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Where are the best tacos in San Diego?

By MegTaylor | May 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

When I decided to spend April and May living in La Jolla (a seaside neighborhood in San Diego), I had one primary mission in mind: To eat as many tacos as possible. To accomplish this feat, my friend and I planned numerous tacos crawls (or “taco treks” if you like alliteration as much as we do). Our hard work paid off. We not only had many delicious meals, but also came up with this list to share with you.

To get the most out of this article, read it first, and then check out my Taco Trek Map.

Please note that not every location listed here is recommended! In this article, I’ll share both my favorite taco spots and the locations I suggest you skip. Read carefully so you don’t accidentally visit one of the sub-par spots.

Bahia Don Bravo – Taco Rating: 3.5/5

Right next to my favorite San Diego yoga studio (Riffs), this is a great place to stop for a tasty post-class snack. Bravo’s is very casual (note the red plastic trays) and the tacos are cheap.

Tacos at Bahia Don Bravo's. Where are the best tacos in San Diego?

Promiscuous Fork – Taco rating: 4/5

Beneath all that cabbage you see in the picture below is some downright tasty Asian-braised short rib. The dish is served up with ginger slaw, wasabi cream, sriracha and cilantro. It’s got just enough kick to be exciting! You’ll pay $12.50 for two tacos.

Tacos at Promiscuous Fork. Where are the best tacos in San Diego?

Puesto – Taco rating: 5/5

Behold! The best tacos in San Diego! If you only eat at one place during your visit, make sure it is this one! I went back three times and was never disappointed. There are three tacos featured below:

  1. The Baja Fish Taco: Puesto beer battered line caught local fish, shredded cabbage, avocado, crema, Morita salsa
  2. Carnitas: crispy melted cheese, traditionally braised Salmon Creek Farms pork, avocado tomatillo salsa, avocado
  3. Quesabirria: crispy melted cheese, braised short rib, Jalisco salsa, pickled radish, avocado

These tasty treats have a higher price tag (think $7 – $15 per taco), but it’s well worth it.

Tacos at Puesto. Where are the best tacos in San Diego?

The Taco Stand – Taco rating: 2/5

There is always a line out the door at this place, so I thought the food would be wonderful. When I went for lunch one day, I ordered three tacos: the pollo asado, spicy shrimp and the grilled mahi mahi. The meat’s flavoring was ok, but it didn’t pack a punch of flavor like the tacos from Puesto or the Promiscuous Fork. Tacos cost $3-$5 a pop.

Nautilus – Taco rating: 2/5

While the Tuesday trivia and taco night at Nautilus is a blast, the chicken tacos left a lot to be desired. While nautilus gets bonus points for having an actual taco stand on the patio the restaurant (you watch as someone cooks your tacos right in front of you!), the meat lacked flavor. The only upside? There was plenty of melted cheese to enjoy!

Jose’s Court Room – Taco rating: 4/5

The fried Mahi Mahi tacos here were very tasty. They’re served with shredded cabbage, radish slivers and creamy chipotle sauce. For $16, you get two tacos, rice and beans. I give the taco a 4/5, but the rice and beans receive a 1/5.

A tip on where to sit: When you go to Jose’s, you can grab a table outside and get a nice view of the Bay. The view will also come with a view of the busy street, though.

Tacos at Jose's Court Room. Where are the best tacos in San Diego?

Potential Other Locations To Try

  1. George’s On the Cove: We tried to hit up George’s for dinner, but discovered that they only serve tacos at lunch! Boo! With one hell of a sea view, this place is absolutely lovely and I’ve heard the food is awesome. The tacos have local yellowtail, cabbage, cilantro, onion, jalapeño-lime crema and pico de gallo. They’re served on heirloom corn tortillas. If you try out George’s tacos, let me know what you think!
  2. Herringbone: Ironically, we stopped at Herringbone to take a breather from one particularly epic taco trek. When we got there, however, the Ahi Poke Tacos on the menu looked amazing! They come with a sweet soy glaze, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and chili mayo. This spot will be top on my list of places to eat when I come back to visit. Not only did the food sound great, but you can’t beat the ambiance of wood-burning fireplaces and live olive trees.

