Cuba – the Caribbean island in the shape of a lizard – Introduction

Beach in Varadero

I’m just back from Cuba. A two week holiday full of adventures. All my plans for the sightseeing changed when sitting in Madrid airport we got to know there was a hurricane. This meant we can’t visit Santiago de Cuba. The fact is we could have go but I don’t think the rest of the group fancied demanding conditions during their only holiday. I know some people who wouldn’t miss this chance. There was also the idea in my hand that people affected by hurricane would see us tourists as ‘paparazzi’ who don’t care just chase a sensation. We couldn’t do much to help but we could be a bother.

So now let me introduce you to our party of five, how we decided to go together and what was our trip route. This will be it for today but there is plenty more to come.

One day I heard from my friend Michal (the one I’ve been in Thailand with) that he and Adam (another person from Thailand trip) want to go to India on holidays. My plans were to go to Peru and see Machu Picchu. My long time dream. I didn’t want to change my plans. In fact I wanted to travel alone and Peru seemed ideal because of the infrastructure. This was at the beginning of 2012 and I still hoped to learn enough Spanish to be albe to communicate easily. Enough said: life is inpredictible and due to many circumstances I ended up going with Michal and Adam to Cuba. Tickets were half the price than the ones to Peru. Than when we already had tickets Michal invited his Spanish friend Maria to join us. He told me it was her big dream to go to Cuba. She likes Che a lot and so decided to join us. In a two days or so another friend joined – Marysia. Adam’s housemate and the group was set.

So there we are three girls, two guys. One native Spanish speaker, one Spanish beginner and us three who knew a handful of Spanish words. All with different expectations, budgets, personality. Tricky.

map of CubaI usually plan my trips carefully. What I mean I like to know what is where to see, read the forums what to avoid and what to expect but then go where the trip takes me. This time I also made a draft of the plan trip and then recognised I want this trip to be different for me. No leadership just going with the flow and will of others. Very surprising for everyone as well as for me but I don’t regret it. It felt good. I don’t even have a sense I was doing something i didn’t want to do. But I guess next trip will be back to normal me.

This year I’m trying to learn a lesson how to live without the constant need of control. I’m trying to get rid of the fear of living the life I want. Fear of judgement, fear of confrontation and many other fears. I hope I will learn it before the year is over and this is where this attitude of ‘letting go’ comes from. It worked on the trip. I didn’t feel responsible for the direction of our trip, I didn’t feel responsible of ensuring there are no conflicts in or group and I didn’t feel responsible for everyone having a good time (I usually do feel pressured). It made me feel at some point ‘sinful’ but well I got over it.

And just one last thing. Before we went on this trip I read a book Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos EireIt’s a weird book, memoirs of a young boy growing up in Cuba. Full of fears and hatred towards lizards. At times I was looking for Hawana from this book and I didn’t find it. Also I haven’t seen any lizards in capital of Cuba.

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