If you don’t know that I went to Cuba recently… you haven’t been following along. I wrote two blog posts before I left ( ) and have been posting about it non stop since I’ve returned. So if you didn’t know… tuh I’m disappointed in you!
Alright alright.. enough with the guilt trip I’m over it. But what I can’t get over is my actual trip. Cuba was absolutely, positively phenomenal. It was more than I expected and I highly recommend it as a place to visit if you so choose. Now I’ll quickly go over some of the high and low points with you, but most of all you can catch my full adventure in the vlog below!
Millennial Gets Lost In Cuba: Highs And Lows Of Visiting Cuba
Best Cuba Moments
The Culture: Cuban culture is hands down one of my favorite that I’ve experienced so far. The people are so friendly, and you can feel the Cuban culture everywhere you go. Whether it is the beautiful cars, the music playing in the street, or the goods in their marketplace you feel Cuban in every inch of Cuba. The people were so welcoming. Our Air BNB was smack in central Havana, and we felt immersed in the culture. Especially because every morning the cutest abuelita would be sitting in her balcony across from us.
Cuba is so filled with culture, and we took every opportunity to learn more than what we knew when we landed. Central Havana has pretty much everything you need write at your footstep. We stayed 10 minutes from their Central Park, and everything was easily accessible. Restaurants, museums, everything !!
The Weather/ Beach: The weather was absolutely perfect, and since winter just don’t want to head on out, coming back home was so difficult. And can we talk about the beach for the moment… simply breath taking. I am a huge beach fan, and I was able to go to the beach in Cuba twice. Any beach you’ve been to in America will never compare… just take my word for it!
The Cars: I know I know… to us their old classics but to them its their only option. And I fully get that, but there is something about how amazing these cars must have been (and the mechanics to keep them running) to have lasted so long. When you go on tours/ taxi rides the older classic cars (which are almost always in really great condition I must say- there are no seat belts though) they do cost a bit more than the regular closed roof cars. So I recommend taking them 1-2 times on your trip just to say you did and get some great photo ops. The rest of the time, save some coin by taking regular cars/taxis.
Not The Best Cuba Moments
The Food: I am an extremely extremely picky eater and often have some kind of dietary restriction going on (sugar free or vegan usually). So I knew that going in to Cuba, I’d have to be a bit more adventurous and have less restrictions. I entered with an open mind, and left with some underwhelmed taste buds. Cuba is still on the upswing when it comes to culinary exploration. We traveled with salt and pepper to help tackle any issues with blandness, but the restaurants we ate in usually had it to offer. I’m not a seafood eater at all, so if you are I’ve heard great things about their seafood. I stuck mostly to rice and beans with some sort of chicken or beef. (I haven’t had red meat in over a year… my stomach is currently paying for it now)
Wifi: I’m one of those people who oddly likes to disconnect during vacations. BUT I do like to have access to WiFi to serve as a guide/GPS, to check in with my family back at home, and possibly maybe upload the occasional photo or two. Access to WiFi in Cuba is very limited and highly monitored. We were able to WiFi cards and use them in our Air BNB (an immense rarity… but our host really held us down with this crucial amenity). I never felt that I was all the way 100% disconnected from the world, because I was able to FaceTime my family for a few minutes here and there, but I can understand other people’s frustration with having to go to a WiFi center and be timed while surfing the web. This one for me.. wasn’t too much of a big deal. I just mention it incase you are planning to head to Cuba, don’t expect to have the easiest time connecting to a WiFi hot spot (especially if you have an iPhone)
The Cat Calling & Non Stop Hustle: While 99.8 percent of the people in Cuba are remarkably sweet and genuine people, there are a few that aim to spoil the bunch. Coming from NYC I’m no stranger to cat calling as I am walking down the street. It is second nature to walk by a guy talking nonsense when I walk by. However for me… the Cuban men took it to a whole new level. The consistent whistles, and kissy noises made as my friend and myself walked by was out of control. My friend pointed out that it was because we looked “exotic” due to our hair being a bit out of the norm. (mind you… she has dreadlocks and I have box braids installed). I get it… anything exotic will draw attention… but that attention I could’ve done without.
Besides the cat calling, Cuba has a non stop hustle mentality. They have to make money to survive and support their families, so I can not fault them for that. However you as a tourist, you need to always be on guard. I never felt unsafe in Cuba the entire 5 days. I did however feel that I was always a part of some sort of hustle or almost hustle. If someone comes up to you and gives you directions or a recommendation, they expect to be compensated, and will outright ask you for money. I read that this can sometimes happen before I left for my trip, and it happened to my friend and I twice. It happens so quickly, and both times unexpectedly. But soon as we realized the game a polite “no gracias” worked from then on.
Overall thoughts: I loved visiting Cuba and most of all I loved that I could barely tell who was actually a native and who wasn’t Cuban at all. Cubans come in all shapes, sizes, and colors so that was a refreshing realization to have when waking down the streets. I recommend heading to Cuba if you can, and it is definitely a trip that gives you some great bang for your buck. I brought over 700 dollars and only ended up using 300 over the course of 5 days. I’m sure I could’ve spent less if I had been a little more critical of my purchases while there. Watch my full adventure in Cuba below and let me know where is your next adventure to?
PS: I’ve already got mine planned… but I won’t say until we get a little closer! Until next time!
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.