I first met Cindy and Amara when I was invited to a Sunday brunch in Washington, DC.
It was an encounter I would not soon forget. I was particularly intrigued by these sisters because they are both stunningly gorgeous, and they possessed a unique sense of style. They were different yet the also possessed similar qualities – they were both extremely sweet and social. We engaged in conversation on a wide variety of topics, most centering around culture. Admittedly, I received quite the education that day on topics of Africa and current events. While I pride myself on surrounding myself with educated and progressive thinkers, clearly I need to have brunch with this entire squad frequently.
Cindy and Amara, both in their 30’s, traveled to Cuba during the “wet” season. They specifically visited two magnificent cities – Havana and Varadero. I feel that we have all heard of Havana, Cuba, but Varadero -not so much. Even though it was supposed to be the wet season, it never rained at all. In fact, it was quite hot and the rain would have been a welcomed relief!
These sisters travel at least once per year, schedule permitting. And this becomes really tricky as they love to travel together but synchronizing their schedules is challenging.
When traveling to Cuba, Cindy shared that they preferred to dress like the natives, and I must say that after looking at their glorious pictures, they did an amazing job. The colors, the ruffles, the skirts, the head coverings…I felt all of it! Cindy also had this to say about their travel style:
“When we were younger, our family would travel twice a year to beautiful 5-star resorts all around the Caribbean, South America, and occasionally Europe.
However, after visiting two 5-star resorts a year for seven years, they became less interesting and honestly, they all started to look the same. We eventually became bored of just laying out in the sun with the occasional water sports thrown in. We realized a long time ago that we were missing a vital point of traveling which includes discovering a country, its culture, and its people. Exploring new cultures and trying new authentic foods is our motivation today. Don’t get me wrong, resorts are a great; especially for the untraveled. But if you’re young and full of energy, I would recommend staying with the locals, partying with the locals, and eating where the locals eat! “
Cindy this is great advice, pending the safety and security of such ambitious adventures. Travelers should be willing to explore and also take the time necessary to be educated about the territory which they plan to explore.
I asked Cindy what made them choose Cuba as their travel destination, and this is what she said: ” With the Cuban thaw in full force, we wanted to visit Cuba before it lost its authenticity; before it became too “touristy.” Cuba has virtually remained untouched for over fifty years so it theoretically allows travelers to travel back in time and experience living history!”
I must say that this reasoning totally resonated with me, as I too would love to travel to Cuba in the near future. How about you?
While there are too many things to list that were worthy of falling in love within Cuba, it was hard for these sisters to make a selection, but when pressed to narrow it down, this is what they had to say:
“There was so much to fall in love with in Cuba! If I had to choose it would be the music. Cuba is like living in a real-life musical. You wake up serenaded by the sounds of a Spanish guitar and hummingbirds outside your window. Every restaurant had a live band. Teens would meet up to rumba dance in the streets at night. Elderly couples would breakout in salsa dance mid-day in a cafe. It was truly amazing to experience a developed country that has not been transfixed by technology. Instead of technology, music was their hypnosis and everyone seemed to bond by virtue of it.”
I love this because imagine just for one entire day enjoying distraction-fee and technology-free peaceful moments. Ahhhhh, I can see it now…
Cindy shared that she enjoyed her breakfast on the balcony, which was rather traditional – boiled eggs, fruit, and coffee. She explained that there was too much to do, food was the last thing on their minds. I’m such a foodie, I was waiting to salivate at the thought of an amazing meal. LOL
Last, Cindy and Amara shared that Havana is beautiful but the true hidden gem in Cuba is Varadero. They’d recommend that travelers visit Varadero while in Cuba. The white-sand beach is shallow enough to swim a mile in and still be only knee deep. Further, they stated that the nightlife in Varadero was amazing. Everyone was dancing; not one person against the wall. Their outdoor clubs are free entry but you pay for drinks. Their indoor clubs had a door price but drinks were unlimited.
I completely look forward to experiencing what Cindy and Amara experienced on this beautiful island.
Until next time Cuba…
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