Friday, July 11, 2014

Cuba | An Explanation: Traveling from the USA

A couple of years ago before my sister first brought up the idea of going to Cuba, I was under the impression, like many people, that it was impossible for anyone from the US to travel to this forbidden, untouchable island. After signing up for the trip, SO many people asked me different questions about how we were able to travel there. How is this legal? I didn't know you could go there. Are you going through Mexico? Be careful! Are you scared... Will you meet Fidel? ...
You can in fact travel to Cuba, legally from the United States. In order to travel you must be going for educational reasons.

Needless to say, I was extremely excited when RenĂ©e brought this possibility up. (During my late high school and early college years I had been so intrigued by the revolution, the missile crisis, the embargo, and the Cuban/US relationship (or lack there of.) I even read this book from front to back. 700 pages. Of information. I. Was. Crazy.) R found some really really awesome cultural tours: one through National Geographic Expeditions and one through a professor in California geared toward photography students. Both of these tours offered up very culturally rich experiences, but we were never sure about it. And the costs were quite expensive. Friends of ours had brought up the idea of heading over through Mexico, but it was just too risky. The thought of traveling over illegally did not sit well with us. 

Finally, after years of mulling over the options, our college Spanish professor created a culture study trip through our alma mater. We knew immediately that we were going on this trip. There was no doubt in our minds and there was NO WAY we would be missing this opportunity. We were among the first to sign up for a trip that only offered 20 spots. We enrolled in the class through our college and were given all of the appropriate letters and documents from MLC in order to travel with out problems.

Those 10 days were some of the most eye opening and educational of my life. I am so so happy that I was able to take this trip to see this untouched land where time has virtually stopped.
Seriously, guys, it was pretty bangin'!

If you ever have the opportunity to travel there -- take it! Really!

This weekend I'm in FL for my best friend's wedding and it will be epic! I hope you all have a great weekend!


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