It's been a while! After a long semester, I finally have a few weeks to wind down and gather myself before school starts back up again in July. Last week my best friends and I went on a trip to CUBA. We had a great time and I figured I'd share 6 reasons why I believe everyone should get a chance to visit Cuba.
I came up with the title while I was still in Cuba. On the day we got back,I found out that Trump decided he would restrict travel and business with CUBA again. I'm glad we had the opportunity to go when we did, but I also hope that eventually Cuba will be open for everyone.
Without further ado, 6 Reasons why anyone/everyone should experience CUBA.
There's a great deal to cover about the people of CUBA! To be honest, there is so much history, culture and knowledge about them and I enjoyed every moment I got to learn. A few things to note:
1. One of the first things a Cuban would say to me was "There is no such thing as racism here. We come in all shades and we are All Cuban". This was one of the most common ideas shared with me and the actions and attitudes of the people supported it. Cubans range from extremely white to shades that are far darker than me. It was cool seeing how everyone interacted with each other. Immediately we got there we felt welcomed and could sense the family/community feel the country had to offer.
2. Cuban people are extremely hospitable. When searching for accommodation before the trip, we decided we would stay in a Casa Particular (Cuba's version of Air BnB) for the duration of our trip. This was probably one of the best decisions regarding the trip because it gave us a better idea of cuban culture. This also helped us with securing taxis, eating recommendations, and pretty much anything that we felt we needed a local's opinion on. Our hosts were extremely helpful and made sure we got the best prices when we needed additional services.
I am a foodie, and thus ALL my travel shenanigans must include food. The food was awesome. Regardless of whether we were in Old Havana, New Havana, or Viñales, presentation of food was great and flavor was even better. Pictured on the left was Cordero al Chilindron (a stewed lamb) accompanied with salad and rice, and on the right a typical breakfast which included fresh papaya, bananas and pineapple with eggs and toast.
I definitely ate more meals than this, but this should give you an idea of what meals were like there.
The cars were classssssic. Suave. Sleek. And the cool thing was ALL cars are like this. I found myself always looking forward to hopping into a taxi. Also, taxi fare was pretty cheap because we travelled in a group.
Cuba reminds me of "home" and when I say home I mean Nigeria. There are so many similarities. The buildings are very colorful; passing by you can spot a good number of buildings that are in the process of being built or renovated. This, in combination with the classic cars, gives Cuba a unique look that I really appreciated. Regardless of where you turn, you see people grinding and finding ways to survive.
5. Things to do
if you're looking for a spot where you'll find a good number of things to do, Cuba is definitely the place to go. I've learned from past experiences that there are typically two types of people that travel and you may find yourself anywhere within this spectrum.
A) The Go getter. This person always wants to do something, go somewhere or explore something. They typically wake up with "Whats the move" "So what are we doing today?!!!""I heard we can do this!" . They come to countries WITH an itinerary and feel that they have wasted their money if they have not exhausted every possible tourist attraction.
B) The "i'm fine if we just stay at the hotel" type. this. is. me. I don't like going on vacation and returning home more tired than I left. I like to rest during vacations and have a tendency to do much if left alone. This is why I purposely surround myself with people who will encourage me to do things.
Needless to say, Cuba has TONS of things you can do, and caters to both sides of the spectrum. We enjoyed ourselves and didn't get a chance to do EVERYTHING. We rode horses in Viñales (which was the country side) and got to tour beautiful mountains and scenery. Vinales also had other excursions like scuba diving, beautiful beaches, tobacco farms and a great deal of other things to do. In Old Havana, we found many taxi's that were offering city round tours. This too was fun, because we got to see cool land marks and other national monuments.
6. La Musica
In Cuba, Wifi isn't readily available everywhere. . We often found live bands playing FANTASTIC salsa, merengue and bachata music. The singers were fantastic and instrumentalist gifted. I got so carried away that I got swindled into buying a bands CD, later realizing that my Car has No cd player.
The music scene is dope.
And there you have it! 6 Reasons why CUBA is a must go if you ever get the chance. We learned a good deal about the culture of the Cubans and even got the opportunity to tour a couple of tobacco farms. Definitely looking forward to my next travel opportunity.