We may be obsessed with majorly luxurious hotels but we have done our share of down and dirty travel. If our parents taught us anything it’s that travel should open your eyes and that it’s purpose is to seek new stories. This was a lesson tirelessly learned marching around Paris, almost dying of heat exhaustion in Washington DC, viewing every painting in the Warsaw National Gallery, and climbing vistas in the Tatra Mountains. We were taught to never seek a “shallow” vacation. Of course that means doing what normal people do and laying on a beach with bevies… Shhhh don’t tell our dad but we love doing that.
That being said there are locations that we would love to see before we die kind of thing. None of them are that outlandish. We’re not determined to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or anything. We’ll settle for a week in Cuba.
When thinking about potentially taking a trip there we realized how little we actually know about Cuba – its history, its culture and anything about what it may be like to live there is somewhat of a mystery. Obviously, it’s not a nation of great wealth or luxury but you see these images of amazing beaches, gorgeous European style stucco buildings, colorfully dressed women dancing and people sitting back enjoying quality time with a beverage (a rum one I would imagine).
Upon looking into it further we found amazing imagery of a place that appears to for the most part to be held back in time. The classic American cars used as cabs, the old architecture that is in need of some tender loving care are all mixed together with UNESCOs World Heritage Site in Trinidad, which can boast being one of the world’s best preserved examples of Spanish colonial architecture.
What would be our must experience list?
1. An early evening walk along Havana’s Malécon (Havana’s version of a boardwalk)
2. Experiencing a fancy night out at the Tropicana. Apparently if there’s anywhere in the world to smoke a cigar then this is it.
3. Seeing a neighborhood Afro-Cuban dance. I mean maybe we’ll be those cheesy tourists that try to join in.
4. Speaking of music. Cuban reggae or rap at the local clubs. Um hello. Sign us up.
5. For 20 kilometers of white sand and beautiful beach front Varadero Beach is supposed to be the place to go. The fact that every website cautions you of being approached by prostitutes on the beaches is actually kind of fascinating.
6. At least one amazing mojito, it is the national beverage.
As kids raised in a family that will probably never recover from the mark’s of Eastern European communism we find any place going through the same struggles completely fascinating. What better story to tell then an entire nation that’s stuck in a different era? With a beautiful quasi European feel not yet touched by Facebook? Minus the political leanings maybe they have the right idea… Maybe staying focused on good food, good music and time spent in the sun isn’t that bad of a goal. Makes you wonder how far our “being advanced” has actually gotten us. There is something really refreshing when traveling to places in which you remember that we don’t need all the shit we have to be satisfied.