Dominican-republic Travel Stories, Page 3

Today, I Appointed Paul Theroux as my Mentor


I am officially becoming a full time writer, the management of web design is being transferred to Andrew Suares, a.k.a. Boy Genius from India. Nothing is going to change, other than I will have the time to write books.

Mom, Dad, friends, colleagues, and readers, I must grow up, and learn to fly, I must open my wings and do my best at the game of life. Moreover, generally, what is my passion, it is writing, therefore I must stop playing at this game of Blog writing, and become a real writer. I must finish my first book and fly, I must engage in life, fly a little higher, and ignore all dangers of failure.

I discussed the future with Andrew Suares, “Boy Genius from India,” he will take over 100 percent management of and, and in return I have given him 50 percent ownership of the two sites. I will continue to write Blog posts,advise,assist, but I must burn all my bridges, do or die, stay the course as a writer of books.

Andrew is now in control of the future of the two sites, I am not leaving, I am just stepping down a couple of steps, he will do what he is good at, and I will do what I am good at, we are full partners.

Release Date of Book is August 4, 2011
I am going to finish the book by August 4, 2011, exactly 60 days from now the book will be released.

Boy Genius is a Man
Andrew Suares has worked for me for about seven years, in this time he has become a man, and it is now his turn to fly, I am 100 percent sure he will succeed as 100 percent manager of the two sites. The final decision for the future of the two sites is now in the hand of my partner and long-term friend.

Ironically Paul Theroux again entered my life again yesterday.

My friend Travis sent me an email saying,

Andy, “I thought you might be interested in this recent travel book by Paul Theroux, where he actually critiques a lot of other travel writers (I have not read it yet but I may buy it soon for my Kindle, $9.99):
I have another friend Ray, who is a huge fan of Paul Theroux, and when some reason Paul Theroux floats across his brain, he eventually calls me or writes me an explains what Paul, said or wrote.

Why has Paul floated into my brain, this is my muse?

I believe we all have a little Tinkerbell, a small angel whispering magical ideas in our heads, if we listen, we can learn to fly.

Ironic coincidence is God whispering in my ear.
I believe we all have a little God in us; we all have a little spirit, maybe an angel, and a voice we can easily ignore. In addition, if we ignore the voice, we will become slaves to the world, some of us stop listening and fly for a short time and fall, never to rise again. A few people will embrace the voice, listen for guidance, accept small truths and start to fly, and repeatedly we will fall, but we will never fail, because we know the voice is the spirit of truth.

How can a person fail, when they accept the universal truths in life?

Ok, for some reason, there is a voice in the back of my mind that says to me,
“Andy, you can be as good as Paul Theroux, all you need to do is follow.”

Therefore Paul, I have appointed you my Mentor, I am going to follow in your path.

Yes, I did purchase the new book by Paul Theroux… it will be consumed shortly.

You can purchase an advance copy of the paper book: $50 USD
1. Signed by Andy Graham
2. Numbered as to who purchased in sequence up to 50.

The name of the book is: "My Life Without Borders."

Thank you to all my friends and reader for your support, and as always,
"Life is Good."
"a life less normal."

Today, I Appointed Paul Theroux as my Mentor

My Pain from Sciatica is Unbearable

I am tired of having pain, whether physical or emotional, it has reached a breaking point. Today, I finally gave up and went to the pharmacy and purchased:

1. Five Valium
2. One Dolo-Neurobion
3. One Tramal Long 100 mg

That is about five dollars worth of pain medicine.

Sosua, Dominican Republic (Adult Community or Expats)
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


I needed to stop the pain for a day.
I have been in great pain now for years, with the right exercise, nothing to do, no stress, the right balance of everything on my plate, I will tend to ignore the pain.

Pain Management Lesson
I anesthetized my mind for years with alcohol, this enabled me to tolerate being in the same room with my overactive brain. Generally Americans are nuts, they are so busy, they can deny and be under the illusion they are ok because they are occupied by being preoccupied.

I am American, and I suffered for year with the idea that I need to work hard. Now, I know when I am having problems, I stop working, I slow the world down to a tolerable level and stop with the stressors.

My lifestyle is as ideal as it gets, but only an asshole would think everything could, would or should be paradise continually. And, there is an overabundance of idiots on planet earth, who have become empowered by Facebook to believe someone wants to look at their face. More or less, let us go ugly quick and fast, and there is no dislike button. has become the most petty force on the planet, taking level of intelligence to all time lows.

If you have notice, I turned off the comments, it is annoying to read petty comments on in a never-ending stream, they do not make my life better, I just cannot tolerate this. My life is meant for something better than catering to the mass hysteria of Facebook and Twitter, I quit.

