Conscious Travel in the Caribbean

GUEST BLOGGER: Abbie Synan from Speck on the Globe

This past February Purposeful Nomad had the privilege of having Ms. Abbie Synan on our Rest & Renew trip in the Dominican Republic. Not only was Abbie enthusiastic, open-minded and a pure joy to be around but her infectious positivity and full blown support of our mission here at PN made her a perfect match for our trip. She is also an accomplished travel writer and blogger that focuses on sustainable travel and tourism. We are more than grateful to share her amazing piece she wrote about her experience with us in the Dominican Republic. 


More than just a yoga retreat, Purposeful Nomad gives you the sense of community and the ability to recharge and leave with the idea that an island vacation can be more
than a holiday: 
not just holding drinks with tiny umbrellas perched on glasses. Can you have both of these things, relaxation AND education? Of course, but the stereotypical “all inclusive” lifestyle begins to feel like an afterthought once you have the opportunity to spend time with experiential island travel. You are given a chance to be an active participant, learning more about the positive
programs in the Dominican Republic, not just a bikini-clad bystander.
The projects that Purposeful Nomad chooses to highlight cover environmental and educational aspects on the island.

 Abbie & Neilly planting away

Abbie & Neilly planting away

 After a hard days work at Taino

After a hard days work at Taino


We spent a day getting our hands dirty at Taino Farm, learning about how their
permaculture, aquaponic and vermiculture farming techniques have helped to
provide locally grown organic healthy food choices for the neighboring
communities. Everyone had a chance to pitch in that afternoon, giving us a chance
to work on a project as a whole unit, strengthening our group bond even further.
Like seedlings, our friendships continued to take root as the week progressed.

 Lasting friendship forged!

Lasting friendship forged!

We got to see the importance of sisterhood firsthand when we spent the day at
Mariposa Foundation, an organization providing community based solutions
through girls education as a means to end generational poverty. To see us as a
group of women coming together to learn about the power in educating girls was
something special to witness.
It invited us to intersect the mission of Purposeful
Nomad alongside the vision of Mariposa Foundation. Having that many bright,
motivated, strong women in one place is pretty powerful!

 Hearing the stories from the Mariposa girls

Hearing the stories from the Mariposa girls

 Mariposa Foundation 

Mariposa Foundation 


With all the valuable lessons and chances for education peppered through the week,
we had equal amount of time to pay attention to what we needed as individuals and
do some self-reflection. A chance to have healthy food, tend to our minds and
bodies made it extremely evident that in order to truly take care of others we need
to be reminded to work on bettering ourselves.
As women we have an innate need
make sure everything or everyone is cared for before we look within, and often we
dismiss any need for rest or relaxation as a sign of selfishness or weakness. What
was beneficial for me was recognizing when I need time to hit the reset and having a
safe space within our little community to take some for myself to then in turn
making me a better traveler.

 Filling our bodies daily with healthy, nutrisious food!

Filling our bodies daily with healthy, nutrisious food!


The itinerary has the perfect mix of giving us ladies a chance to work on ourselves
while learning about those who are working for others.
Each project peels back the
curtain on life in the DR beyond the beaches of the resorts. I am always looking for a
more genuine, conscious travel experience and the Purposeful Nomad team delivers
on both fronts. Nothing feels forced or fake when you are interacting with the local programs. It gives you a chance to learn more about the Dominican Republic, leaving doing more good than harm which for me is the ideal adventure.

 A much deserved day at the gorgeous beach

A much deserved day at the gorgeous beach