“When we go out snorkeling, we take sandwiches to the beach for a picnic,” Jaki said.
TOURISTS VS. TRAVELERS
They cultivate close encounters with locals and like-minded travelers, a far cry from the way most Americans experience other places and cultures.
“Americans are missing the boat when they travel,” Rob said. “We saw 5,000 people on one of these big cruise ships in Road Town. The street along the bay is full of souvenir shops and tourist traps.”
One or two streets back, there was a charming old street with nicely colored, typical Virgin Islands-style buildings, a museum and a wonderful bakery.
“I feel sorry for cruise-ship people rushing around,” Rob said. “There’s a difference between tourists and travelers.”
Rob and Jaki wrote “The Coincidental Traveler” to show a path not
“We have great experiences with local people,” Rob said. “That is not what will happen if you stay in a gated hotel in the Dominican Republic or get off the cruise ship for an hour.”
“We have more fun,” Jaki said. “We’re on an adventure, and something unexpected happens.”
At Gertrude’s, located on the main beach, Rob and Jaki engaged in conversation with a couple from Hudson, N.Y. To return to Ivan’s Stress Free Campground, Rob and Jaki had to pass through a forested area. Their fellow New Yorkers offered to take them back in a dinghy.
“He takes us to this half-million dollar yacht,” Rob said. “There were other couples from New England sharing this really expensive yacht. The 10 of us are drinking ‘painkillers,’ a local drink with coconut and other fruit juices and rum. We’re having a great time on board. That was something unexpected that happened. They extended themselves to us. We picked up on that.”