Outtakes from Cuba

Travel restrictions to Cuba are back. People much wiser than me will share their position on the topic while I’m just sharing a few of my favorite images from my trip.

The world moves fast and many times my writing doesn’t keep up. Case in point: my January trip to Cuba. New restrictions placed on travel to Cuba (for U.S. citizens only) mean Americans can no longer travel the way I did.

Many people will write more elegant thoughts on why President Trump’s reversal of Obama’s looser restrictions is right (or wrong, to be fair). Here’s my brief thought: its wrong.

I don’t agree that tourist dollars go straight to “the government” as stated in the reversal of travel restrictions. It’s my opinion that mandating US travelers visit Cuba under a “cultural exchange” tour is ridiculous. You think the government doesn’t dictate where these tours go? Give me a break. Further, these tours are triple the price of solo travel or making your own arrangements as a group.

Sadly, what’s done is done. I agonized about going to Cuba. I hadn’t traveled in a large group, or with this group of people, our accommodations were made last minute and overpriced. Yes, I also thought about traveling to a communist country. Its something I’d never done before. While some said, “it’ll be a breeze” you just don’t know what to expect or what can happen. Ultimately, a friend convinced me to say yes. I’m glad I went. It was such a unique experience. Perhaps even the equivalent of travelers bragging rights.

Because it’s an experience many people now won’t have, I do feel conflicted about writing about. I don’t naively believe I have millions of readers. I write as a hobby, primarily for myself. But, if you actually take the time to read my musings (thank you), isn’t it a bit like putting dessert in front of a child while saying, “sorry not for you?”

While I wrestle with my own inner conflict (a bit of sarcasm)… here are a few of my personal favorite images from Cuba. Enjoy!

Colors of Trinidad, Cuba
The colors around the city of Trinidad are like nothing I’ve seen. Soft pastels that are just beautiful while calling out to be photographed. 
The band played on
By the time I left Cuba, I felt like something was missing if we weren’t being serenaded by musicians. It a way of life for many Cubans but it was a treat to sit in cafes listening to salsa, mariachi or something else.
Fishing Off the Malecón
The Malecón is a five mile highway along the coastal portions of Havana. Its a long walk from Old Havana to the famous Nacional Hotel, where travelers folk for fancy drinks and lovely views of Havana Harbor. I loved seeing the locals out fishing (and of course blue sky and ocean) along the way.