If you try any of these recommendations, come back and leave a comment about what you thought!

Meg

P.S. Have we met? If not, go here to learn more about who I am and what I do.

Hanging out at one of La Jolla’s many amazing beaches after a delicious meal of tacos

Where to go dancing in Santo Domingo

By MegTaylor | January 26, 2021 | 0 Comments
View of Santo Domingo
La Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Are you planning to go dancing in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic? Bachata and merengue both originated there, and it’s the place to go if you want to immerse yourself in a culture where people love these music and dance styles.

I spent two wonderful years living in Santo Domingo. On my small street, there were two colmados (corner stores) where bachata or merengue were played on full blast all day long. On Fridays and Saturdays, my friends and I would go from location to location to dance, drink Presidente beer, and hang out. As a dance-obsessed world traveler, I was in heaven.

So many people have reached out to me for dance recommendations that I’ve created a dance map of Santo Domingo. You can find it here.

Santo Domingo dance map

The dance map includes information on where to:

1) Dance most nights of the week, as well as what to wear to each venue

2) Shop for dance clothes and shoes

3) Stay in the city

I also share many of my other favorite tips for having a great time dancing in Santo Domingo. The dance map is the resource I wish I’d had when I first visited the Dominican Republic and after I moved there. There are so many places to go out, but not all of those places are the best option for avid dance travelers. If you’re like me, you want to know where to go that has the best atmosphere and some great dancers. The dance map will save you time, money and energy, which is especially important if you don’t have much time in the capital!

dancing in Santo Domingo
Retro carriage with a horse on a city street in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

For a peek at one of the hot spots, watch the video below. I created this video on my very first trip to the Dominican Republic when I was scouting for a future retreat, and it gives a great sense of the local vibe on a typical night of dancing in Santo Domingo.

For all the wonderful details about the many, many places to dance, grab my dance map!

Want more information on the Dominican Republic?

  1. Check out the Britannica entries about the country and Santo Domingo
  2. Read about fun things to do in Santo Domingo
  3. Check out this story in Conde Nast
  4. See general travel guides, as written up by Afar, National Geographic and Lonely Planet
read dance adventures

What excites you most about dancing in Santo Domingo? Sound off below!

How I’ll Travel For Free in 2021

By MegTaylor | January 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

In this post, I’ll share with you my best tips for credit card bonuses so that you’ll be ready to travel in style later in 2021. This includes a scoop on two credit cards that give HUGE RETURNS (and that even The Points Guy hasn’t featured on his site).

If you’re new to leveraging credit card reward points and bonuses, do some research. While it’s far more simple than most people expect, there is a tiny bit of a learning curve. (Also, a note for folks living outside of the US: These bonuses are often available for you, too, but perhaps not through the websites I’ll list below).

Exploring landmarks around Jaipur, India. Photo by Leah Judson.

Why do I love geeking out about this subject?

  1. It’s really friggin’ valuable: In 2021, I anticipate that I’ll complete more than $13,000 worth of travel for free. Badass, right?
  2. It’s aligned with my values: Because I’m an entrepreneur who values adventure, freedom and wonder, travel is a critical part of my self-care. Points made it possible for me to travel back when I was just starting my business, meaning I didn’t have to sacrifice that part of my life at a time when pinching pennies was the norm. I love sharing what I know with others who have similar values.
  3. Less physical pain: I first experienced the value of luxury travel during my trip to India in January 2019. Because I had enough points to book business class seats, I was able to lie flat for most of the journey, sleep during the flight, and eat healthy food most of the way. I arrived feeling energized and coped with the jet lag much easier. Most importantly, however, I saw that travel didn’t need to cause me physical pain. Because I have crazy low blood pressure, my body does not do well on overnight flights in economy where I have to stay upright. During trips like this, the pain in my legs is so severe that I can’t sleep and often have to spend most of my time pacing around the cabin. By the time I arrive at my destination, I haven’t slept and I’m cranky from dealing with cramping and spasms. It sucks, and it’s completely unnecessary… thanks to credit card points.
  4. More money for what matters: As an entrepreneur, I am responsible for putting money into my retirement. By not paying for travel, I have more money to contribute to my SEPP or ROTH IRA.

