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a woman wearing a costume posing for the camera

In BOP faces we talk to local legends: the people of Punta Cana that make this place so special. In this edition: Travel blogger, make-up artist, hairstylist, singer and painter. Her name: Krystie Ann. BOP spoke to this multi-talented creative about how Punta Cana changed her life. 

One day she holds a paintbrush in her hand, the other day a blow dryer while she is preparing a bride for her big day, and another she is out exploring different places around the world for her travelblog. On top of that she also sings in a Funk band. Things she could not have imagined doing 6 years ago when she was still living in Canada. Punta Cana changed her life for the better Krystie Ann (32) shares.

Coming to Punta Cana

“It was really scary to come here. I did not speak Spanish, and I still don’t speak it fluently. But in the end, it was so easy to adjust. Everyone is so nice here. You easily meet people in town. They are so welcoming!”

The plan for Canadian Krystie Ann was to come to Punta Cana for 2 to 3 months, but she ended up using it as her base for the past 5 years. “Punta Cana was a suggestion of one of my friends. I have been going back and forth to Punta Cana for the last 5 years.”

Travel adventures

“I consider myself to be a woman of the world. A world gypsy. Because I like travelling a lot. Those adventures I share on my travel blog the wandering lioness.” For her blog, Krystie Ann wanders around the globe offering insiders tips together with a personal story. Readers view the world through her eyes. This year visiting Spain is on her list and she will be including either Portugal or Morocco for a visit. Even though she travels around, she keeps coming back to Punta Cana. As a freelance make-up artist and hairstylist, she also gets the opportunity to travel, but also work in Punta Cana.

In a short period of time Krystie Ann became a popular make-up artist and hairstylist for people who come from abroad and want to get married in Punta Cana. “People know about me, because of word of mouth and I keep my Instagram very active with updates. Brides see me and book me based on that. Before they come to Punta Cana, makeup and hair looks are not decided. We do that on the day itself. Sometimes they bring a picture and other times, they tell me to go ahead with what I think is best. They trust me. These brides are usually so relaxed. They kind of need to be that kind of adventurous relaxed person, since they are planning to marry abroad in the first place.”

Becoming a funker in Punta Cana

“I was staying in an apartment with my first friend in Punta Cana Danny Meíja. My friends heard me singing in the shower.” After that moment Krystie Ann’s friends new she could sing. The idea of forming a band was created. It ended up being the band: The Modern Funkers. A band that does covers of Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and more soul and funk influenced artists. Her friend Danny Meíja is the drummer in the band. “We are working on our own original music now, it so much fun and exciting!”

Overcoming fear

Coming to Punta Cana 5 years ago was not an easy step for Krystie Ann. As well as travelling for her travelblog. This is because 6 years ago she was depressed and suffered from anxiety. She is very open when it comes down to speaking about her anxiety. “I can feel it coming. It starts with a feeling as though you are having butterflies in your stomach. It is surreal. I also have difficulty breathing when it happens,” Krystie Ann explains. “It was extremely difficult to leave my comfort zone. I had a 9 to 5 job, where I worked in salons and Medical offices. But I made the decision for more simplicity by living an island life than the pressure I got in Canada. The pressure of having a certain kind of job, or your own house. I consider myself more of an out of the box freethinker. I do not have a 9 to 5 job. This gives me an open schedule and I have a lot of freedom. I can travel too.”

“I went into therapy and used music and painting as an outlet. People know about my anxiety here. When I have to perform with the band, I am very quiet. I don’t chit chat before the show. Instead I put on videos of Beyonce and Rihanna.  Before I go on stage I tell myself to be Beyonce,” Krystie Ann says laughing. “It usually takes me 3 songs to feel totally relaxed on stage.”

“Because of my anxiety, I do not plan ahead more than 6 months. I live in the now. Being still in nature, taking walks to the beach and appreciating the beauty that surrounds me. When friends do not see for two weeks, they know I need to refocus.”

Starving artist

“I think the term starving artist came from North America. It is nothing like that here. There are so many talented musicians here. Now, there are more festivals and events you can go to in Punta Cana. I love to dance and there are great parties here. Soles on Sunday is a place I love going to or to the parties thrown by Nois Music at Huracan Cafe.

Favorite spots

“My favorite spot is my home. It is a hippy sanctuary, with lots of plants, buddha statues and crystals. But I also love going to Macao!

Want to know more about Krystie Ann? Check out her Instagram page @mskrystieann.

Keep on reading about other people living in Punta Cana on BOP faces. Harolis who helps communities in Punta Cana, or artist Tiano Solana who uses his wife as muse in all his paintings, or Juan Bautista who was born in Bavaro when it was still a jungle.