My Pain from Sciatica is Unbearable Site is 11 Years Old, and I am 55

Sooner, later, or eventually a traveler will be forced to abandon delusions of control. After 13 years of perpetual travel, and 11 years of being the webmaster of two of the largest travel sites on the Internet, I am positive, nothing ever went as I dreamed. I dreamed up a romantic view of life, and now lived another.

I am the hero of my own life, I deserve the life I live, as any reader 100 percent deserves their station in life. As a lone traveler, independently walking the planet, I cannot look over at friend, lover, mother or father, and college and say,
"It is your fault."

My life is my fault, I am responsible.

Sosua, Dominican Republic (Adult only community)
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


My Legacy as a Traveler
I had a girl tell me 12 years ago to stay pure, she was wanting me to be a traveler, and to not sell out. I have a choice as a traveler, I can do what the world expects of me, or I can go my own way, make my own path, and she was saying.
"Andy stay the course."

But, what is the course of a traveler? She wanted me to be strong and turn off the outside world, a traveler walks away from the group, turns around and tells them goodbye. Maybe it is just a casual wave goodbye, maybe we turn and slowly walk away, a few start to run, however the mark of a real traveler is to never looks back.

We do not ask others to follow, because we know it is not possible, we must walk the path alone, a traveler goes alone, because eventually all companions refuse to follow.

My legacy of a traveler is that I have remained pure for 13 years, I have taken the road less travel and refused to follow another persons path no matter how much it cost.

I have been a purist, a travel that has walked away from the group perpetually, I have refused to live in your world, I made my own.

Life is a Maybe
When a person is happy in the middle of absolute chaos, without a friend in the world, then maybe they will know the world of a traveler.

I do not know where I am going, but it will never be towards a group of people, because I am 100 percent responsible for me, not for you.

Can you try your best to convert the maybes to a yes or no for your friends, but live a life where you accept that everything is uncertain and a maybe… Site is 11 Years Old, and I am 55

2011 May 31 Entered Dominican Republic Left USA Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is the 90th country I have visited in my life.

I am flying today from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA) to Santiago, Dominican Republic. I am going to count Puerto Rico as a foreign country, mainly because the common person considers them that way, and the USA does not allow them to vote. In reality, they are some type of outlying territory or the USA jurisdiction.

San Juan, Puerto Rico USA
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


Being a Tourist is hard work.
I walked around and looked at a Fort for 4-5 hours the first day, then spent about six hours paddling around in a Kayak in the dark the next night, which was pretty cool in an American Pie sort of way.

It was a great trip, and I learned tons from my friend Steve about how to manage a large travel site, and enjoy Carolina Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This beach is probably one of the better sunbathing and girl watching beaches on the planet.

Bioluminescent Bay
The Bioluminescent Bay (also known as Puerto Mosquito, Mosquito Bay, or "The Bio Bay"), is perhaps the world's largest and brightest. The luminescence is caused by micro-organisms (dinoflagellates) which glow whenever the water is disturbed, leaving a trail of neon blue. A combination of factors create the necessary conditions for bioluminescence: red mangrove trees surround the water (the organisms feed off the dead leaves); a complete lack of modern development around the bay; the water is cool enough and deep enough; and a small channel to the ocean keeps the dinoflagellates in the bay. This small channel is the result of Spanish ships' attempts to choke off the bay from the ocean's waters. The Spanish believed that the bioluminescence they first encountered was the work of the Devil ('El Diablo') and tried to block the ocean's waters from entering the bay by dropping huge boulders in the channel. The Spanish only succeeded in preserving and increasing the luminescence. Kayaking is permitted in the bay and can be arranged through local vendors. Swimming is allowed on limited basis through guided tours.

2011 May 31 Entered Dominican Republic Left USA Puerto Rico

2011 May 29 Entered Puerto Rico left Dominican Republic

2011 May 29 Entered Puerto Rico left Dominican Republic

It is amazing, I just entered the USA yesterday as far ad the IRS is concerned, yet the citizens of Puerto Rico cannot vote for the President of the USA. I am using Dollar, yet I am not really in or out of the USA, sort of weird half/ country.

This is a great Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The place is modern, and twice as warm and friendly compared to the DR, but then again I am in the Howard Johnsons on Carolina Beach and it is an intelligently designed hotel.

San Juan, Puerto Rico USA
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


There is no such thing as a Hotel Critic?
There are 1000’s of Restaurant Critics, but as best I figure out, there is no such thing as a Hotel Critic. The reason is simple; nobody could afford to live in all the Hotels in a city to truly critique them.

