I thought of posting this article a day before my trip to Cuba but I’m worried that I might receive an A-to-A (airport-to-airport) stamp from the immigration. It was not so easy to find the visa requirements for a Philippine citizen entering Cuba. I read in Tripadvisor that anyone who is a Canadian permanent resident does not need a special visa in Cuba. I verified this with the travelling agency in Victoria, BC. They were also in doubt at first. I sent an email to the Cuban embassy but did not receive any reply from them. Anyway, if you are reading this, then it means that I’ve successfully arrived in José Martí International Airport–the international airport in Havana.
It is going to be a two-week backpacking adventure in Cuba. I am covering the eastern side of this Caribbean island, starting in Baracoa (near Guantanamo) to Santiago to Trinidad to Sta. Clara and finally to Havana–save the best for last, we’ll see! I will be sharing my complete itinerary in a separate article.
I told myself that I will scribble my daily adventures in my blog. But I’ve heard this a couple of times during my trip in Laos, in Myanmar, in Korea and in Japan and I failed in all occasions. If Facebook is not blocked in Cuba and if I get a chance to connect to the internet (it’s not the priority by the way!) I will entertain you with my daily posts in my Facebook page: AldrinTravels. Go on, click the Like button. 🙂
This is going to be my first in Central America and my first backpacking trip after moving to Canada last year. It is very timely because I’ve been really busy with work. It’s a good opportunity to be distracted and spend a lot of time assessing my life (Uh oh I’m hearing some serious tones here). Do you get that tiring feeling when you’re adjusting to a new habitat and striving to quickly learn the ropes of a new job? You may not, but I do. So I decided to press my reset button.
Cuba had been my ultimate travel destination once I got my confirmation letter from the Canadian embassy in Singapore. I etched the letters C-U-B-A in stone. It was the photo of a vintage car in a seemingly frozen time that caught my attention. I didn’t want to miss that opportunity of experiencing the slow-paced simple Cuban life, which might diminish once “economic development” creeps in. I had the same motivation when I booked my flight to Myanmar a number of years ago.
I decided to make this trip as relaxing as possible. No, I’m not going to those exclusive resorts in Varadero nor eat in the expensive “tourist” restaurants. I am going to spend a lot of time talking to the locals and practice my quasi Spanish skills. I did not do an exhaustive itinerary nor read a lot of blogs. I’ll be there to be immersed with the culture, taste the Cuban Peso street food, drink the cacao chocolates (and the mojitos!!), smoke a Cuban cigar (?), learn how to dance salsa and capture interesting photos of people and the Cuban life.