#Cuba - it’s a place simultaneously trapped in time and evolving. To those who have not yet visited, especially would-be American tourists caught in the see-saw of confounding American policy, it remains that Caribbean island just out of reach, veiled in a bit of mystery, somewhat beleaguered by cliches - yet all the while massively appealing and understandably so, but for reasons that can only truly be realized once witnessed in person.
I’ve dreamt of exploring Cuba for longer than I can remember. Less than 2 weeks ago (and just in the nick of time), Mark and I finally made our way there. Through the lenses of true locals, our guide Reynier and driver Roberto, we were exposed to the real Cuba - an entirely different sort of island paradise, one rich with complicated history, overflowing with vibrant culture, and brimming with warm-hearted, spirited, yet uber-chill locals eager to share their insightful and sometimes surprising perspectives.
This is a place that stirs the senses, inspires heavy contemplation, and gives all who visit due reason for pause. And especially in the steamy heat of summer, those pauses are often literal, near-desperate attempts to cool off. But those pauses also offer perfect opportunities to stop and take it all in, endlessly people-watch, and deliberate on the state of things in Cuba. After we left Roberto one afternoon temporarily to visit the Tren Blindado in #SantaClara, I caught this glimpse of him from a distance - lost in thought, casually perched on his beautifully maintained, ocean-blue 1952 Ford, unwittingly framed by the area’s lush foliage. And for now, this is how I will choose to remember alluring, fascinating Cuba.
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