the real world: cabarete.


A Turbulent Tramp: 15 Years, 6 Continents, Countless Questionable Decisions

I’ve been searching for a common theme for the random occurrences of the last week. I’ve thought about it for days, and I’ve given up.

All of a sudden there were a bunch of new people in the house and around town, and shit started getting really weird. Each day I felt increasingly as if I were living an episode of the The Real World: Cabarete.

I made a list of people and things that I find amusing. Please note that there is absolutely no connecting theme among the following items.

1. 5:30am mystery surf board shopping.

I woke up Saturday morning and there was a surf board on my couch. This was cause for concern because I had arrived back at the house Friday night at 2:30am, and I couldn’t imagine how one could have acquired a surf board between the hours of 2:30am and 7am. When Tanicus finally woke up, he confirmed that he did, in fact, purchase a surf board at 5:30 in the morning from a girl he met at the bar, because it “seemed like a good idea at the time.” He also mentioned he “probably paid too much for it.”

A Turbulent Tramp | Mystery Surf Board | Travel Dominican Republic | Backpacking Blog

2. Ella: She ain’t thinkin’ ’bout no unicorns.

Ella is seventeen years old, and she’s from the South. When I met her, I immediately knew that she did not have a fuck-you face. This concerned me at first, because Ella appears to be dreaming about unicorns most of the time. However, the more I got to know her, I realized the thoughts rolling around in her head were substantial.

Ella works on a hog farm when she’s back home, which means she’s contributing to the country’s supply of bacon. I must remember to thank her for this. She also mentioned casually that she kites because she “mastered windsurfing when [she] was six-years-old.” Her other skills include gutting really big fish, songwriting, and playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin. Basically, Ella is a way cooler kiteboarding version of Taylor Swift except she’s not anorexic.

In a fight between Ella and a shark, Ella would win. This is pure speculation, but Ella just seems like she could get really scrappy.

A Turbulent Tramp | Young Backpacker Ella | Travel Dominican Republic

3. One pink Englishman named Nathan-e.

Whilst sitting around drinking afternoon mojitos, Ella overheard our resident Englishman, Nathan, mention that his “surname was spelled with an ‘e’”. Ella blurted out, “You mean, like ‘Nathan-e?” This caused laughter, but Nathan was visibly very annoyed. Thus, everyone started calling him Nathan-e at all times.

Nathan-e is English, so he’s been a serious shade of pink since he arrived in Dominican Republic. His dimples are so deep it looks like he got shot in the face. Nathan-e also has a button issue; every time he goes out he’s utilizing a maximum of two buttons of his Ralph Lauren button-down shirt. I’m not sure if I’m more concerned about the fact that he’s wearing a button-down shirt at the beach, or about the lack of utilization of the buttons.

On a positive note, Nathan-e has amazing oral hygiene for an Englishman.

A Turbulent Tramp | Pink Englishman Traveling Dominican Republic | Nathan-e

I hope Nathan-e doesn’t read this, because I know it will really piss him off.

4. We tried to build a human pyramid at a bar.

We were not successful. Here is the result:

Turbulent Tramp | Travel Dominican Republic | Human Pyramid at the Bar Cabarete

5. Mega.

Mega is a game we invented when it rained for two days and we got really bored. It involves shoving as much food into one’s mouth as possible, in public, while spectators chant “Mega.”

Since Tanicus has a disproportionately large mouth for his head and body, he was, of course, the Mega champion.

A Turbulent Tramp | Travel Dominican Republic | Mega

6. Rico is feelin’ the man love.

Rico is a guy from Vancouver that’s staying in Cabarete for some months. It seems as though Rico has just discovered the concept of fun. Rico thinks everything and everyone he encounters is the best thing ever, which is quite endearing. I’m pretty sure he spent the last twenty years of life in a corporate board room, so claiming that each night is the “THE BEST NIGHT OF [his] LIFE!” might actually be accurate.

Rico seems particularly enamored with a few of my guy friends. He consistently demonstrates his man love through verbal and non-verbal action. Here are some examples:

A Turbulent Tramp | Travel Dominican Republic | Man Love Cabarete

A Turbulent Tramp | Man Love Cabarete | Travel Dominican Republic

Rico also seems to be everywhere at all times. Every time I’m in town, I seem to run into Rico. I’m not sure how he pulls this off. I think he’s just running around town passing out man love all night.


One beautiful element of traveling is that you become friends with people that you probably wouldn’t hang out with back home. Age difference, economic means, and background don’t really matter when you’re abroad; Here everyone wears a swimsuit and board shorts at all times and hasn’t showered in five days. I’m happy that I met all of the above people under these conditions because otherwise I may not have gotten to know them, and they are all lovely, awesome people.

I’m also happy to report that Liz Javis successfully completed a one-week stay with me in Cabarete and did not puke on a single taxi-driver’s head.

A Turbulent Tramp | Beach | Travel Dominican Republic | Backpacking Blog

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