Credit Cards That Are Rocking My World Right Now:

During this pandemic, I’ve opened two credit cards:

  1. Iberia Airways card (100,000 Avios airline miles): When I searched “how to use 100,000 Avios miles,” I discovered that this is enough to get you a first-class ticket to Tokyo from San Francisco or Los Angeles. Ummmmmm, yes please!
  2. Air France/KLM Card (50,000 airline miles): Air France and KLM are part of the Sky Team conglomerate, which also includes Delta. This 50,000-point bonus can cover a couple of domestic flights or even get you a one-way economy class ticket to Korea.

Oldies, but goodies:

I currently have these cards in my wallet)

  1. AMEX platinum (free Uber credit each month, travel concierge service, $200 airline credit, subscription to Calm, access to airline lounges and a lot more): I originally got this card because of the huge sign up bonus (75,000 points), however I’ve kept it because the benefits are just so good. Plus — HOT TIP — AMEX has been great about waving annual fees due to the pandemic. Rather than have me close my card, they gave me a $500 statement credit (the annual fee for this card is $550). While I know $550 may sound like a high price point, I believe this card more than pays for itself. The AMEX lounges at airports around the world are lovely places where you can get good food, a free chair massage, and fast wifi. I sometimes schedule longer layovers on purpose just to spend time in them. Because I would typically spend $20 – $30 on food or alcohol during a long day of travel, this bonus saves me quite a bit of cash.
  2. Chase Sapphire (big sign-up bonus, airline credit): I’ll likely be trading this card in soon, but it’s been a great card to have thanks to the airline credit, sign up bonus, and 0 fees when I’m traveling abroad.

Rental cars, hotels and restaurants, oh my!

I spent New Year’s Even 2017/2018 in a hotel overlooking Times Square in New York City. This was an annual tradition for some of my friends, who would pool their credit card points and rent out nearly an entire floor of the building.

Since then, I’ve also used credit card points to stay in other lovely hotels across the United States, as well as in India and Portugal. Sometimes I’ve used my points to book rooms. Other times, when I can find a great deal, I’ll book and then enjoy a free upgrade (my AMEX card gives me automatic gold status at Marriott, which means a free upgrade every time I stay).

When it comes to car rentals, some cards (I’m lookin’ at you again, AMEX!) provide complimentary membership in premium car rental programs, including special upgrades and discounts. That said, you can also use your points to book cars for next-to-nothing when you have a card like Chase Sapphire.

And finally: Restaurants. While you can redeem some points for gift cards to restaurants, you can also pay attention to which restaurants will give you a 2 – 5x return on whatever you spend.

Because of all the benefits I’ve listed, I believe it is 100% worth your time to take an afternoon to learn more about credit card points and how to use them responsibly.

Embrace the Adventure,

Meg

Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad (Press Release)

By MegTaylor | November 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

DANCE IS A VIBRANT FORCE FOR CULTURAL IMMERSION DURING TRAVEL 

New Book by Dance Travel Expert Spotlights How Dance Connects Travelers to Community, History,  and Cultures Abroad 

Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad by Founder of Dance Travel Company Releases  December 2020 

How can people with no shared language communicate? How can someone who has just arrived in a foreign country quickly make friends or meaningfully engage with local culture? To former professional dancer Megan Taylor Morrison, now a life coach and dance travel expert, the answer couldn’t be  clearer: 

Dance. 

In her new book Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad, Morrison demonstrates that dance can forge connections between people from different backgrounds, as well as lead to cross cultural experiences that promote greater understanding of another culture or engender tremendous  personal growth for the traveler. 

