I'm A Young Traveler With A Million Questions - Help!!!

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StephenChen

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First and foremost I want to start by saying thank you to the all the people involved in the creation of dr1.com,
for coming up with such a wonderful idea, and thank you also to the daily users that make this website possible.

My name is Stephen Chen, I'm 26 years old and just to clarify, no I am not Asian, I simply married into the name, that being said, I live in New York City and I have dedicated my entire life to work in the hospitality and restaurant industries.

I have had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States, cities such as Chicago, Orlando, Miami, Dallas, Hawaii and the list goes on, I will add that not only did I have the pleasure of visiting such places, but I also had the opportunity of enjoying the local life as I choose to stay in said places for extended periods of time, in some places for as long as a year. I started this travels at a very young age as a teen, partly because I was responsible and my parents allowed it or because I was adventurous and daring enough to just hop off on a plain and find my way through the city till I landed a job and start to live life.

And now comes the next adventure, I want to visit the Dominican Republic, but not just for a week or two, I want to go and stay a minimum of six months, maybe longer, I want to enjoy the Dominican Republic for what it is, I want to enjoy the local life, eat and drink with the people, get to know my neighbors and mix in with the culture, the people, the night life, but I have a million and one questions and doubts.

So that I can hopefully be blessed with more case and scenario specific replies I want to be as thorough about my circumstances as possible.

I would be travelling alone, my true intentions are to rent out a small studio, apartment or house, furnished would be ideal, but I am travelling on a tight budget, so if I have to buy things slowly to save my self a few Dominican Pesos, it would be probably be the better option for me.

I don't drink and when I do its probably once every few weeks, and by once I mean 4 or 5 beers at most. I am not a big spender, I don't mind living a life where I just cook, eat, stay in and go out a night for a quick spin around the town and obviously the 1 night a week hangout where you like to splurge a little.

but then again these are all wishes and ideas and I am sure that based on the feedback I get, I will be subject to change my ideas a bit, except for three major things.

1. I want to stay for a minimum of 4 months
2. I want to live alone, independent without restrictions or living on another persons house rules.
3. I want to live near an area that has Taxis and nearby night life and close to the beaches.

What living options do I have considering I want to stay for a total of 4 months minimum and I want to live on my own independently? also taking the cost as consideration, and the fact that I am not seeking the tourist life or quality... and price is an object consideration, preferably something RD$9,000 or less. I am well aware of that most landlords will charge u multiple months upfront but I am sure where there is a will, there is a way and I am sure theirs a way around that or other alternatives.

what would be a reasonable weekly budget for a person in my situation, in RD$? and to be more exact would a monthly budge of RD$22,000 pesos cover my living expenses and what could I obtain with that amount of money

At this point I will end my post here, or else I will keep writing all night, so I will close off my ramble with the following statement. I am 100% sure that living in DR is not like living in Disney Land, the reason I say that is because I have come across a lot of people trying to persuade me from not taking my adventure or telling me it is not possible but I fear to inform them all, Dominican Republic Here I Come LOL - August 23rd Is The Day.

Also what are the chances of doing volunteer work, or maybe even freelancing as a computer programmer and repairs and training? lol the list will continue later on lol...

Thank you all, I hope you enjoyed the read and hope to hear from you all soon.
 

Contango

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Stephen, Good luck with your search. However I wanted to comment that I appreciate you broke down your post into "paragraphs", made it much easier to read and understand, you are already ahead of the majority of dip shizzles who don't bother to do that.. Cheers..
 

StephenChen

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Jul 18, 2014
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I just read my last post and I noticed that it turned into a huge debate because I mentioned in the introduction that I was gay, so I figured I would do the same here, YES I AM GAY, but the best part about being gay is, that when you cut my veins I bleed just like any other person, when it comes to Taxes I pay my fair share, and when it comes to bills, expenses and dues, I pay my own, so I want to clear something up, I simply do not give to flying birds if you are happy or bothered about how I choose to live my life or what I write in my post.

To clarify the purpose of stating that I am gay, I want to know where it is safe for me to live my life at peace without making other uncomfortable, although I will add, you could put me in a room with 20 straight men to talk and not one of them will ever figure out my sexual identity.

so if anyone has any advice please feel free to contact me
 
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StephenChen

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Thank you so much for your time and for reading my ad, god bless you and have your self a wonderful day.
 

CarpeDReam

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Hey Stephen. Welcome to DR1. If I were you I would start off by living in la zona colonial in the capital. Rich with history and culture. It's also gay friendly. While there visit boca chica (but on a weekday), take a weekend trip to Barahona/pedernales area and visit all there is to see there. After you are there for a while, I would head up to samana. Safe place, great people, it has a different culture than most of the country bc of its history. Lots to do and see in samana. Some would tell you to stay at las terrenas but if you want more of a dominican experience, stay in Santa Barbara de samana (locals there just call it samana). You can also visit R?o San Juan and Cabrera while there...I haven't visited yet but I hear Cabrera is a nice place to stay so maybe stay there for a few weeks. I would also head out to jarabacoa and stay there for a while...no beaches but nice mountain and ecotourist things to do...still a very typical dominican town and not very touristy. Stay in the center of town. Google info on some of these places. Good luck!

Do you speak Spanish btw?


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bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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A million questions is one thing. Better a million dollars. Your stated 22000 pesos a month is about half my social security and mine isn't quite enuff. I sent you an email about a place near Puerto Plata where you may choose to live. Best of luck
Der Fish
But Derfish your money isn't spent just on you.
 

