Living It Up In Santo Domingo With Friends That Become Family #TheYearOf40

When it comes to the year 2001, it will go down in my books as the most fun in my twenties or even in my entire life! Don’t get me wrong, I love having fun and I do on a regular basis, but the year I turned 24 something special happened, I made the type of friends that become family and enjoyed the complicity and carelessness of having the youth, the time and the money to just have fun.While loving one’s own hometown is kind of cliché, I do feel a special kind of love for Santo Domingo, the city I was born in also holds the most special memories of my life, from childhood through adulthood. If you never been to Santo Domingo, you must know it is one of the greatest party towns in the Caribbean and beyond.

I must confess that it wasn’t just about partying; in 2001 I was hard at work to finish college after years of being in and out of class due to travel. Going to class and hanging out with my friends were my two priorities in life, in the process I started bonding and making new friendships, the kind of friends that become family with the pass of time.

You know those friends with who you could talk to for hours and hours about books, movies, and existential crisis; those friends who you could be silly with and tell them about your crush, make fun of ridiculous things, work together and pretty much spend all of your available time with. At the time I didn’t know these were the types of friends that become family, we were just living in the moment, as it should be.

Getting Close To Friends That Become Family

I love looking back to that time because I appreciate the life I had then, a time and a place that will never come back and that I’m glad I was fortunate enough to enjoy to the fullest. The whole week had a plan and rhythm to it. Tuesdays we would go watch Spanish movies at the Centro Cultural Español, Thursdays it was time for French cinema at the embassy of France, Saturday mornings was off to the movie club where we’d watch a variety of movies from American, Independent, Spanish, French and Latin American.

From Fridays to Sunday it was all about partying, dancing and drinking. Trips to the beach, long nights of wine and intellectual conversations. Sometimes it was going to a friend’s house and read a cheese novel a couple of friends were writing about some of the members of the group.  

All the movies, all the books, all the wine and all of the laughs define that year of my life and the next two before I moved to the United States. That’s why I want to record this and keep these memories for my kids to know, I hope they have their own kind of fun in their youth and their own group of those friends that become family, to follow along in their crazy ideas.

16 years have passed since that wonderful year and every time I think about it, I smile. Some of the friends from that time are no longer close, but there is a handful of great ones, those that did became family and are still in my life. Now we are all grown up, and our conversations are different than they were then, but still, there is that love and complicity we had then.

What were you doing at 24?

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© Dania Santana ~ Embracing Diversity
Multiculturalism, Diversity & Inclusion Expert | Author | Speaker
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