Written By:

Rene Lee

Current Rock of Residence:

The Big Rock of the Dominican Republic

Island Girl Since:

2015

Originally Hails From:

Michigan

Rene once made the mistake of exclaiming to the heavens, “I would rather live anywhere other than Southeastern Michigan!” And guess what? The Gods deemed her in need of a lesson in humility. She then spent the next 20+ years raising a family in… yep, you guessed it: Metro Detroit! Having learned that one’s locale most definitely shapes one’s quality of life, she set off to find a tropical paradise to call home. Stop numero uno was Cabrera, a little farming town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic away from tourists and resorts. Next stop was… no wait, there was no next place to visit. She fell in love with Cabrera and has a cute little casa with a pool on a hill taking in the trade winds off the wide blue Atlantic Ocean. Much better.

She’s currently a part-time rock dweller in transition to full-time. She’s learning that her life can be much simpler, that deadlines and meetings and the rush-rush of a North American modern existence isn’t real life. Young Rene traveled and read books and painted, met amazing people from all over the world, and never owned a TV.  Mature Rene looks forward to those things again on her big rock in the Caribbean Sea.

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How I Hacked My Island Hostess Duties

I'm starting to appreciate the spartan nature of Dominican kitchens. At first, I would compare the lack of cabinetry and the sparse shelving of typical island kitchens to images of the dream kitchens of America and think, "How does this even work here? Why would...

Island Girl, Au Naturale

My mom and I are (or were) self-proclaimed "Ivory girls." (If you are middle-aged, you might remember those Ivory soap commercials that inspired this nickname.) My mom dropped off the pure, no make-up, au naturale bandwagon around her forties, but I march on. I love...

The Particular Freedom of Island Life

I cannot count the number of times people have compared living on a tropical island, at least in the Caribbean, to the 50's in the US. Neighbors know you and your business, watch your kids when they run around the block, wave from their front porch, and there's a lot...

An Island Score That Ended Up Costing More

As many of you who have spent time in the Caribbean know, a washing machine can be quite an electric hog. My high efficiency washer here in the States would be impossible to run on my rock, the Dominican Republic. It may be water efficient and mostly energy efficient,...

Holiday Reflections From My Adopted Rock

This was my third Christmas season in the Dominican Republic and while I can't speak for all parts of the island, nor for all expat rock-dwelling transplants like me, but I LOVE that it's still about family here and not just gift-giving. Don't get me wrong - some...

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