For many of us during the age of COVID-19, life-giving experiences are in short supply. The things we  love – attending incredible dance performances, going to dance classes, or hugging people within our  dance communities – feel far away. Dance Adventures brings the wonder of adventure and movement  to readers, wherever they may be. 

This anthology includes 19 true stories written by a diverse group of renowned performers, dedicated dance teachers, dance scholars, and other avid dance travelers who: 

● Explore their craft in locations tied to their family history and discover how dance helps them connect with their heritage; 

● Build bonds and community with locals through a shared love of movement; ● Challenge their assumptions, embrace the unknown and find surprising new truths by saying  “yes” to spontaneous opportunities; or 

● Reflect on who they are and discover how dance can make them a better version of themselves. 

The contributors hail from all corners of the world, and the stories take place in 17 different countries  including India, China, Senegal, Philippines, Angola, Brazil, Morocco, Cuba, China and Mozambique.  Contributors include:

Courtney Celeste Spears, a dancer with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In  Dance Adventures, she writes about her experience returning to her second home in The Bahamas and  serving as an ambassador between her family, her heritage, and her dance company. For Spears, dance  brought the two worlds she cherished together. 

Indian-American folk dancer Dr. Ted Samuel, who embarks on a year abroad in South India where his  parents are from. As a member of the Indian diaspora, he initially faces the challenges of feeling like an  outsider in India, but ultimately finds an important vehicle for connection in Karagattam: a traditional  south Indian folk dance. 

Zsuzsi Kapas, a Hungarian dancer whose family immigrated to the United States in 2000 to leave behind  a life of ethnic oppression. In Dance Adventures she shares a story from her three-year journey around  the world, during which she studied the healing effects of dance and movement improvisation. She  writes about her time in Indonesia, where her intensive work with the creator of a dance style known as  Joged Amerta Movement led to lessons that helped heal her childhood trauma. 

Makeda Kumasi, who teaches West African dance classes at UC Riverside, visits Senegal for the first  time. There, she fulfills her long-time dream to set foot on the land of her African ancestors and gains  the firsthand knowledge she feels she needs to teach West African dance at the university level. The  story highlights her final day in the country, when she visits Gorée Island and confronts the realities of  the Atlantic slave trade. 

Topics Megan can also address include: 

  • ● 5 Travel Hacks Only Dancers Know 
  • ● Cool Dances Around The World You’ve Never Heard Of 
  • ● Why Dance Travel is the Next Frontier of Tourism 
  • ● How Dance Changes Us: Life Lessons learned While Dancing Around the World 

Each of the stories in Dance Adventures highlights a way that dance travel leads to meaningful  experiences, thereby shaping a person’s identity, facilitating their personal growth, or uniting them with  people from different backgrounds.  

About the Author 

Megan Taylor Morrison is an avid dance adventurer and certified life and business coach. She has  studied local dance forms in 16 countries on six continents, as well as designed and co-led dance  retreats to Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. In partnership with Melaina Spitzer, Meg  debuted the talk “Dance Travel: The Next Era of Dance Education,” at the National Dance Education  Organization (NDEO) Conference in 2018.

Through lectures, roundtables, and articles, Meg continues to share best practices for cultural  immersion through the arts. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University  and a bachelor’s in international affairs and French from the University of Puget Sound.  

Advance Praise for Dance Adventures 

“Armchair travel has never had it so good! Dropping into these cultural adventures is like landing feet  first on the most dynamic dance floors around the globe. Each carefully curated story gives a dancer’s eye-view of the people, places, and practices that enrich our planet.” 

—Mark Metz, publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine and founder of The Dance First Association 

“This book is indispensable in light of the current social momentum with regard to Black lives and the  dismantling of violent systems. Many of the stories portray the experiences of individuals in whom  multiple languages, customs, and spaces coexist, and for whom dance is the unifying factor.” —Moncell Durden, Assistant Professor of Practice, USC Kaufman School of Dance 

“Dance Adventures contains beautiful moments of transformation and connection through dance—a  wonderful extension of Meg’s own mission. The anthology’s writers create a strong case for using dance  to understand the world.” 

