I ended last year with a promise — to dedicate 2019 to more adventure! Traveling has always been a huge part of my life and I've always believed in making the world my classroom. There’s an unmatched feeling that only exploring the world and immersing yourself in other cultures can give. So, I decided in 2019, I’d go! And, I wouldn't let anything hold me back. I'd go, even if no one else could go with me. So, in honor of my personal promise and the new year, I booked a trip to the beautiful country of Cuba.
I had been wanting to go to Cuba for years. I scrolled through never ending IG posts and sifted through hashtags in awe. Once I got there, I quickly learned Instagram does this country no justice. Here's a little look into my Cuban exploration.
I'm a major foodie. So much so — I'd say one of my love languages is food. Three weeks before my trip, I was already anticipating the bomb Cuban food I was going to eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks... I was ready! But if I'm being honest, my experience with Cuban cuisine was subpar. Fancy restaurants — even a couple local spots — I wasn't blown away. We didn't get a chance to try any street food, which may have been our sweet spot. But, nonetheless I captured a few photos of our meals for memory sake.
We all know Cuba is known for communism. So, it's people have access to very few resources. Despite their lack, I found so much beauty in their simple lifestyle. On weekends and after school, the entire city was outside. It was almost like a huge never ending block party. Unlike in America, the kids roam freely without much supervision. The adults sat on stoops smoking cigars, laughing, talking and yelling across the street to friends and family. They rode variations of bikes, drove through the city in classic antique cars, sold fresh fruit and veggies on the street corners, made food along the curbs, hung clothes over their balcony to dry and got hair cuts at the local barbershop. The wifi is limited because the internet is controlled by the government. For me — oddly enough — that was actually refreshing. Imagine a whole city with no internet, actually engaging one another without social media. I was in heaven. 😍
I’m a southern girl, so I’m all about hospitality. But our Cuban friends gave the concept a new meaning. From our hotel staff to random people on the street — everyone was so kind. Initially we were a bit nervous to venture out on our own, but later realized Havana is relatively safe. Guns are illegal, which gave us a small sense of relief. Here are a few people we met along the way.
To say the Cuban people are talented is an understatement. They are simply brilliant! They take what little they have and create some of the most beautiful artwork I've ever laid eyes on. I was literally blown away as I walked through alleys full of handcrafted art. Passing by quaint shops where men and women painted for hours producing these bright, colorful, eye catching pieces that mesmerized me. The celebration of womanhood and blackness was real! Here are a few pieces that stole my heart.
All in all, if you're considering a relatively inexpensive vacation and enjoy cultural trips, Cuba is well worth it! But more important than any specific destination, be sure to cease the day, make memories and capture the world around you. The world is your playground.
To do list
•Travel more ✔️