Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Freedom as the quality or state of being free, the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action….the exact way I felt post step 1! My girlfriend and had booked a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! A much needed break after two years of medical school, a summer of CT Surgery Internship/research, and crazy USMLE Step 1 studying. This trip was amazing. Also, it was the first time my girlfriend Morgan and I took a trip together.
Overall, I have to say that by far the best part of this trip was sleeping hehehe. I had 6 straight days of sleeping at least 8 hours a day! I was amazed at how great a good night sleep felt, specially just being able to knock out and not have to worry about waking up to study. I think the last week of step studying I would have dreams of Step material and I often found myself waking up thinking about the material I had studied the night before. Hence, sleeping without worries was amazing!
Even more amazing however was visiting the DR. One of my hobbies is traveling and learning about different cultures and customs. Hence, taking a trip to this Island in the Caribbean was way too clutch! We stayed at an all inclusive resort which made it all even better: 24 hour access to delicious food, all you can drink, tons of excursion activities, and access to the beach all day everyday! In one of our crazy excursions, I got to milk a cow which took my back to my childhood days in Colombia. We also got to go horseback riding which I love. Growing up in Colombia, out family had horses, cattle, sheep and goats; I was usually the one who cared for the horses, specially the Paso Fino horses, which are a special breed of horses who have a special gate. I totally loved it! We went horseback riding through the mountains and coffee fields of Punta Cana, and later on went on an eco friendly tour visiting old country villages. It was amazing to see primitive villages, experience how a lot of the people live without internet, without cable, some without electricity. Nevertheless, everyone lived happy and in harmony, which to me, was a reminder that having a cell phone, having internet, cable, AC, and even a washer and dryer and all of the comfort in life doesn’t not necessarily equate into happiness.
Therefore, this trip meant a lot to me. Not only was I able to de-stress, enjoy the beach and eat at will, but I was also reminded of what is life, true freedom, and happiness in addition to being reminded of where I came from. This is why one of my biggest passions is traveling. I love the history, the culture, the customs, the people and the experience of living and seeing life…it makes everything seem a little bit better and worth fighting for!