—Mickela Mallozzi, Emmy® Award-winning TV host of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi 

“I was captivated by Megan Taylor Morrison’s Dance Adventures! This vibrant and emotionally  explorative collection of tales captures the power of dance in a way that transcends the stage.” —Aisha Mitchell, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member (2008–2013), Broadway soloist in  Oklahoma (2019), and featured performer in The Lion King (2013–2018) 

Title: Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad 

Author: Megan Taylor Morrison 

Hardcover: $49.99 

Paperback: $35.95 

Language: English 

ISBN-Hardcover: 978-1-7354842-4-2 

ISBN-Paperback: 978-1-7354842-5-9

Dance Adventures Cover

25 Cool Things About Me

By MegTaylor | May 20, 2019 | 0 Comments
  1. I went to college on an opera scholarship.
  2. I used to speak French fluently. Now I speak Spench.
  3. I was a vegan for 2 years.
  4. I worked on an organic farm in France for one summer.
  5. I’m currently obsessed with teaching people how to create passive income products.
  6. When I’m sick, I sometimes eat a whole jar of pickles.
  7. I have a cute butt.
  8. I make really good pasta puttanesca.
  9. I learned how to make Thai food last week for a charity event.
  10. My sense of wonder is alive and well.
  11. I prioritize generosity in my business.
  12. I have an idea parking lot where I keep all my good ideas so I can focus.
  13. I’m in the middle of finishing my first TWO books — Life Beyond Should and a Dance Travel Anthology.
  14. I trust my intuition and am willing to do crazy things because it tells me so (move to the DR; tell someone he is supposed to be my mentor; etc…).
  15. I can write well and quickly.
  16. My editing skills were once complimented by a world famous author.
  17. I am an AUNT and learning the things I love about childrenI would drop everything and fly anywhere if a friend really needed me.
  18. My favorite color is purple.
  19. I am willing to take immediate action based on my inspiration.
  20. By the end of 2019, my business will have at least 10 income streams.
  21. One of my superpowers is creating partnerships that launch me forward.
  22. In the last few weeks, I’ve asked for — and received — more head than at any other time in my life.
  23. I like stomping through puddles.
  24. I love everything dance-related, and don’t mind looking like an idiot to learn a new dance or dance move.

My Interview with Kelly Lewis, Founder of Women’s Travel Fest

By MegTaylor | May 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

I had a great conversation with Kelly Lewis, founder of the travel company Damesly and the annual Women’s Travel Fest.

Kelly Lewis

We talked about:
*Finding your purpose
*Getting connected to the big reason WHY you do what you do
*Pivoting from a 9-5 to the world of entrepreneurship

*Why you should hire a business coach
*Going ALL IN to create leaps forward in your biz Listen here.Kelly Lewis is also a member of my Virtual Coworking Community. If you haven’t tried our virtual coworking, reply to this email! I’ll set you up for a free, 1-month trial! People say these sessions skyrocket their momentum and help them knock big to’do’s off their lists.

 

I know this interview with give you ideas and inspire you! Let me know if you check it out.

Also, stay tuned for the following:
1. May 15 – I’ll announce our 2020 PACK Retreats (we’ll have 4 incredible trips for you!)
2. May 15 – My private mastermind for entrepreneurs kicks off (Want to sign up? Let’s chat!)
2. June 15 – My Authentic Leadership Group Program kicks off (Interested? Email me!)

Embrace the Adventure,

Meg

What Dominican Pick Up Lines and Starting a Biz Have in Common

By MegTaylor | March 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

As a blonde foreigner, I get a lot of attention here in the Dominican Republic. I’m always hearing new pick up lines or comments designed to get my attention.

