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Chilling in the Dominican Republic

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

— Robert Louis Stevenson

Countless writers better than I have sought to define the notion of wanderlust that drives many of us to travel. Like Stevenson, they have said the best travel is not defined by a destination but by the going itself. I, too, have long held to that philosophy. When I travel, my imagination is fired more often by the unknown than the known. To highjack a sentence, “It’s the journey, stupid.”

My wife, Kim, and I recently took a trip with two other couples, Mark and Vicky Pulliam and Jay and Lisa Allen, to the Secrets Cap Cana Resort and Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and it defied every travel sentiment I have held sacred for so long. It was entirely about the destination. We knew exactly what to expect, how long it would take to get there and how we’d spend our days. We even paid for it all beforehand. How adventurous is that?

On the last night, when we gathered for our happy-hour drink, as we had every night before, I asked them numerous questions about what they enjoyed most about this all-inclusive resort. They, however, had only one question for me: “Will you all come with us again?”

I’ll save my answer for later.

Addictive Weather

Honestly, the weather for a week in this Caribbean island nation was almost perfect. Except for one day when it rained until midmorning — which just happened to be the morning I had a tee time at the nearby Punta Espada Golf Course — the temperatures were around 84 during the day and almost 80 in the evenings. A slight wind blew most of the time, which was just enough to cool off the lounge chairs that rest beneath thatched umbrellas anchored to the beach. If you weren’t careful, a gust might flip the pages of your book. What a hassle that was.

There’s no other way to say it: The climate in Punta Cana was marvelous around the clock. It was like a weeklong reset button for all the real-life stuff we’d left behind. The weather defined our days.