StephenChen

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Im curious, how is it that you cant live off 2200 pesos but some how the general population survives just fine.... I am so confused....
 

Criss Colon

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Part of your dilema is, the "Gay Scene" is mostly in Santo Domingo, and it costs a lot more to live in Santo Domingo!
The North Shore is cheaper, but don't know about the "Gay Life" up there.
22,000 is VERY LITTLE money, especially to get started here.
Rent usually requires a 3 month deposit.
You can't depend on getting a job here to help you out.
You need a reserve, and a ticket home!
I traveled the World when I was young, but I always had money in my pocket, and in a bank account in Boston if/when I needed some.
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
 

suarezn

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22000 pesos would be a very meager existence. Remember you'll probably have to pay a bit of a "gringo tax", meaning everything will be a bit more expensive for you than a Dominican. For 4 months I would save up at least 8k USD. My absolute minimum would be 1k per month. The DR is not as cheap as you'd think...

The reason why Dominicans can live on 22000 pesos or less is that they have a whole support system of family around them, plus they probably own their home (no rent), don't pay for electricity, water, internet, etc...do you really love rice and beans and platanos? I mean enough to eat them every day? If you don't then you'll spend a lot more on food. These people living on this low budget hardly ever go out to a bar, NEVER to a restaurant, etc...

...and what if you get sick? Trust me you don't want to end up in a Dominican public hospital.
 
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StephenChen

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I eat rice and beans every day, the day I dont eat rice and beans I feel like I have not ate...

I am not white, I am puerto rican just to be clear.....

serve me a plate with rice and beans and chicken, and change the meat type to pork chops once in a while and call me a happy camper, I would call that eating like a god...

I dont go to bars because i do not drink and when i do, I have 4 beers and I throw them out half way, the most I spend on is my cigs...

I dont dance, I dont party and when I do go out, trust me it has nothing to do with money...

I never said I want to go to DR to live the life of a king, I honestly would not mind living in the local neighborhood or even sharing a room or renting a room from someone... is this website for rich snobs? maybe I'm on the wrong site... I have no idea....

I will further do my research and cant wait to post pictures of how I made it happen...

No todos somos gringos solo porque hablamos ingles, no obstante eso, pero que de malo tiene comer arroz y habichuelas todos los dias?
 
SD would be a good choice for you but the closest beach is 30 minutes away. I would look into Cabarete as well, a lot of young people with night life and the beach is right there.

I would say an absolute min of $1000US a month and it will be harder for you bc you are a gringo (pretty much anyone who is not Dominican, doesn't matter if you are PR) and new so you won't know the best deals/prices. I could not live a month here on that but I am beginning to think I have expensive tastes :)
 

suarezn

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Stephen: Good to know you love the typical Dominican food...that goes a long way as to how much you'll spend. This site is not for the rich, we're just trying to give you realistic advice. Break your budget down if you wish. In Santo Domingo even a one room apartment in one lower middle class neighborhood will go for about 8k pesos. Add electricity, water, internet, etc and that's another few thousand pesos. That will leave you around 10k pesos to eat, transportation, etc for a whole month...so about 250 pesos per day for food. a 'Plato del Dia" cost about that...

BTW no need to open multiple threads on the same subject...and also you may not consider yourself "gringo", but Dominicans will.
 

StephenChen

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Jul 18, 2014
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I wont give up - I remember one time I hoped on a bus and I ended up in South Beach Miami, I had 1 bag and $300 dollars to my name, I got a hostel paying $14 a night and paid my self a place for 3 weeks, I had nothing to my name but $300 that I could use for food and maybe to cover a few extra days of rent at the hostel.

No where to go, no one to turn too and no option to turn back, mind you this is south beach, in no time I started fixing computers for pocket change and 5 months later I had my own apartment, a good job and I was happy...

what happened to survival? what happened to sacrifice, whats wrong with making a tight budget and taking risk... I guess I had a different upraising in life...

I was once told, he that sacrifices nothing, gains nothing.
 

JayinRD

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Apr 18, 2013
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i will make it short.. if you are making the big move because you are depressed or bored w life in the USA dont expect things to change here
 

malko

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Jan 12, 2013
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True enough, but be ready to sacrifice a LOT then......
On the bright side, yesterday, I stopped off at la Prada on the way home from santiago. 2 bottles of water, a coca cola, a 250 pesos claro phone card, roasted chicken breast ( roasted in march I presume.....) and rice. 450 pesos.......

Also, I suppose in miami if u are thirsty, u can just take a drink from any tap.......... here in the dr...... I wouldnt try.
 

jinty05

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Feb 11, 2005
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Comedors throughout the country have a daily menu of rice, a meat, beans & salad plus free water for an average of $125-150 that's pesos so you will be able to eat OK on your budget. It's the accommodation part that will be difficult to find on this budget. Might be a good time to consider giving up the smokes but over here you can buy a single cigarette in any Colmado.

Good luck to you and your are right "where there's a will.....there is a way"
 

VJS

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Sep 19, 2010
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DR is chock full of gay people for some reason, and not just in SD but everywhere, so you won't have any problems on that front. But 22,000 pesos will be very hard to live on. Locals survive because they don't pay rent, or utilities, and have a large family support network. You can find a place for 3,000 pesos a month deep in the ghetto if that works for you; it will even have power and water turned on occasionally. Plato del dia will set you back another 3K/mo. So technically you can survive just fine, as long as you don't get sick. As far as finding work in DR - something to do with your native English maybe, like working in a call center, 15-20K-ish a month. Everything else locals can do it for less than you would.
 
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