Some of my favorite pick up lines (from this week):

*Would you like a private Uber driver?
*Oh, how God has blessed you!
*CITTAAAAA (short for “mamacita”… I think)
*”Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

But here’s the thing: I really hated this attention when I arrived. And I hated it even more after six months. It’s not until recently that I developed a sense of humor about it. After that happened, I got to enjoy everything I LOVE about this country without all the stress of something I can’t control. What freedom!

This reminds me a LOT of starting my business.

When I began, the things I couldn’t control made me so uncomfortable. I had to CHOOSE to show up again and again until, one day, things felt slightly less scary. As time went on, the things that used to send me into a panic became no big deal.

This is the way the comfort zone works. When you commit to creating something new in your life (whether it’s living in a new culture or starting a business), you feel uncomfortable. Beginning is scary and staying with your decision can be even scarier! Your stress levels get higher until slowly — over time — the fear around the change subsides.

There’s a word for this: Acclimation (I talk a lot about this in my forthcoming book “Life Beyond Should”). Stay with what you’ve chosen and your comfort zone will expand.

This applies to SO MANY THINGS:

*Starting a new relationship after a really hard breakup
*Starting a business
*Changing careers
*And a lot more

Have courage and stick with your process!

I hope the pickup lines I shared will remind you to keep your sense of humor in the face of your own challenges. Whatever you’re working on creating (or adjusting to), you will hit your stride.

Embrace the Adventure,

Meg

VIDEO: Our January Trip to India!

By MegTaylor | February 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

I am THRILLED to share the video from our January retreat to India! It captures the essence of the trip and some of my favorite memories, including:

1) A lightning storm at the taj mahal
2) Food that was like POETRY — complex, gorgeous, nuanced
3) Dancing with the locals in India
4) An amazing fire ceremony in Rishikesh (the Hindus do a ceremony every morning to wake up the Gods and every evening to bid them goodnight)
5) And more!

If you’d like to come on future trips, email me at megan@megantaylormorrison.com and I’ll add you to our PACK Retreats mailing list!

Embrace the Adventure,

Meg

P.S. Registration for our trip to the Dominican Republic closes tomorrow! This will be our LAST year in the DR, so make sure to register if you’ve been thinking about joining us!

What I’m most daunted by, my favorite read right now, and more!

By MegTaylor | February 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

I love how peering into other people’s worlds fuels our own inspiration and creativity. Lately, many of my clients have asked me about my day-to-day, so I wanted to share more in case anything I’m up to sparks something for you!

Here’s a glimpse into my life:

  • Book I’m loving: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I listened to this three times over on my morning walks and it’s encouraged me to act NOW on my desires. If you need more NOW in your life or business, check it out.
  • What I’m enjoying most about living in the Dominican Republic now: Eating pasteles de hoja — Dominican-style tamales. Here’s a recipe. You’re welcome.
  • I’m terrified to commit FULLY to my passion project: I’m digging into the connection between African dances and solo vernacular jazz more deeply than ever (watch the dance I’m currently working on here). Because this is so close to my heart, I have a ton of resistance to following through. I procrastinate, make excuses, and — bottom line — don’t practice. So… I just hired a private African dance instructor to work with me virtually and in-person. I know this project in my heart needs to come out, and I need a lot of loving support to make sure it does! (P.S. This is YOUR reminder to get support for the passion projects that mean so much to you!).
  • Cool new testimonial: I just love my client Yvette Gorman-Holmes from Grow Your Moxie Coaching. You can read it below.
  • Masala Chai: All day every day. Since getting back from India, I can’t stop drinking it. Here’s the recipe I’m using. Try it for yourself!
  • My book: Life Beyond Should is moving right along! I got edits back from my first readers and am incorporating more interviews with scientists. This will be a scientific, spiritual, and practical guide to embracing your authentic desires!

Stay tuned for more updates! And let me know if you try out the book or recipes!

