Leaving, Atlanta - 24Turquoise blue ocean stretches as far as the eye can see.

I'm staring out of the small window of the plane, scanning the horizon for the first glimpse of the island that will be our new home.

It has been almost a year since we moved back to the United States from Costa Rica. We returned for work after the economic collapse of 2008, but with heavy hearts. We loved living abroad.

So now a year later, after working, saving, selling and turning down lucrative career offers, we bought one-way tickets to a place we'd never been before, and were moving to the Dominican Republic with our four young children in tow (ages 2, 3, 4 and 6), hoping to find a long-term financing solution to make it our long term home.

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Our layover was purposefully 22 hours long in Atlanta, so we could visit with my aunt and uncle (and grandmother) who live there.

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I was surprised to find my mother (who lives in Alaska) hiding to surprise us. She wasn't sure when she might get to see us again, so she made a special trip. What a treat!

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Lovely and much too short, our visit was soon over, and we were saying goodbye and boarding the plane once again. Kyah (6) shed a few tears on the plane, and I'll admit my heart was heavy wondering if or when I might see family again.

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Leaving, Atlanta - 20Atlanta airport

The Caribbean Sea was inviting as we flew overhead, and my excitement renewed at the thoughts of moving to a tropical paradise.

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Soon our new island home was in view.

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Approaching the Puerto Plata airport, the lush, verdant landscape was appealing to my tropical soul, but still I wondered what waited for us in this new adventure. Would we be able to find a place to live? Would we find a way to earn an income? What would happen to us?

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Next: La Vega, Dominican Republic

Have you been to the Dominican Republic?



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