Let me be completely transparent and honest - because I don't want anyone to regret purchasing a flight to Havana. I love Havana. I've been there twice and will probably go there many more times and will eventually begin to explore cities outside of Havana. Everyone I know who has been to Havana (and other areas in Cuba) love it.
But it's NOT for everyone. There is poverty. There is limited internet connection. There are no fast food restaurants. Sometimes it smells. The buildings are old and crumbling. The cars are old and the smell of gasoline is strong. Most individuals don't speak English. It is still a communist country.
You will be frustrated. You might wait a long time for your food and/or drinks. You might get lost. You might not be able to figure out the currency conversion. You might overpay for transportation. You will get asked to pay for that picture with the old woman smoking a cigar. You will have to maintain the same "street smarts" about you that you have no matter where you go.
BUT, u will be wow'd at the vibrancy of the city. At the friendliness and excitement of everyone u meet. The music will engulf you and you will want to dance - day and night. You will learn the history of Cuba and you might fall in love with its story.
The heartbeat of Havana is unlike anywhere I've been. I woke up everyday excited about what I would experience that day because I didn't know what to expect. I never felt unsafe. I never felt unwelcome. I ate and drank well. I laughed. I danced. I explored. I talked to locals about their experiences. About their history. I talked to them about their economy. About how they feed their kids on the monthly supplement they receive from the Cuban government.
I cried. I cried for the people of Cuba and their fight for independence because I realized that it's very similar to my fight.
No, Cuba is not for everyone. It's for those travelers who want to be stretched and taken out of their comfort zone. For those who are seeking an experience unlike any other. For those who want to experience a culture unlike their own.
If you have questions about Cuba, let me know. I have a lot of friends who have been to Havana and a few friends who have traveled around the country. I even have a friend who is transitioning to a full time life in Havana! So If I don't know the answer, I will get it.
Click HERE to see more pics from my 2016 trip.
Happy Travels Everyone!