Embrace the Adventure,
Meg

P.S. Here’s the testimonial from Yvette:

“Megan OVER-DELIVERS as a coach and keeps you accountable to what you say you want! Through our coaching together, I learned to boldly move through the inner whispers of fear and ego, as well to stop using shame to fuel my productivity. I discovered how to increase my drive in a way that builds my confidence, inspires me, and makes me feel loved and acknowledged. I raised my prices and got hired for what I’m worth, as well as created a new level of compassion, commitment, and desire in my 20-year marriage. Working with Megan has been a celebrated gift to myself. She is a driven, compassionate, fun-loving, super-organized, disciplined soul who helps you get results and leads by example in all she does.”

What is it like to live in the Dominican Republic?

By MegTaylor | December 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

People often ask me “What is it like to live in the Dominican Republic?”

I lived in Santo Domingo full time from 2018 – 2020, led multiple retreats for Americans to the region of Samana, toured the country extensively, and have been traveling back and forth from the United States to the DR for the last five years. Based on my experience, I’ll answer the following questions:

  • What is the cost of living?
  • Can a US citizen live in the Dominican Republic? 
  • How much money do you need to live comfortably in the Dominican Republic?
  • Where do expats live?
  • What’s the food like?
  • What are the best restaurants in Santo Domingo?
  • How do I get around?
  • How hard is it to find housing?
  • Where are the best places to go out?
  • How hard is it to make friends?
  • Where are the best places to visit?
  • What have I learned from living in the Dominican Republic?

What is the cost of living in the Dominican Republic?

It depends on the lifestyle you want. It was quite expensive for me — someone who works remotely and wanted to spend my first few months living in an upscale, furnished apartment in Santo Domingo.

My rent was about $1200 per month for an apartment in a nice building with a doorman. The apartment was located in Piantini, an upscale area of town (although there’s still quite a bit of noisy construction that happens there…). Because the internet was not always reliable, I also joined Chez Space — a co-working spot. That ran be about $150/month for use of the shared area. A private office runs about $1000/month.

For food, you can go grocery shopping at Supermarcado Bravo, La Sirena, Carre Four, or Nacional. Prices and selection there are comparable to grocery stores the United States. Bonus: You can get cool things like soursop, giant avocados, passion fruit, and other tropical foods there for cheap.

As a dancer, nights out were also factored into my budget (I’ve created a map of where you can go out dancing in Santo Domingo if you’re a dancer like me!). This is not very pricy, but I did always put aside some cash for an ice cold Presidente beer or two ($10/night to be safe).

Can a US citizen live in the Dominican Republic?

While I’m not sure about laws and regulations around residency, US citizens are able to stay in the Dominican Republic for very extended stays (we’re talking years, not months). You simply pay an overstay fee when you leave. 

How much are these fees? As an example, you’ll pay $100 if you choose to stay for 9 months – 1 year. This website gives a more detailed outline of cost.

I traveled back to the United States about once every three months for work (I am a life and business coach who offers private coaching, a business mastermind program and virtual coworking). This meant, I paid a fee each time I left. I also opted for a passport with more pages (since I got two immigration stamps for each of my trips there).

How much money do you need to live comfortably in the Dominican Republic?

See the note above about the cost of living. If you want to go see different parts of the country, have a nice apartment, and otherwise keep a lifestyle similar to yours in the United States, I would reserve $3,500 – $4,000 a month.

Where do expats live in the Dominican Republic?

The United States embassy is near the neighborhood Arroyo Hondo, so many expats live there. That said, it’s pretty out of the way. If you want easier access to downtown or the Colonial Zone for movie theatres, nightlife or a more lively atmosphere in general, I would opt for one of the following expat-friendly areas:

  • La Zona Colonial
  • Piantini
  • Bella Vista

Outside of Santo Domingo, popular expat towns are Punta Cana, Las Terrenas and — increasingly — the region of Samana. 

What’s the food like in the Dominican Republic?

Delicious!!!!! My hot tip is to visit the food court in the Acropolis Center and eat at the buffet with Dominican Food. You can get chicken breast, rice, avocado and beans for less than $5.

