Cuba was a pretty lit trip for me for numerous reasons. Not only did I experience some solo travel for the first time, I just had a lot of fun. I like being in new places, experiencing new things, interacting with new people, etc. Being able to get away from the office and explore is my kind of fun. While I can probably go on and on about my trip to Cuba, I did want to share a few highlights with y’all.
I felt mad welcomed by the Cuban people. I feel this was enhanced by the fact that so many Cubans are black. The commonality was already there as well as a sense of kinship. I was walking through Havana Vieja with my friends and another group of Black American tourists were near us. This Cuban guy walks by and greets us all and says something along the lines of “Hey! I like people who look like me!” There were even a couple times (literally a couple, I’m not going to sice it) I was asked if I was Cuban. Then, one of my Airbnb hosts was giving me tips and told me it’s better if I speak Spanish when I’m out because I look like a Cuban woman. Needless to say, your girl was gassed.
Christian, the tour guide
Christian literally is one of my favorite parts of the trip. He was super cool, covered in a bunch of tattoos (some where a little ridiculous lol), and just had an awesome personality. I was able to practice my struggle Spanish with him and I generally could understand him. He really had me sold when he was bumping Kendrick Lamar and Gucci Mane during the car ride. I mean, do I really need to say anything else?
Before going on this trip, my sister’s friend told me that “everyone is a hustler.” Everyone is out there getting money in some type of way. Everyone has some type of tour or is selling something. That hustler mentality is also one of the reasons I liked Cristian so much. He was about that coin and was doing multiple jobs to get it. Part of my cultural exchange with him was letting him know that he was a “hustler.” We were hoping he knew the Jay-Z line “I’m a hustla, I’ma I’ma hustla homie” but he wasn’t a Jay-Z fan so that took the fun out that LOL.
I don’t make it to the beach often because I don’t live that close to one. From my memory, the ones that are closest to me are more so on the nasty side so pass on that. When I can visit a country with nice beaches though, I’m absolutely in there. The water at Playas de este was amazingggggg. It felt so good and it was a beautiful and vibrant hue of blue. You could go out super far and the water was still shallow. All three of us got in the water and left are our things on the beach unbothered by anyone (Cubans will absolutely hustle you but they won’t steal). We went in the late afternoon after we boiling in the sun at Callejon de Hamel so the timing could not have been better.
Ease of finding things to do
The only thing activity we actually had booked before this trip was a salsa lesson. While pre-booking some things is obviously helpful, I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely necessary. What is essential however, is research. We had all looked a bunch of things to do and how to do them so once we figured out how to navigate the city we planned our days from there. This gave us the opportunity to do structured things yet have time to just wander and explore as well.
Have you been to Cuba yet? If so, what were some of your favorite parts? If not and you want go, what are you looking forward to doing the most? Let me know in the comments!