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  1. #1
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    Default Moving to Puerto Plata to be with Fiance

    Okay let me start this again - I already tried and think I missed something.

    Anyway, I am new to DR1 and am hoping to get some helpful advice from those already living in the DR.

    I will be moving from Canada to be with my Fiance. We are planning to get married in the fall of 2004 and want to spend some quality time together before getting married. This will also give us a chance to plan the wedding and for me to see if I can hack it there. We have debated whether he should move to Canada or I should move there and we have decided that although DR is definitely not as developed as Canada, I think it is a much slower and simpler pace of life and what we both want.

    My fiance and I have found true love and it's unfortunate that I have read so many posts about love gone wrong in the Dominican. I can guarantee that there are lots of decent, loving men in the Dominican but it's like any country in that you will find lots of unfaithful men looking for your money and "sankies".

    Anyway, what I want to know is what life is "really" like in the DR. My fiance has a house in a small country town about 25 minutes from Puerto Plata so I don't have to worry about money for accomodations. He does not make a lot of money but always has enough money for food, living, having fun, etc. and has told me that I will not have to work but I am very willing and able to work. How much money is really required to survive there (and I am talking about not having luxury but just being able to eat, have shelter and live a happy simple life)? Since I am from Canada, I also want to be able to return home at least once per year to visit my family and will need the money for airfare. I don't have more than $5,000 CDN saved so I will need to work to get money to be able to do this.

    I also want to know about medical care in the Dominican Republic. I will not be able to afford ongoing medical insurance as I plan to make that my home and don't suspect that my ongoing budget will allow for that.

    What are some things that I may not have realized in my many trips down there that will become much more apparent once I am a full-time resident?

    I am looking for any and all advice about what to expect living there full-time.

  2. #2
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    I know that the other posters here are probably about to let loose on you for what seems like a somewhat less than rational life-choice, so I will spare you.

    I only hope that you fully understand just how simple the "simple life" can be, I think that few people from the northern 2 countries of our continent have any idea what that is, and even though I have spent more than half of my life in the 3rd world and "developing industrial nations" I have generally had comparable living conditions to what I would have enjoyed in the states, and a return ticket. It doesn't sound like you are going to have either of these things so you must be very brave, good luck.

  3. #3
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    Read all these threads. It will give you an idea.

    Good luck

  4. #4
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    Default Not for the faint of heart

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMike
    I know that the other posters here are probably about to let loose on you for what seems like a somewhat less than rational life-choice, so I will spare you.

    I only hope that you fully understand just how simple the "simple life" can be, I think that few people from the northern 2 countries of our continent have any idea what that is, and even though I have spent more than half of my life in the 3rd world and "developing industrial nations" I have generally had comparable living conditions to what I would have enjoyed in the states, and a return ticket. It doesn't sound like you are going to have either of these things so you must be very brave, good luck.
    I realize that living in the Dominican is not for the faint of heart and I have read extensively all of the threads posted on this site and have gathered that I am probably in for it. I don't realize how simple it can be and that is why I am asking for help. It seems to me though that there are many Americans/Canadians living on the island and managing quite fine (although maybe not in the luxury afforded in North America) so how is it that everyone who currently lives there thinks others will not make it?

    I have a tough spirit and don't expect things to be luxurious and do expect to encounter MANY unpleasantries. Thanks for the luck but I hope I can make it because I love my Fiance and don't want to go through the very stressful process of sponsorship, not to mention that the time spent apart is very stressful. A long distance relationship can't go on forever on the phone and visiting every few months so I am willing to take the plunge (I think) At the very worst, if things are that bad, I will return home and sponsor him to Canada.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Coniglio
    Read all these threads. It will give you an idea.

    Good luck
    Thanks Anna - I will read them all but I think everyone's opinion would vary based on their own experience and I therefore think that if someone really wants to move to the DR they need to experience it for themself to see what the reality is.

  6. #6
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    Fiesta Mama,

    I like your spirit! Don't let anyone here change your mind. Only you know how much you can possibly handle, and by all means, do it. And as you said, if you are miserable in the DR, then come back to Canada. I think it's a wise move. You are engaged and you want to spend more quality time with your loved one. No one here should jump down your throat because you are actually being cautious. By the fall, you will have a better handle on your relationship and you will know if the DR is the place for you.

    I spend alot of time in Costambar (just outside of Puerto Plata). I have 2 home bases, which are Brampton (Ontario) and Costambar. But my heart belongs to the Dominican Republic. Many people have taken the plunge that you're about to take and they either hate it or love it. It's time to see how you will react!

    I wish you all the best. If you need any "mental" support, please send me a private message. It will be great to keep in contact with a fellow Canadian living in the DR.

    Follow Anna's advice and read those threads. They are filled with lots of good information.