Traditional Dominican foods include love morro (rice with beans), ropa vieja (shredded beef), pasteles en hoja (it’s like a Dominican tamale) and sancocho (a delicious, hearty stew made with meat and tubers). 

That said, there are many excellent and diverse options for places to eat in Santo Domingo. Restaurants offer Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Peruvian and many other types of food.

What are the best restaurants in Santo Domingo?

Some of my favorite restaurants include:

  • La Dolcerie: A good mix of nice dishes with a gorgeous atmosphere
  • Fresh Fresh Cafe: Fresh, healthy food
  • Laurel: A good mix of delicious offerings
  • La Locanda: Delicious Italian
  • Falafel Zona: This may be the best falafel I’ve ever had
  • Forno Bravo: Tasty Italian food
  • LuGa: High-end burgers and truffle fries 

How do I get around in the Dominican Republic?

I recommend Ubers or — if you’re very adventurous and have a helmet — motor Ubers. That’s right: You can order a motorcycle to come and pick you up. Is it dangerous? Extremely. Is it fun? YES! 

How hard is it to find housing in the Dominican Republic?

Initially, I booked places through Airbnb, which is wonderful. There are many great spots available in Santo Domingo at various price ranges. After my initial stay, I moved in with my boyfriend’s family. Now, when I go back, I stay there, with friends or in Airbnbs.

Where are the best places to go out in the Dominican Republic?

This is the question people ask me most often, so I created a map that has my favorite music venues, places to dance and a lot more. Check it out here.

How hard is it to make friends in the Dominican Republic?

In the Dominican Republic, I found my friend groups through the local dance community (click here to see my favorite places to dance), as well as through the International Women’s Club in Santo Domingo. I loved this group, as it was an awesome mix of ladies from all around the world. Most of the women are there temporarily because their husbands work for a large international company. 

Where are the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic?

For cooler weather: Head to Jarabacoa or Constanza

For beautiful waterfalls: Jarabacoa, 27 Waterfalls

For wild terrain: Samana — and stay at the Dominican Treehouse Village if you can!

For the coolest shade of water you’ve ever seen: Barahona. Stay at Casa Bonita if you have the cash.

For kitesurfing and dinners on the beach: Cabarete

For all-inclusives (not my jam, but they might be yours!): Punta Cana

For dancing: Santo Domingo (check out my map of where to go dance)

What have I learned living in the Dominican Republic?

<<The below was written around January 1, 2019>>

January 1 will mark ONE YEAR since I moved here… and it’s been a hell of a lot harder than I imagined.

Just because you’re called to something doesn’t mean the journey will gracefully unfold. The universe may invite you to a situation where you have to struggle, fight, and endure. Our destined experiences are meant to teach us something, and sometimes learning those lessons isn’t easy.

Being in the Dominican Republic showed me my inherent right to massive self-expression, that I can succeed as a business owner in any environment, taught me to love my body more deeply, demonstrated that self-love is my birthright (and has nothing to do with money or accomplishments), and reminded me how lucky I am to be from the United States. For all of the troubles in our country right now, we still have so, so much to be grateful for.

My favorite part about being here? How Dominicans sing and dance so freely. It doesn’t matter if they’re any good at it. They relentlessly express themselves, and can laugh at themselves and one another with pure love.

There are other things I hate about being here. I hate the negative attention I receive as a white woman, all the mosquitos, and the pollution of the downtown area of Santo Domingo (there’s a reason I run my annual retreat in Samana, and that I only take travelers to one part of the capital city). I hate the gossip and I hate the crime.

This is just life, right? There are pros and cons. The term “double edged sword” exists for a reason. I believe all I can do is follow my intuition, listen to my heart, and accept the imperfection of every experience as perfect.

I am so grateful to have spent my year here, and for all of the DR’s challenges and joys that gave me an opportunity for massive learning.

What was the choice that led to your biggest learning this year? Comment below.

Embrace the Adventure,

Megan