Why you should visit Cuba right now
Because Cuba in 2016 will be so different than Cuba in 2026
- •Cars. Obviously.While they are a royal pain in the ass for the locals (gas guzzlers, maintenance) they are THE WAY to see Havana.
- •Architecture.This is what most of Havana looks like. Beautiful and in need of some TLC. The government decides which houses get painted each year. So it's pretty fascinating to drive through the city and see some areas getting restored, while others appear ghost- like.
- •Politics.We are living history right now. It will be so fascinating to see what happens in Cuba over the next 10+ years. This photo was taken where Castro makes many of his speeches to the country.
- •History.Talk about a country rich with history. So many battles lost and won involving Cuba. It is a historians Disneyland.
- •Cabarets.The Tropicana was unlike any show I've been to. Running since 1939 without missing a SINGLE NIGHT is extraordinary in and of itself. But the costumes and talent alone make it worthwhile.
- •Cigars.Well, duh.
- •Rum.Havana Club is sold almost exclusively alongside one or two other local brands. You can get a bottle for about $4 US. And they add it to just about anything. (Note the photo of my hubs and I in the marketplace enjoying some in some coconut water.)
- •Because we don't realize how good we have it.Make no mistake. Our freedom is something that we take for granted. We have poverty. But we also have freedom of choice and freedom of speech. We aren't rationed on what we can buy from the grocery store. We can choose to be a doctor, a computer programer, a teacher, a lawyer, a realtor. They don't choose. Each person earns about $20 a month unless they're a doctor or a cigar roller. If you are lucky enough to work in the travel industry, you can earn tips.
- •Because it isn't commercialized...yetHavana hold so much beauty and tradition. While many of its inhabitants are devastatingly poor, this country is unlike any other that surrounds it. I hope that, while change is bound to come, it retains all of the charm and uniqueness that kept me begging for more.