save Big $$ on Your Next Trip” webinar—available soon in the Global Gals shop! Brenda will be sharing some of the tips she’s used to travel in luxury, stay at all-inclusive resorts at a fraction of the usual cost, and more!
Even better, if you’re a Global Gals Learner or Explorer customer, February’s webinar is “How to Get a $20K Luxury Trip for Less than $5K”. Keep an eye out for this webinar, which will be delivered to you via email later this month! You’ll learn how you can travel in style without emptying your savings account! (Not a Global Gals Learner or Explorer? No problem, sign up today to get access to 12 months of educational travel webinars and podcasts along with other great bonuses! Learn more here!)