My wife, son and I love the Caribbean and we make it a point to get down to the islands at least twice a year, if not more. Leaving aside a few of the smaller islands, we have been to all, some two or even three times. When we do to the islands, we never stay at All-Inclusive Resorts, because I find them very restrictive when it comes to visiting the island or the country per se. If I have already paid for all the food and booze in the resort, why would I want to go out of the resort and spend again? Another reason is that these all-inclusive resorts are usually in all the tourist trap areas, which is something we always avoid. We like to travel and experience the place like locals do. We like to rent a car and drive around the island. Stop at some secluded beach shack and have lunch. Buy some fruit from the locals, who usually sell them roadside. Visit secluded beaches and have a picnic there. That’s our idea of a Caribbean vacation.
Our last Caribbean trip was different. My wife wanted to go to an all-inclusive resort and do absolutely nothing. No driving, no sightseeing, no exploring the island but just be inside the resort and enjoy their pools, food and pampering. I went along with the idea and we planned a trip to the Dominican Republic. This was my 69th country on the bucket list. Little did we realize, that when going to an All-Inclusive Resort (AIR), your packing is also very different. You only need the basics. The resort provides everything to you. They pick you up at the airport and drop you back. No, car rentals, no maps, no GPS, not even any cash. We literally only took our Cell Phones, Clothes, Shoes, Passports, Nexus cards and our American Express card.
We reached Punta Cana around mid-afternoon. The resort picked us up and in twenty minutes we were inside this gorgeous resort sitting on the ink blue Caribbean Sea. While we checked-in, a glass of champagne was offered to us, which was followed by one more and then one more. That’s when it hit me, that this vacation is going to have a serious impact on my body transformation. I need to take it easy. I had carried my gym clothes and planned to hit the gym every morning. After check-in, we were escorted to our beautiful room, facing the ocean. The room had a terrace so big, that we could have a 15-20 people party there. It also had a big hot tub. We unpacked, freshened up and went for dinner. In an AIR, you must make dinner reservations for each night and my wife had made the reservations.
First night was an a la carte dinner at a French Restaurant. I looked at the menu and picked out all the healthy dishes I could find. Paired with a fine white wine, day one was out of the way. I survived the first meal. We had five more days to go. Breakfast and Lunches were at the different buffets. They had a lot of salads and grilled meats. That’s what I picked on day 2. I saw my wife bring over a plate full of dessert and that combined with wine, is when things went downhill very fast. I had a piece of the chocolate pastry. Then another piece and then another. I told myself, Vedant- you are on a vacation. Eat! Over the next five days, I ate, and I drank and then I ate some more. The food and drink choices in an all-inclusive resort are way to tempting to resist. My resistance was overcome in24 hours. One thing I did stick to was my gym routine. A bad day can be made better by going to the gym they say. This was also to wash away all the guilt from the various buffets and bars that were keeping us very busy. It worked to a certain extent but only for the guilt. I could feel my body pushing back. It was being shocked several times a day. I kept going. It was a vacation after all.
Finally, the five days were over. Our flight was in the evening and I decided to hit the gym one last time before we checked-out. Tried to lose some of the pounds I added over the past five days. After my workout, I met one of the personal trainers there. He asked me if I was enjoying my stay at the resort. I told him, that it was a lovely resort and a beautiful country. Only if I could control my eating and drinking, I would be a very happy man. His reply was just what I wanted to listen to. He said ‘You are on vacation man. A few cheat meals are not going to make you fat, just like a few clean meals are not going to make anyone lean. Go have that last drink before you hop on the flight back home.’ I went straight to the bar, had a drink and I felt better already.
We got back home later that night and within 48 hours, I was back on track with my body transformation process less the ink blue ocean!