Heaven on Earth

Connie Helena
8 min readJan 28, 2022

As I’m sitting down to write, I’m not sure what this is really going to be about. Is it a solo international travel story taking place in the age of covid? Is it a sparkling reflection of my experience in the Dominican Republic? Is it insight into the fantasy that is all inclusive resorts in tropical destinations?

It may be about my desire to travel the world by myself, which is something I have done since I was 12 years old (I traveled alone at that age on a transatlantic flight, something that is probably not even allowed these days). I know this should not be looked upon as a review of a specific country; if there is one thing I’ve learned about all inclusive resorts, it’s that you are not immersed in local culture but rather isolated in a bubble of luxury.

Here are the facts: I took an unscheduled trip to the Dominican Republic — bought the trip the day before — during Winter of 2022. This is two years after the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic and one year after vaccines were approved for use. The world still feels like it is collectively losing its mind and taking me with it, but I had a span of time to do something interesting. So I bought the ticket and threw my things in a travel bag.

To be totally honest, I have been consumed with the idea that I want to prove the vaccines work. In order for me to go about my life as it was, I need the proof that I…