    Maryanne

  7. #7
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    I talked to Ted, tha bartender at Rocky's when I was in Sosua last, he is an example of a poor Canadian living abroad. I thought his life was amazing because I could never live like he does. (I think most people's lives are amazing when I'm drinking though) He has a real easy going outlook, he says he was poor in Canada and now he's poor here, the only real difference is he has more luck with the ladies.

    I think he is over simplifying things, and obviously your situation is not one where you will be able to enjoy your special status as a foreigner in the single's scene. But he seems relatively content and not too concerned about the future which I find admirable on several levels and frightening on several others.

    I don't know just how simple your life here is going to be, but you can probably look forward to some of the following situations:

    You will choose between covering up with a sheet at night and being too hot to sleep, or uncovering and opening a window and getting eaten by mosquitos. (a fan would solve this - but with no electricity...)

    If you are from a dry climate you could develop walking pnemonia from the moisture in the air. This is not frequent, but it does happen.

    Do you enjoy riding in conchos and motoconchos? If you want to get anywhere, this is the way you will have to go.

    Do you like Merengue and Bachata? Maybe a little right? (that's what everybody says after just a few visits) How would you feel about it if you were practically forced to listen to it evey time one of your neighbors wanted to?

    How do you feel about your husband's extended family? They are going to be a big part of your life now, and most likely have no concept of personal space, visiting hours, and privacy and private property mean very little to them. I mean, they understand these concepts but on a very different level than you do.

    If your husband is a typical Dominican you may find yourself spending a good deal of time dealing with his jealousy, posessivelness and insecurity.

    I am sure you thought of all these things, but as a foreigner married to a Dominican these are the things that I have had to deal with that I would rather not deal with. In the end it's worth it but not necessarily for everybody.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiesta Mama

    I also want to know about medical care in the Dominican Republic. I will not be able to afford ongoing medical insurance as I plan to make that my home and don't suspect that my ongoing budget will allow for that.
    Medical care varies in the Dominican Republic just as it does in Canada and elsewhere. But if you ask around, you can find very good doctors who are more caring than those you are used to and who charge much less than in the US and elsewhere. It is likely that you will need to go to Puerto Plata for medical services. Centro Medico Bournigal is the best medical center there and has all the specialties. But, again, ask around and find out which doctors are most recommended.

    Medical insurance is available and is very reasonably priced. I think you should consider it when you are here.

  9. #9
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    MrMike, your response was one of the best responses ever! You are actually being honest and you are revealing the real story. So many people jump onto to this board in the hopes of hearing some real experiences. Half the time, we scare these people away and we never hear from them again. Sometimes, they stay and we are able to hear about the ups and downs (like the Mainers).

    I really hope Fiesta Mama sticks around to tell us how her move goes. If you have access to a computer in the DR, please keep up posted. Even it's is once in a while!

    When are you planning the move?

    Maryanne

  10. #10
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    Okay, I'll try this...
    First of all, I moved to the DR years ago to work in a resort because I was a travel agent and wanted to learn the recieving end of the job. I did not have a Dominican boyfriend, had only been there twice - once on a fam trip and once for a 2 week vacation. I did not come for love as I did not know anyone but foreigners living there. I did not fall in love with any Dominicans while I lived there (2 years). I was 30 years old and I guess maybe a little cautious of everyone I met as I believe "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't".
    With that said, I did not have acess to alot of information like the posters and lurkers on this board are fortunate to have today. If I had, I might have done things a little differently. The key is perserverance. I had a goal set for myself and I achieved it. As CC said in a different post - been there, done it, got the T-shirt.
    If it turns out that you do not like it - go home - nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I would not trade my years in the DR for anything, and it still is in my heart but I had other goals yet to achieve. So home I went. I must add that I didn't move to the DR for anything else but a stepping stone in my career.
    Now for you, you must ask yourself many questions. Am I giving up a career that I may not be able to return to if I do not like the DR? Am I familiar enough with the Dominican culture and willing to accept it? Am I willing to give up all my wordly possessions to have none?
    You also stated that your fiance has a home in the country - have you visited it? Has he a mode of transportation to get himself and you back and forth from your jobs? Is this a remote location or in a nearby town where you can find people to help you if you are in need (ie: fellow Canadians or Americans that speak your language)? Where does your fiance work? If you do not find work, how will you occupy your time? How old is your fiance, and is he supporting his family members and/or children? He has enough money for food, are you prepared to eat Domincan cuisine 7 days a week and have you tried it before or just ate in an AI? How many times have you travelled to the DR and where did you stay- with him or a hotel?
    Is it possible to take a leave of absence or an extended vacation (6 months or so) and just go and stay and decide then. Remember, you should go back to Canada every 6 months to keep up your health benefits just in case.
    I know that this isn't alot of help, but those are some of the valid questions you should be asking yourself before taking the plunge.
    I think you are playing it safe and doing your research, but just don't let the heart take over when making a life changing decision. Think long and hard, and then make an informative decision. You will be glad you did.
    Marlie

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