Thirdeyemom

Cuba Bound!

Today I’m in Miami where early tomorrow morning I will be boarding a charter flight to Havana, Cuba for a week’s long cultural exchange tour. I am fantastically excited as I’ve been dreaming about going to Cuba ever since I was a teenager standing at the famous Mallory Pier in Key West, Florida looking across the 90-miles of ocean that separate the United States from Cuba.

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Cuba has always captivated and mystified the American people especially in a sense due to her forbidden nature. The United States’s economic, commercial and trade embargo with Cuba known locally as “el bloqueo” was implemented over a half a century ago on October 19, 1960 and imports to Cuba were blocked in 1962.  For decades, all travel from the United States to Cuba was illegal unless of course you snuck in through the back door mainly via Mexico or Canada.

Although the trade embargo continues, travel restrictions to Cuba were finally lifted in 2011 by President Obama, slowly beginning with Cuban Americans who wanted to see family and moving to include American tourists authorized through “people to people” cultural exchanges.

A National Geographic article on Cuba last year prompted my interest in finally seriously considering a way to visit. I began researching on the few, licensed US Companies that provide People-to-People tours in Cuba and found Insight Cuba. Ironically, I’ve traveled with their sister company before, Cross-Cultural Solutions, as an international volunteer to Costa Rica and Morocco, thus I know that Insight Cuba would be a great choice as a tour operator.

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I leave for Havana tomorrow morning on a charter flight and will be exploring Cuba’s culture for the next seven days. I can hardly wait! Our itinerary is booked solid with visits with local musicians, architects, schools, museums and most of all, with Cuban people. It will be an amazing journey and I have my notebook and camera ready. I am certain I will learn a ton of fascinating things to share when I get back.

I may not write at all on thirdeyemom over the next week and a half as the internet connection is supposedly extremely slow. But I may have time to post pictures on my Facebook page and Instagram. (If you want to follow me on either of those social media outlets, check my About.me page which will take you there).

But rest assured, I will have many fabulous stories and countless photos to share upon my return. I’m ready now to step back in time, and see those old 1959 American cars. Hasta luego! 

50 comments

    • Thanks! It was a great great trip! I just got home and loved it! Will be writing in detail about it. Just need to go through the past 10 days of my life here at home! 🙂

  1. I hope you like Havana more than I did. I found the living conditions of ordinary Cubans appalling. The food was I edible and the place is falling down and some of it is irretrievable.

    • I have done a lot of reading lately on Cuba and know that it is going to r an eye-opener which will require that third eye! I am looking forward to the cultural leaning I will do. If the food is bad then lucky me I will drop the extra weight I gained over winter! 🙂

  2. How fantastic. By chance, did you read the book Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana? Provides an interesting insight into life there. Have a great time!

  3. Cool glad you will finally get your dream Nicole. As you say internet is poor and expensive. Havana may be different, but the resort town it is that way, so I am always off line when there.
    Have fun.

  4. I am so jealous! I would love to visit Cuba!!! I’ll be looking for you on Instagram. And for your stories whenever you get back.
    I just read Jo’s comment…mine sounds like a duplicate 🙂

  5. I’m so excited for you. It’s a trip I’m wanting to take, living in South Florida and studying culture as a life commitment. I can’t wait to read your reviews of the company. I may book the company you mentioned if you recommend them as a good experience. I have a chapter in my novel that I want to take place in Cuba, so I really need to visit. Oh, and I got engaged in Mallory Square, it is a wonderful place 🙂 I hope it was a good experience.

    • Thanks! Cuba was WONDERFUL! I loved each and every minute of it. More coming soon on my blog and yes my company was fantastic! I highly recommend it.

  6. I’m so extremely jealous and excited for you at the same time! I’ve been having literal dreams of Cuba. Since I returned from Colombia, Cuba has popped into my head as a destination and I can’t get it to go away. I can’t wait to read all about your experience!

    • Thanks Jessica! I LOVED LOVED Cuba. Just amazing. It is taking me a bit of time to catch up. Feeling so swamped but excited to get into writing about the trip! 🙂 Definitely a destination to hit especially before it opens up.

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