One day before my birthday, I will land in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to meet my sister, Hannah Cranford.

I will be traveling to the Caribbean country immediately before flying to Brazil. While most of the trip is unplanned, there are many things that I would like to do. For example, I would love to simply walk around the city of Santo Domingo and see the capital building.

Hannah will meet me in the capital of D.R., and on the following day, May 14, we will celebrate my birthday by walking around town or relaxing on one of the many beautiful Caribbean beaches.

“We have to go to El Zona Colonial!” Hannah sent me via WhatsApp. “There’s so much Cristóbal Colón stuff we have to look at.”

Hannah also said she is planning a trip to Cayo Arena Puerto Plata, D.R., which would be on my birthday or the day after. After spending some time in the capital and on some of the beaches, my sister is planning on taking me to see the town she currently works in. In total, I will spend six nights in the D.R., and from Santo Domingo, I will head to my next destination, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This is the inaugural post of a series of journal entries, in which I will explain and document my preparation for travel and travel through the Dominican Republic in May 2015. You can read every journal entry on The Orange Traveler.

Have you traveled to Santo Domingo? What was your experience like? Share your thoughts below.