Hotel reviews to ME are the most part worthless
I was in an "UnNamed" 4 Star Hotel in Santiago, Dominican Republic, that drove me nuts. As sat in what look absolutely gorgeous I started tripping over huge design flaws. The DR Hotel should have taken the architect out back as is the Latino custom and shot him, truly not sense of functional design.

However, in a night and a day in the Howard Johnson, I have only found what I consider a flaw.
"The towel is not long enough to wrap around my body and bind up so I can walk around in the room with a towel."

I could list out some ideas for improvement, however generally the Hotel is doing a good job, as well as can be expected in a Latino service environment.

However, the Santiago Dominican Republic Hotel… aagh Horrible

I have thought of hiring myself out to Hotels, I would gladly do a private critique of a Hotel for two weeks of free room and board. Maybe I could promise a list of 50 improvements that would cost almost no money to implement.

10 Hotel Problems in DR ROOM

The first one was too stupid for words, there is no electrical plug.

The coffee maker was sitting on top of the dresser, all nice and proper. I put the coffee into the top, poured the water into it. I then switched it on, and looked at it, waiting to hear the perk sound. I look behind the dresser, it is not plugged in, I did not care much, and this is maybe safer for the Hotel patrons. I pull out the dresser; there is not even a plug close. I had move the coffee maker to another location and find a plug, amazing stupid.

1. There was not WIFI Internet connection, only one worked after I diagnosed and repaired it, it appears there are too many connections to the router and I had to bump someone off.. Hehehe

2. Air Conditioner was noisy, and did not have enough Freon, and made a bubbly noise all night.

3. There was no temperature gauge on the thermostat to the AC; I just had to guess what was proper.

3. TV Remote had too many, buttons truly an overly complicated clicker

5. The electrical switches to lights were behind my pillow, I could accidentally turn on the lights while I sleep.

6. One reading light on the side of bed, not two, I had to sleep on the left side of the bed if I wanted to read.

7. One sink in toilet, only one person could shave or clean at a time.

8. The desk had no open plug; I needed to unplug the clock to have an available electrical outlet.

9. There was inadequate lighting at the desk, and I had to search for the inline switch on the desk lamp.

10. All the light switches were in awkward non-standard locations.

11. Towel too small to wrap around me.

12. Mirror on one side of shower area, and the electrical plug on other end far from the mirror, the light was not centered on mirror.

13. I had a safe, but they did not give me the key, too small for camera or computer

14. I had no television signal in in the morning when I woke up.

15. No fitted sheets, strangely rather normal with hotels.

16. Wash rags, shampoo and other toiletries were places on opposite end of shower area, so a person hat to carry them to the shower to use.

17. One bottle of water, with no way to buy more, therefore a person is forced to drink tap water at night if they consume more than one half liter.

Generally, I am immune to getting excited to live in a Hotel room, I want to enter, lie down on the bed and not stumble over inconveniences. Then again, I have lived in at least 1000 different Hotels in my life, checking into a Hotel is not a fun experience. While if you work the 9-5 and go on vacation, the feeling of walking into a luxury Hotel is feeling of luxury, this squirrels your opinion.

Generally, the only person that could truly analyze a Hotel or Review properly is a business traveler that lives half his or her life in a Hotel; this is the best person to appraise a Hotel.

Then again, I suspect that 50-80 percent of all reviews were actually submitted by the owners of the hotel, to game the review system.

Generally, the Santiago, Dominican Republic Hotel felt luxurious, but if you truly felt the problems because you lived in a Hotel for 13 continuous years, the Howard Johnson in San Juan, Puerto Rico was the true high class living.

One was a pretty face, with nothing inside, the other has true substance.

2011 May 29 Entered Puerto Rico left Dominican Republic

Canceled Flight from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico

Canceled Flight from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico

I am trying to fly from Santiago, Dominican Republic to San Juan, Puerto Rico, it appears that one of the engines on the plane had problem. The flight was cancelled, and they put me up in Hotel for the night and will drive me to Santo Domingo for a 11:00 flight.

This is the airplane that had engine problems, and I lost a day of my three day trip to Puerto Rico.

Sosua, Dominican Republic - Caribbean
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


Irony of this Business Trip
I am going to Puerto Rico to meet with one the most knowledgeable Internet Webmasters on the planet. Truthfully, I do not go visit countries for two day, although really Puerto Rico is just some part of the USA that is strangely defined.

I designed a business, with no phone calls, no appointments, no emergencies, well, a the end of the day, no business type reasons to prioritize my day.

I do not need to prioritize every moment, I do not have a business card, and if I do not work for a week, nothing really changes, my business is a passive income business.

