How To Adjust
to Dominican Republic Life
Spending months a year or moving to a tropical island can be a dream but it can also be a challenge. The Dominican Republic is an island paradise but any expat experience is going to have its ups and downs. In the meantime, you have to take care of yourself and anticipate what you might be feeling. That will go a long way to making the transition to the expat lifestyle easier! We have some tips for helping you along based on our experiences and those of our clients.
Recognize it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows.
Adapting to a new country with a different culture and language can feel strange! Yes, the sunsets on the beach and a private pool do ease the transition quite a bit, but you might find yourself wondering what you got yourself into when things can be challenging. A lot of expats have a difficult time with things like Island Time (how everyone runs late or places close for siesta) and the easiest way to overcome that is to get on Island Time yourself, even a little bit. Meeting someone you know is always late at 6:00? Don’t rush – get there at 6:15 or get there on time and enjoy a quiet drink knowing they will be late.
There are ways around everything we find challenging about our new place. It is simply a matter of how creative we get in both adapting and keeping true to who we are.
Go easy on yourself on tough days.
Every expat has tough days when they don’t feel like living in their new country anymore. Anyone who tells you they don’t is either superhuman or has a really bad memory! On tough days, go easy on yourself. Take some time to read your favorite book or watch your favorite program. Go for a long walk on the beach (the waves are proven to reduce stress and anxiety!) .
Develop a self-care routine.
If a fancy latte makes you feel the comforts of home, why not head to one of Cabarete’s many beach restaurants and enjoy it in the morning sunshine? Or if working out gets your feel-good endorphins flowing, why not sign up for a gym class or complete a regular gym rotation?
Whether it is a day at the spa, a regular massage or surfing every morning at dawn that makes you feel grounded and good, do it. Schedule it in and you’re bound to start feeling some certainty and ownership about your new home.
Be a tourist in your new country.
Enjoy this place! There are hundreds of sights to see and things to do! Even if you only do a couple of new things a month, you will still be exploring and creating memories in your new space, and that’s when it will start to feel like your home. Take advantage of opportunities few people will have in this lifetime to enjoy all that surrounds you in the beautiful Dominican Republic.
Get involved and make friends!
The north coast has a large, welcoming, community of expats from around the world as well English speaking Dominicans who are here to help you get involved in events and real life here. Whatever activities you like in your home county you’ll find other people doing here in the DR.
Host visitors from back home.
If you’re really homesick, consider inviting family or friends from back home to come visit and stay with you. They are sure to bring some of your favorite goodies and will be enthralled with your new home. It could be a great pick me up as you adapt to your new place!
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