Food Poisoning and Single Cuban Ladies

 

I can’t stress enough how nice the people are once you get outside of Havana. It’s not that Cubans living in Havana are terrible people, they’re just living a different pace of life, in a different culture. You can see a real switch in the genuine kindness once you get outside the city.

The casa particular Lucas and I stayed in in Trinidad was owned by one of the nicest families I have ever met. The husband, Emilio was Swiss and his wife, Marcia Cuban. They had met here two years prior while he was on vacation. Marcia showed me how to prepare food the Cuban way using a pressure cooker for everything but rice which you use a rice cooker for. Their cleaning lady, Belkes even taught me how make Cuban blacks beans. Most people use a pressure cooker to cook everything and a rice cooker for rice. It’s rare here that a kitchen will even have an oven.

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Morro Castle and Grandma’s Ashes

 

I was over joyed to spend the day with two English speakers after primarily spending my days with people who only spoke Spanish. Lucas is 19 years, from Denmark and is traveling solo as well. We decided to travel together to Trinidad the following day by bus.

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Eating Ice Cream and Getting Wet

 

Ice cream is by far my all time favorite food. I had heard about this amazing ice cream place from one of the employees at my casa called Coppelia. Apparently for only 5 CUP, a little less than .25 cents you could get a huge bowl with 6 scoops of ice cream. A little side note, CUP is different from CUC. CUP are Cuban pesos, the national money that is to only be used by Cubans. There are roughly 24 CUP to 1 CUC. Tourists use CUC and generally pay more for things.

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New Friends and Churros

 

My last few days in Mexico City have been full of sightseeing and walking – lots and lots of walking.

I have been spending my days with a new friend named Cinthia. She contacted me before my trip through Couchsurfing. Cinthia has some experience traveling alone, so she reached out to offer her help. 

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Singing Karaoke and High Energy Dancing

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I had mentioned to Cinthia that I wanted to go to a Mexican karaoke bar. I love karaoke back home and wanted to see what it was like here. Her friend Wen picked us up and took us to a swanky karaoke bar full of 20-something-year-olds all dressed to impress. I felt like a Grandma with how much clothing I was wearing and I wasn’t wearing that much.

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Breakfast with Strangers and La Casa Azul

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I woke up starving – probably from all the walking we had done the day prior. I set out to find a delicious meal of street food for breakfast. My morning routine has been to get street food for breakfast from a different location each time and then wander around until I get lost. Thank god for Google maps.

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Where It All Began

 

I fell in love with travel at the age of 22. I impulsively purchased a ticket to Guatemala and signed up to volunteer at an orphanage. I went knowing nothing about the culture, what to expect, or who was picking me up from the airport. I left it all up to chance and the trip ended up being one the best months of my life. I realized two things about myself while in Guatemala – I love travel and I love Latin American culture.

When I returned home, I made a vow to myself that one day I would backpack from Belize to Brazil. Fast forward six countries over seven years, and my love for travel and Latin culture has not changed. However, I still have not accomplished the goal I set for myself those many years ago. The “right companion” or the “right time” always made for suitable excuses. Read More