One of my first thoughts after deciding to accept my Peace Corps nomination was to take a beach vacation and to travel with Max before I left. As these plans began to turn into something more substantial, I decided to combine these two objectives – for time and money constraints and partially because I felt that taking a week to hike or travel the west coast with Max might be too emotionally taxing for me. We choose a resort in the Dominican that was a deal cost wise and had good reviews. The Viva Wyndham Palace offered tons of activities, including dance lessons, trapeze school, windsurfing lessons, paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking and volleyball – just to name the ones we actually did. It also had incredible beaches and sparkling blue water, the kind of place where afterwards, as you look at photos from the trip you have trouble believing you were actually somewhere so beautiful.
I was so lucky that I had friends who not only wanted to take this trip with me, but also who pushed me early in my post-acceptance process to actually book the trip; had I waited it’s doubtful I would have gone through with it. I should have expected that this trip would be different from past resort vacations, but I hadn’t considered what my mental state would be and didn’t plan for how pensive I would feel during my time there. The trip was the perfect transition between ending work and my week of pre-departure errands and goodbyes. It offered me a chance to relax with wonderful people, to soul search with a beautiful backdrop, laugh at some hilarious moments and by the end of the week I was at peace and calm about my next chapter.