You know the feeling you get when you’re just so tired of reliving the same routine over and over again? Yea! I’ve been feeling that way for the past few months now, so when a friend of mine randomly called me to travel with her to Cuba, I instantly shouted out YES! FREE ME FROM THIS SUNKEN PLACE I’M TEMPORARILY TRAPPED IN CALLED NEW YORK CITY!!! After my dramatic scene, I booked my ticket and started planning my vacation :)
Before I get into the exciting part of my trip, let’s briefly discuss the major necessities for traveling there.
Firstly, you need a VISA and passport! I was able to purchase my visa the same day at the airport. Luckily that took no longer than about 10 to 15 mins, depending on how long the line is. I traveled with United Airlines (don’t side-eye me you guys, they had cheap airfare alright!, lol), on a direct flight from Newark, NJ to Cuba which was about 3 hours tops!
Cash is a MUST! NO debit or credit cards are accepted in Cuba whatsoever, so make sure to bring more than enough money for your day-to-day expenses. I converted my US dollars to euros in NY, then once I arrived to Cuba, I converted it to CUC’s, which is the currency used for tourists out there.
Now to the fun stuff:
My friends and I stayed at an Airbnb in La Habana, which is not too far from Old Havana. We explored the many restaurants and clubs around our neighborhood and admired the many colorful homes in Cuba. After we became a bit more familiar, we walked to the Malecón, which is a beautiful hangout spot by the water.
The following day we booked a tour to the Viñales! There we gained so much insight on Cuban’s culture. We managed to observe firsthand what makes Cuba so great by learning about the local shops and engaging in horseback riding. What I enjoyed most was making coffee and tobacco, entering historic caves, viewing all the artwork and eating up some delicious home style cooked food!
That entire experience was so breathtaking and an eye opener for me.I was anxious to get to Old Havana because I was told that it is one of the most beautiful places to visit and trust me when I say, IT IS! From museums, to restaurants, vintage cars and festivals, Old Havana definitely did not disappoint. After visiting Museo De La Revolucion, which is a museum that reflects the history of the late Fidel Castro, we participated in a rum tour to learn all about the origin of Cuba’s favorite.
Our time in Cuba was spent strategically well, I must say! especially being that there is No wifi in the country (unless you purchase wifi cards for 3-5 CUC’s for only one hour). With all the amazing things that were happening, unfortunately, something terrible transpired towards the end of my trip. Yup! that’s right guys, I LOST MY IPHONE 7 PLUS!!!!! *insert dramatic cry* I was extremely devastated and was completely confused as to where I would’ve misplaced it. Till this day, I’m still not sure but luckily for me I have really super-poppin’ friends that helped me get through such a tragic lost. After searching long and far, retracing my steps and asking every person at the beach resort if they knew anything, I slowly but surely began to lose hope. I was certain that having no wifi affected my chances of my photos being stored on my iCloud account.
(See what society has done, I was more worried about my photos being lost than my damn phone, haha, so sad). Interestingly enough, my friends cheered me up by making me re-create the photos I took for that day on their phone :-)Overall, Cuba was amazing! I had a great time and that mini vacation was highly needed. So for those of you who are thinking about your next trip, I recommend Cuba! You won’t regret it :-)
–BeYou. BeTrue. Be ART