Well, I’m currently sitting in my boxers in a Montreal hotel about to go to sleep. I spent most of the day either thinking about traveling, or actually traveling, so when I landed in Montreal at 7pm, I was a bit tired from the whole ordeal. Leaving a foreign country where the rules of leaving aren’t really clearly defined is a bit stressful for me. The whole tourist card thing turned out to be not a big deal, and eventually I made it through customs and security. It’s amazing how less anxious I become whenever I land back in Canada — there’s a certain comfort with knowing your bank card will always work, and you speak the primary language of the country.
The currency in the Dominican Republic is a bit strange. Like most Caribbean places I’ve visited, locals generally prefer to accept payment in US dollars. Unfortunately, the bank machines in the DR only dish out pesos, which makes doing transactions a bit difficult. I was turned down by a few vendors who only wanted US dollars. Thankfully there are lots of merchants willing to exchange one for the other, but you take a bit hit in the transaction fee. What’s also strange is that the machines dish out everything in 500 peso increments, which is about $13. To me, that’s not a lot of cash, but most vendors I dealt with laughed at me when I tried to cash a 500 peso bill — they simply didn’t have the change (or didn’t want me to know they had the change) for that amount of money. So, I had a wallet full of pesos that I couldn’t do anything with until I converted them into US dollars for a hefty exchange rate.
Tomorrow I am getting on a plane here in Montreal and finally heading back home. While it’s been a great trip for me, I am definitely looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again. I’ve done a lot of soul searching while gone, something that I’ll write about in a few days, and I’m looking forward to implementing a few items sequentially when I’m back at home. The one thing I’m going to do immediately is make a clean separation in my life between work and play. I have a fairly nice desk set up in my room which was always intended to be office space, and I’m going to spend a bit of cash to make that my only office space at home — that is, I am going to commit to not using my laptop in the living room anymore. It sounds basic, but I think that simple shift will make me more productive at home with my time, and also allow me to shift towards things like reading again on my couch, or listening to music. I’ve somehow fallen into the habit of almost always being on my laptop when I’m at home, and after debating it within myself in the Caribbean, I have come to the conclusion that it really isn’t healthy, so I intend to change it.
That’s not to say I won’t do work at home, or use my computer at home, I just want to set up a separate area so that it doesn’t creep into other areas or somehow taint “me-time” when I’m relaxing.
Anyways, more on that later. My bed looks pretty comfy here, and I’m going to sleep. Tomorrow I’m home again.