The Bahamas and Caribbean are the best vacation spots ever

American beaches just cannot compare

Summer means many things and despite how you may spend it, one thing is for sure (hopefully) – you’ll be hitting the beach. Your feet will dig into the sand, leaving footprints behind you. Your skin will turn a nice shade of tan and for those of you that burn easily, remember that sunscreen. The sun will beat on you from its high position in the sky. Hopefully a nice breeze from the ocean will help you cool down.

Growing up I wasn’t excited about going to the beach after a bad childhood experience in the water. I also stayed away because I hadn’t heard great things about the crowded NYC beaches. But when I went to the Bahamas and the Caribbean, everything changed.

I visited the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2014. It was a completely different experience from visiting a beach in New York. In the D.R. the sand was fine and soft.

It was a lot hotter than I thought it was going to be, but the weather was always great. Blue skies with the occasional cloud for shade. The water was clear blue with only seashells and small rocks.

I gained confidence in entering the ocean when I could see my feet underwater. The waters were relaxing and not rough at all. You could also go further out to swim with exotic fish and feed them bananas.

I stayed at a resort that felt homey. There was an area for everything – bars, restaurants, entertainment and a pool.

It was the small things that got me to love the Caribbean: the tall, swaying palm trees, the inviting workers who took the time to talk to their guests and how relaxing it all was.

I’m a wired person who is always on the go thinking about deadlines, and it’s not easy to take a take a breath. But in the Caribbean, it was impossible not to sit back and read a book at a casual pace or take a dip in the beautiful ocean.

The night life was also great. Despite being in a resort there was a party every night. You could stay at the bar and dance with strangers from around the world who also came to relax. Or you could head to a pool party to sing along to popular music. I felt right at home with the food selection, the American decorations and the fireworks.

The following summer, I visited Aruba in the Bahamas. I was excited to go because I had heard it was similar to the Dominican Republic. I wasn’t disappointed. The resort this time was fancier, a five star RIU but I enjoyed the beach the most.

The sand was even softer and finer than in the D.R., if that’s even possible. It was nearly white and the water was just as blue. There’s no chlorine to mess up your hair if it’s dyed. Instead it makes it wavy and the salt water does amazing things to your skin.

In Aruba, you tan extremely fast and it’s difficult to tell if you’re burning. Luckily I’m not someone who burns but by the end of the first day I was at least five shades darker.

The wind was strong and it helped to deal with the intense heat. You could also sit under shade made from palm tree leaves and look out onto the rolling waves.

The sunsets were breathe taking. I stayed on the thirteenth floor and although I’m afraid of heights, I made sure to go out to the balcony to witness the beautiful colors the sun made as it set.

It was a greater experience going to dinner and having the amazing sight as your backdrop.

I was also able to go into town, which had colorful buildings and friendly natives. There were also shops for everything – indoors and outdoors.

Vacationing in the Bahamas and the Caribbean was great. They were opportunities I was lucky to have and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little spoiled. The NYC beaches don’t look appealing at all now because I have seen what an ideal one looks like.

The clear blue smooth waters, the great weather, the soft sand and the overall relaxing environment.  If you have the chance to go away to a beautiful destination like the D.R. or Aruba, take it. You won’t believe how amazing parts of the world are.