Last Minute Plans...
I was lucky enough to book a last minute trip to Haïti over spring break. After years of wanting to go and years of excuses why I couldn't, vacation plans fell through and I decided it was "now or never!" So, I grabbed my passport, a few swimsuits and my favorite pair of travel socks and hopped on the first plane to tropical bliss.
Traveling alone always proves to be a little tricky for me, and although I've done it before, somehow, I end up with low-grade anxiety. To offset this, I try to think about things like:
1) How am I getting to the hotel from the airport and back?
2) How far am I staying from the airport (so important for early flights home)?
3) What are some key phrases I can use to make travel easier?
4) What are activities/venues I can do/visit?
Of course, there is never any way to plan for every situation that may occur, so common sense and trusting my gut go a long way!
Haïti Here I come...
With only a day to answer all of those questions, I had a lot of work to do. I scoured the internet and lucked into answers pretty quickly.
Where to stay? No problem! I decided to stay at an all-inclusive resort on La Côte des Arcadins, in Montrouis.
Hotel of choice: Royal Decameron Indigo Beach Resort & Spa. You can view their website here. The hotel offers transportation from the airport, but I was unable to get ahold of them (my fault... short notice, ya know...not theirs). Now, if only I could get there! Again, no problem! I got ahold of Samuel "Samy" Sejour at Port-au-Prince Taxi. The price was fair and I got to tour Port-au-Prince before taking the long trip north. Like anywhere else I've traveled, it has its ups, its downs, and everything in between. I'm highlighting the ups, because that's what I got to experience. I'm also aware that Haïti is not immune to problems. A google search will prove them easy to find. What you don't normally find are articles highlighting the art, the rich history, the beauty, and the strength and resourcefulness of its people.
On the Coast...
Made some great new friends who showed me around town, ate street food (the conch is amazeballs), went to a disco, rode motorcycles three-deep without helmet (eek), and people-watched my butt off. I found so much charm and beauty in some of the most unlikely places.
Worth a Thousand Words...
I did a lot of lounging on the trip, but I explored some, too. I suggest you spend a little time getting to see Port-au_Prince. Some of the cooler spots to see include the Observatory, a tourist trap that sits outside a restaurant over looking a vast and beautiful landscape of Haïti, Gingerbread Houses, Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien... well, just ride around, you'll see. Take a look through the gallery: