So you have decided to travel to Cuba. Welcome or as they might say here, bienvenido! Sure it is a country where you can relax, kick back and enjoy sandy beaches, dig your toes into the white sand while kicking back on your lounge chair whilst sipping on a mojito. But we all know Cuba is so much more than this.
Break up the beach time and go see the sites, immerse yourself in the culture. This may be an island, but there is more than just seeing and experiencing the island life. It goes without saying that Cuba has a tumultuous past. There are landmarks and scars which have marked this country perhaps forever, but these marks and scars are what make Cuba such an amazing place.
Head off to downtown Havanna Vieja and pull up a seat at a sidewalk café. You are sure to feel as if you are in another time and in a way you are, as not much has changed here for over fifty years. We have all seen the iconic pictures of the old automobiles which still cruise the streets of many Cuban cities in style today.
Walk through the cities and feel the sensations of the culture and the richness of the past which has marinated in these streets for many decades giving it the spicy depth of flavors which you can taste and feel in the air and are on display today. The people of Cuba have been victims of war, revolution and oppression, but they do not view themselves nor take on the image of victims. No, these people are survivors and they live in the present, they enjoy it and take pride in the fact that despite the battles, both on national and personal levels, they are still alive. They celebrate life, they dance, they sing, they move and shake. They breathe in and they breathe out and what they breathe into the many cities is vibrant life, color and national pride. A cigar in hand doesn’t hurt either.
If only the rest of the world could take notice and live as a Cuban, life might not seem all that bad. From a perspective of a Cuban, all is well, all is rich, all is good. Put a smile on your face and keep living, do what you have to do, but stay alive, be alive and celebrate each day. Viva la Cuba!