Travel for culture or relaxation?

I was left with this question after a last minute trip to the Dominican Republic for a long weekend.

I was excited and ready for the three full days of doing absolutely nothing. I really wanted a beach vacation that meant I could lay out in the sun all day listening to the clear turquoise water crashing.

And that’s exactly what I did. I had no agenda, no plans except the constant discussion of what time our next meal would be.

I was staying at an all-inclusive resort in the area of La Romania. In theory, this place sounded like heaven on a stick to me, but in reality I left feeling like I missed out on something.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t miserable sitting by the beach doing nothing but it made me question the type of vacations I really crave and want.

I really have become my own worst enemy, always looking for more and needing more.

Perhaps it is the all-inclusive, packaged up experience without any room to discover on my own that left me questioning my travel intentions.

la romania

I love lying on the beach all day just as much as the next person, but for three days I knew I was confined to the all-inclusive resort. I couldn’t walk the streets to find the best hole- in- the-wall for lunch, or watch the kids wait for the school bus.

There are two types of people, those that are happy to be told what to see and those always looking for what’s around the corner.

I have never been one to sign up for tour groups, or cruises in preference of finding my own way and making my own tour.

With that being said, it’s so important to have the opportunity to relax and switch off from our busy lives.

It’s not to say culture can’t be found in a relaxing environment, but what happens when only one can be achieved on vacation. Should I feel dissatisfied with the lack of culture on a relaxing trip or lack of relaxation at a destination filled with cultural experiences? Should both be desired?

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

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