Life In Real Time

By Alexander D. Garrett

Life. One of the greatest mysteries of the known universe. Where does it come from? How did it come about? Studies indicate that a person has a better chance of winning the lottery 7 times in their life than even becoming a person to begin with. For thousands of years, man has attempted to tackle the oldest question; what is the meaning of life.

Answering this can be hard when we become complacent in a stagnant period of our life. For some, their life’s work is their chosen purpose. For others, their service and talents are their mark on history. But for others, this question can carry a great weight that is seemingly impossibly to alleviate and satisfy.

As a recent high school graduate, the thought of figuring out my future was a daily conundrum. Stuck between the known and the unknown and afraid of both. The system was not for me; figuring out my future through tens of thousands of dollars worth of robotic regurgitation of facts, an inability to ask questions and a disdain for curiosity. I knew that outside my zip code was an education that would be truly priceless. Comfort was not in my agenda. I wanted to learn. The “real” way.

The world would begin where my comfort zone ended.

After graduation, I had made my decision to postpone my freshman year at Chicago’s Harold Washington College and set off in search of answers. After some intense google searching, I stumbled across a little blue house on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Before I knew it, I was on a flight to Punta Cana, wondering how I had chosen my destination. The truth is I didn’t have an answer… it just felt right. I was willing to take a gamble. Either way, a valuable lesson would be taken back home with me.

I was uncomfortable. I was ready. Welcome to my journey.


Macao is one of the Dominican Republic’s hidden gems. In every essence of the phrase, life truly comes to a stand-still. There is no denying the beauty of all inclusive resorts with private beaches and world class breakfast. But one must ask themselves… what am I taking home with me? An organic and rustic environment complimented by one of a kind hospitality does a spirit good.

Macao is more than a place on a map. A tight knit community full of smiles is one of the Dominican Republic’s claim to fame. Just off the main road is a haven for backpackers, adventurers and those looking to experience life in real-time. Macao Beach Hostel has become a town icon, known for it’s success in introducing people from every corner of the globe to Macao.

Sunsets on cliffs overlooking the beach and the lush forests surrounding, diving into pristine tropical rivers and playing soccer on the banks, mountain hikes and wading through shallow water to small hidden beaches are a small percentage of what Macao has to offer. But what’s more than just the superficial aspect of Macao is the spiritual connections made at the hostel and in the town.

Macao beach hostel values cultural connection and enlightenment through experience. Nights spent around a camp fire singing songs whist sipping rum and tea, countless laughs and story telling as well as conversing with the wide-eyed locals has only one side effect: an absence of problems. The purest of energy manifests itself in many forms, and it is what makes both the hostel and the town of Macao a beacon for those looking to escape their reality and dive into the essence of life on this planet.

Life, in real time.

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