A lot of people have been asking me this question since I got back from Cuba. It is honestly an extremely difficult and loaded question, which is the reason why I’ve been delaying this post for so long, that, and coming back to a million assignments. I can sit here and write about what I thought about Cuba; but the truth is, Cuba is such a unique travel experience and it’s different for every person that makes it there. Not to mention that it’s really hard to put my whole experience into words. Now that I’ve actually been there, I understand why I couldn’t get an idea of what my trip would be like from the online forums I had looked through. I’m going to try my best to tell you about my experience, but just know that its completely possible for you to go next week and have a completely different experience from what I had.
Being that my trip was a rather short one, at least I thought so, I didn’t really have a chance to get to know any of the people I went with, except for a couple class meeting here and there. So we all jumped into this brand new country with no familiarity of one another, and no Internet if I might add. Although in the long run, these were the best circumstances. It allowed us all to get much more intimate with each other without the distractions of our devices. We spent almost every night drinking bottles of Havana Club on the porch, talking about subjects that actually mattered. This was especially convenient for me because: sometimes I find myself trying to bring my friends on my trips with me, through my devices. However, this allowed me to really disconnect and focus on what was in front of me.
Due to all these circumstances, Cuba became quite the ultimate trip for me. With the new mates, I went out exploring and got to ride through Cuba as more of a local and less of a tourist, which is always my main goal. It allowed for plenty of reality checks and recognition of my privilege living in the U.S. It gave me the opportunity to see a country that is constantly criticized in the U.S. for what it is and not what it’s made out to be. Not that it’s perfect, but lets be honest, neither are we. It allowed me to recognize that we are just as brainwashed as every other country we criticize. While exploring the old city, we got the opportunity to meet a local member of the community who took us out and about to the real parts of the city. He showed us what was real and what was commercial, and he even went out clubbing with us. Cuba is honestly filled with so much beauty both internally and externally. The Cuban people are so embracing you can’t help but fall in love. The amount of times I was confused as a Cuban was too many to count. When I told them I was Dominican they embraced me just the same and labeled me as an hermano. I can truly say Cuba influenced my perception of the world, as well as my own personal life and going was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If any of you guys get the opportunity to go, TAKE IT!! You may have a different experience then what I had, but it will be too unique of a trip to ever regret taking.
Ever since I was kid, I've had this tradition I follow before a trip. Right before I'm about to leave for the airport, I'll write a quick reflection about how I feel in that moment. Clearly I wanted to be a writer since adolescence. I figured now that I have this blog, I might as well share my thoughts with the rest of you. I am leaving for my flight in a few hours; I'll be spending the night in Miami and then leaving Saturday morning for Cuba. Somehow it still doesn't feel real, it doesn't feel like I'm going to be in Cuba in a day’s time. As always my anxiety level is at a high. Hahahah. No matter how frequently I travel, I can never get rid of that preflight anxiety. At least I know that the moment I get on that plane, all that anxiety will turn into pure excitement. I am so excited for this trip because unlike my other trips, I don't know what to expect. Few people have gotten the chance to see Cuba for themselves so there isn't too much advice out there. Although, I'm completely fine with exploring the mystery behind Cuba. I cannot wait to go walking through the streets of Havana and find hidden gems throughout the city. I'm packed and I'm ready. Wish me luck!