However, the one time I truly wanted to learn something, the plane is cancelled, and I am losing 24 hours of time spent with my friend of seven years Steve.

I have to go, it is 5:25 AM here in the Hotel, I have to be in the lobby at 6:00 to get in the ground transportation to Santo Domingo.

I had not choice, American Airlines would not refund my money, I had to either go to San Juan or lose the cost of the flight and two nights in an expensive hotel in San Juan. I cannot believe it was not possible for them to just hand me back my money.

I had some fun, I stayed what people would define as a luxury type hotel, it is always amazing to me that you cannot pay enough to remove simple basic hotel problems. They truly should shoot the architects, they only get away with it because they hotel always feel nicer than peoples home, in reality there are many problems.

Canceled Flight from Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico

USA Embassy Thought I was Dead in Haiti

I met my friend Mathew from Port au Prince, Haiti a few days ago, he was happy to know I was alive.

Mathew is a painter here in Sosua, or maybe a "Jack of all Touts," a street trader that has anything you want to buy available.

The last time he seen me I was in a Hotel called the Executif about two block from the Palace, I was in Haiti for two months prior to the Earthquake, and for some ironic reason left five days before the earthquake and came to Sosua, Dominican Republic.

Mathew did not know I left Haiti, therefore thought I died in the building above.

When I think of Haiti, I think of this sweet girl, she was my neighbor while I lived in Port au Prince, I took maybe 20 photos of this beautiful child. Truthfully, I would love to be working in Haiti right now, I love the place in comparison to the Dominican Republic, one is sweet, the other has modern conveniences. There is nothing more dehumanizing than charity, there is nothing more destructive to the human spirit than to remove the pride of a person by giving un-needed help. A poor person does not need help, they need a job, giving them money or food removes their pride, and it is not reparable. Once a person receives something for nothing, they are an addict, they cannot stop themselves from going back to the well.

Sosua, Dominican Republic - Caribbean
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


Mathew told me the USA government sent people into the rubble of the Executive Hotel to try to find my body. I think and think about this, and all I care about is this little girl, and here mother and grandmother that sold me cold water daily.

This is Lonnie, the manager of the Hotel, Mathew tells me he is dead, I know the truth, Mathew has no idea, but gave me an answer. It is a difficult thing living in other countries, the world is a natural born liar, I long for Indiana where I seldom heard a lie. Why do so many people lie to me, I seldom heard a lie in Haiti, I hear bullshit continuously here from the foreigners and locals, hard to hear an honest word.

Haiti was an honest place to me, poor, and happy, simple lives, why did my friend need to be in a place that died. I do not want to think about this, Mathew wants me to travel with him to Port au Prince in a few weeks. I would like to go, but what am I to do, the country was expensive for a white man before the Earthquake, I am sure the charities have turned the place into a welfare nation, removed their pride and turned them into 24/7 beggar touts.

Charities normally live in Five Star Hotels, and pay explosive prices, they over-inflate local economies and destroy any chance of budge travel.

This is my Haiti, cute, small, simple people looking at me with curiosity. Truthfully writing this I hate my readers, I hate my friends, I got a lecture yesterday from Ana, she told me how bad the Haiti people are, she is without mercy, she is without care.

How can people that read believe have such bad opinions of something they have never visited. I spent over two months in Haiti, it is a wonderful place, yes dirty, but a honest and happy person that is dirty is better than a clean dishonest person in a nice house.

I think it all comes done to this, bad people cannot see good in people, they only can see the surface, if the color of their skin is wrong, they are bad. I do not trust people with nice cars and nice houses, yes, many are great, but most are soul-less, I think of Haiti with a soul, and think of a Sosua as a cleaner, soul-less place full of prostitutes, while the foreigner love it here, I am here to work, I see it as what it is, debauchery I action. The world loves anything to do with breaking the 10 Commandments and will run from a good place, then talk bad.

I would go back to Haiti, but the expense is more than I can afford, I would be horrified to see how charities have come and sucked out donations from good people, the biggest business on the planet, NGO’s.

I know the world, they do not care about Haiti, only from a distance, only if it sounds to others like they are good person. If you made it down here, read the last line, it is possible you care, just realize this, 99 percent of the people just do not care, this is the world. It is our job, the one percent to our best to stop celebrating clever, and restore a place in the world for honesty. A clever person is celebrated, while an Honest person is considered a fool, this is not my dream for this small planet, every day I try to keep myself out of the slop, mud, and slime of humanity,

I never knew I was poor until someone told me.

