Because I’m often late to the party this post is really late 🤷🏾♀️I should have written it last year in June but Anywhoo. I can’t remember when I decided I needed to visit Cuba but it was a dream deferred for a long time. When I was living in Jamaica, I missed out on the chance to go with a group of friends due to a required work trip. So in December 2017 I jumped at the chance to visit Cuba with Black Travel Movement. I tend to either travel with one friend or solo because it is hard to coordinate schedules since I moved abroad. I had made a promise to myself to try to do at least one group trip a year as a way to step outside of my comfort zone as an introvert and meet more people who love to travel. This can be difficult because most of the trips offered do not match up with my educator schedule and are outside of my budget. This was my first group trip and it went better than I expected.
I have to say Cuba did not disappoint mostly…except for the mojitos, they were not as great as the ones I had at Cuban restaurants in NY and DC 😒but it’s all good. As someone who only eats chicken and fish, food options in Cuba were limited due to rations to the same meal primarily cooked in the same way for lunch and dinner. This can be a bit meh after a couple of days but the restaurants where we ate had lovely ambiance. The hotel in Varadero offered more fish options and this made me happy. Our tour guide Richard was patient, knowledgeable, accommodating and honest about the benefits and complications of living in Cuba. Despite the onslaught of rain and the cold front when we arrived in Varadero we still managed to salvage the day and have fun. We are at the hotel and we went dancing at a club with a live band and great music, I definitely had way too much fun and drinks that night but it was so worth it 🤫💃🏾. The next day we ventured out to the beach even though the ocean was too cold for swimming for a lovely seafood meal, dancing, drinking and socializing. We ended our time with a fancy dinner at the Xanadu mansion and so Varadero was lots of fun.
The culture, the warmth and creativity of the people, the art, I loved being in Cuba. I was impressed that Cubans kept some facets of African culture and religion and interspersed it with theirs. Being there felt like going back in time to the 50’s because of the condition of the buildings and the cars on the streets but it was a treat to be driven in the old cars with the tops down to dinner. Even the taxi we took from the F.A.C was a fancy, older car. The internet is essentially non existent outside of fancy hotel lobbies and even there you may have to pay for faster speeds but there is an area called internet square/park where locals go to connect. Cuba is an interesting combination of old ideals and culture and new ideas and great experiences 🤗.
Some of the fun experiences from my trip to Cuba 🤩include:
F.A.C or Fábrica de Arte Cubano is an art gallery and club. The vibe there was really nice, the DJ was playing great music, the bar had good options for drinks and the art exhibitions was phenomenal, thought provoking, and provocative. There were little clothing shops, a stage where live music and poetry was being performed and an area where they were showing videos. It seemed like there was a little bit of something for everyone.
The Cabaret Tropicana show performances were marvellous, the dancers of all shades and talents doing amazing moves and contorting their bodies on stage and in the audience. It was a very well organized and involved series of performances with beautiful costumes. I really enjoyed this show.
Fusterlandia park is an area created by a Cuban artist that is filled with intricate art installations made out of beautifully elaborate mosaics. It is a must see for visitors because of the levels of artistry and creativity in such a small space and it is a great place for photos.
Callejon de Hamel is a small artistic alley filled with brightly painted wall murals, sculptures, art shops and an awesome vibe. I really enjoyed visiting this area, seeing the art and getting the opportunity to talk with the artists about the inspiration behind their work.
I really enjoyed visiting Cuba and I look forward to returning again to see and explore more of this interesting, yet complicated country and its wonderful people.
#BlackExpat #travelismytherapy #exploring #mytraveljourney #BTMfamily #MylifeisDopeandIdoDopeshit #blackandabroad #blacktravelculture #wanderlust #Blackwomenwhotravel #blackwomenwhoblog