A Journey through Time: Cuban Diaries (Part 1)
Coming up with blog post titles is always the hardest part about writing them, but in this case, this title was definitely most fitting. You’ll soon find out why.
Ahhh Cuba. Other than Greece (read: Santorini), Cuba has been on my bucket list of places to visit for so long. (Not only because I share a last name with Uncle Fidel...kidding...but maybe not kidding if it works in my favor--I’ll save that story time for later), but mostly because it is a country that has remained so out of touch with the rest of the world for as long as we can all remember--making it such a mysterious place that we only really know about through what we are told. With Cuba ONLY having access for the first time to internet (aka the rest of the world) in 2007, you can only imagine what it must be like for los cubanos to have to catch up with the rest of the world. With social media and the internet being such a big part of my life, you can only imagine how curious I was to see and experience first hand what life was like in a country that was truly a world away from mine. So that is why
I HAD to see Cuba this year.
For so long, this was mostly just a pipe dream and passing phrase that I would say jokingly to people when they would ask me what my next adventure would be. But with all the (questionable) changes going on in the U.S., I knew I had to make moves soon, otherwise I would never see this bucket list dream destination of mine--so I did it! Bought the ticket, jumped the hoops and hurdles and made it to my bucket list dream destination where I salsa’d my nights away. Kidding. But not really.
I’ll be curating multiple blog posts about Cuba with tips, must knows, and an extensive planning guide following this post because I’ve gotten a ton of questions--but for now I just wanted to provide you guys with a diary of my trip! If you have anymore questions after reading this (especially of my excursions and such), please feel free to let me know so I can answer them in my upcoming posts.
Day 1 - Las Vegas → JFK
So Day 1 was not technically in Cuba yet, but I figured I should start from the beginning of my journey. If you don’t know, there are only 10 cities that can fly out of the U.S. to Cuba:
-New York City, Newark, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston,Los Angeles
Since I obviously live in Las Vegas, I had to fly to NYC to connect to Cuba. If you live anywhere other than these 10 cities, you will most likely have to connect in one of those 10 cities. When I got to JFK, I quickly exchanged my USD for Canadian dollars (I’ll explain why in my next post) and made my way to my gate. In order to enter Cuba, you MUST have a Pink Cuban tourist visa that will only be given to you if you qualify for one of the 12 official approved reasons a U.S. citizen can make this trip (which I will again explain in an upcoming blog post).
I got my Visa--which you can only pay with card by the way. I was flying JetBlue so I had WiFi on the plane for about 3 hours (out of the 4) and the WiFi stopped working once I was past Miami and near Havana.
And so the travel back in time begins.
The story continues in Part 2