USA Embassy Thought I was Dead in Haiti

Sosua is an Adults Only City

There was a Real Estate television show about Sosua in the USA recently. There must have been one of them info-commercial television shows on televisions telling lies about Sosua last week. I have had numerous readers write me as if the real estate situation here is great.

Yes, it is a great place for buyers, the real estate sales here is a disaster zone; you could buy real estate half their asking price.
Sosua is a city of prostitutes
However, please understand this is city full of prostitutes; this has the highest percentage of female prostitutes on the planet. It is almost impossible to find a young girl here that is not trying to sell her body.

The major has been trying to clean up the prostitutes, I am told she has the police go around and collect them. Sosua is dependent on the business of prostitutes, if it is stopped, this city could become a ghost town for 5-10 years and the price of real estate would plummet even further. Now, please understand, the ocean, the homes, and the quality of the situation for beaches would stay the same, it would come back, but without the prostitutes, but it would take years.

If I had an extra 200,000 sitting around, I would be buying distressed properties right now, this is the buy your home cash Mecca, and nobody is doing it.

Do not bring a family here, it is an adult community.
This is one of the worst places on the planet to bring a family with children. I am 100 percent, sure, a family should choose the city of Cabarete just 15 minutes drive down the beach from here, it is the family place.

I am here because I want to talk with Expat men at the coffee shop in the morning, and the central business district of Sosua is centralized. While there is no central business district in Cabarete, it is just road city full of hotels, there is not much of a city to speak of, the beach is great, and the city sucks. Cabarete is a bigger tourist trap than Sosua.

Sosua is for adult living only, do not bring your family here, it is a beach and environment for adults. This I a place where a husband and wife could arrange kinky sex, or men have a manage de trois.

Sosua, Dominican Republic - Caribbean
by Andy Graham (Gadget) of | Gadget Profile


I stopped the comments because of reader’s illusions and romantic views of DR.

If there is one thing, you learn from writing a travel Blog for 10 years, readers have pre-conceived ideas about countries that I cannot interrupt. Well, when a reader has read marketing materials for 30 years about beautiful beaches, nice people and cliché sunsets, they are not going to believe me. Nevertheless, worst for me is the never-ending comments from people who have businesses in these cities saying I am wrong. They are outrageous liars, and will work for hours to try to stop the truth from surfacing.

I am not wrong, this place is full of prostitutes, and it is like Amsterdam on steroid, a fun place to look at strange and unusual behavior.

I will turn the comment back on when I leave Sosua, the bottom line, do not jack around with peoples fantasies in life, they get angry, they protect the lies they tell themselves. We are working diligently to stop the idiots from joining the site, so the majority of readers, the majority of nice people on the planet can avoid the jerks. Nice people on the planet are always the quiet majority, but to stop the spammers, trolls, and liars is an act of God.

Electricity here reminds me of Uganda or India
Sosua, DR has some of the worst electric on the planet, and the best backup system on the planet, I am truly living in a third world nation. As best I can tell, the electricity has gone off for a couple of hours every day since I have been in this country. It is not a huge problem for me, because my room has a good electrical backup system.

This is an excellent system, quiet, peaceful and it works seamlessly, when the public electricity goes off, this type of electrical backup starts, you almost do not notice the change. The first questions out of your mouth about the hotel or resort is for them to explain the backup system and if they use it 24/7.

There are three major Hotel noise annoyances in third world countries.

1. Chickens - I can hear one now.
2. Gas or Diesel powered electrical generators.
3. Dogs barking - Not a big problem in Sosua

Why should a reader come here?
It is the only place I know on the planet, where I can arrive without a reservation and find a small studio style apartment with stove, fridge, cable TV and WIFI in the room for less than 400 USD per month.

It is a great place for a person who works from home and wants a working vacation for a month.

I am here on a working vacation; Panajachel, Guatemala on Lago Atitlan is about twice as good of location to work on the Internet. The electricity and Internet is substantially faster and stable, but the hippie dippie Christian missionaries are annoying.

When I leave Sosua on the 25 of June, I will go the USA and try to work for three week with my parent’s connection. I will then try to find another place to work.

The only acceptable places are Guatemala, Peru, Thailand, and Peru; I do not know anywhere else that is in my budget. You can always find an acceptable place to work on the Internet, it is the cost of the city living that is a problem; it is dependent upon our budget. I can go up to about 1000 per month, those four countries work at that budget, and down to 500 USD.

However, if you just want a nice room with Internet for a month, you cannot beat Sosua, it is the champion. They feel obligated to offer a stove, fridge, and WIFI in all available rooms; it is considered standard features of a rooms for rent.

Sosua is an Adults Only City

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