my island life. {punta cana, dominican republic}

November 10, 2011

Wow, how is it that I haven’t yet written about living in Punta Cana (Bavaro, to be precise)… and it’s been almost two whole months! Well, a bunch of reasons. Simply put, living in a place like this is much different from a vacation!

It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes here. ‘Island time’ is not just a synonym for laziness and procrastination. It seems more appropriate to measure it in ‘botellones de agua’ I’ve gone through (5-gallon drinking water jugs delivered upon request from a community mini-market), or boxes of insense I’ve burned (4)… or tubes of hydrocortisone cream I’ve used on my mosquto bites (2)… or Skype dates with Rob(okay, I lost count!). That’s right, I’ve been here all alone – he stayed behind to finish taking care of our Edmonton life for the winter, while I pioneered into our Dominican ways. He is finally arriving in two days… and every second drags!

Our home is fantastic. It’s a quiet condo with a huge veranda, a 5-minute stroll away from the beach (one of those stunning turquoise ones, with pure white sand, see below). I love how minimalist and uncluttered our place is (after all, I had only two suitcases to unpack)!  It’s been so peaceful and nurturing of a space to settle into.

Weekday sunrise yoga classes on a private rooftop. Grunwald III, El Dorado, Bavaro.

What a perfect open-air studio and sanctuary for teaching yoga. I have a small group of  devout students joining me for a sunrise class every weekday, I’m planning to add some night classes soon, too. Teaching has been the pulse of my existence here, getting me up at 6 am to share the gift of yoga from the depths of my soul. It’s also served as a healthy shift in perspective, away from wedding photography as I’d known it. I’m discovering an exciting overlap of yoga & documenting love – but more on that later.

The 5-minute walk to the beach. If you are a woman walking alone, it can sometimes be an unpleasant experience (mostly the staring, hissing, and the occasional explicit comment). Other than that, love our neighborhood!

The pier at our El Cortecito beach… thanks to my lovely friend Jolaine for the picture!

A trip to Punta Cana’s Playa Blanca and Tortuga Bay, a huge gated community.

Driving over the Tortuga Bay community golf course in golf cart!

Quick photo session for my yoga page. I think I look pretty happy!

Missing Rob. A lot. 

Some evenings I go up to my rooftop alone, just before sunset. Armed with my mat, a couple of mosquito-repelling citronella candles, and a boombox, I indulge in a solitary practice. I love witnessing the sky change, feels as if it narrates my steam of consciousness. Pretty amazing. By the end, lying in savasana, I gaze up at the stars in the immense sky above. Moments like that make me feel acutely aware of why I’m here.

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  1. Candice

    November 10th, 2011 at 15:38

    Beautiful! I am going to live my tropical life vicariously through you and your blog ok? LOL

  2. christy

    November 10th, 2011 at 21:16

    Your story may have just changed the course of my life. I just showed this post to my husband and he was like, “that looks like a good idea, are you up for it!” Congratulations on your move, your new life looks wonderful! Christy

  3. Lysa

    November 26th, 2011 at 23:31

    Love this! Thank you for sharing your beautiful new home! Hugs 🙂

  4. yvette

    January 13th, 2012 at 16:07


    I looooooooveeeeeee the condo!!! Are some of them for rent, for sale…? I m thinking to get maried in dominican republic but would like to visit the country first. thanks for your reply.

  5. Katya Nova

    January 15th, 2012 at 07:47

    Hi Yvette! Absolutely! Shoot me an email at katya@katyanova.com and we’ll help you out as much as we can! xx

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