I will be going to Cuba this upcoming week. Those are words I though I’d never type or say out loud. Throughout my childhood, I would ask my dad “when are we going to Cuba?” with his response being “Not sure – it’s not a good time.” It looks like it’s finally a good time.
Both of my parents were born and raised in Cuba. My dad grew up in a city called Pinar del Rio and my mom grew up in Guanabacoa near Havana. In Cuba, the correct spelling is actually La Habana, but I will refer to it as Havana in this post. I have family in Cuba that I have never met that we will visit in Havana, Pinar del Rio, and Viñales.
There is a lot of the country’s history and of my own family’s history that I have not been exposed to yet. My dad completed his medical degree in Havana and practiced in many clinics and hospitals in the area. My mom completed her college degree in the Soviet Union in the 1980s after leaving her home country, but returned after graduation and later met my dad. Both of them have streets and famous landmarks that they want to return to during the trip, as well as famous restaurants and hotels that we will encounter during our stay.
North Cuba, South Cuba
In 1992, my parents moved to Venezuela, where my younger brother and I would ultimately be born. In 2000, the four of us relocated to the United States – Miami, FL to be exact. I felt at home growing up in South Florida; during my time in Miami, my family connected with many of the Cuban people that had already moved to the US. We would later move a bit north to the Fort Lauderdale suburbs but our roots are still with Miami – my brother and I both graduated from the University of Miami and both of my parents work in Dade county. Miami is referred to as “North Cuba”, but now I am able to finally visit “South Cuba”, or the real Cuba.
Anticipation is Real
I’m looking forward to visiting the country of my parents’ birth with them and with my girlfriend. This trip has literally been years in the making, and the anticipation is building with every word that I write. I’ll be sure to post some photos for the blog when I return from the trip. I’ve got my GoPro ready to capture everything and anything from the country I’ve been waiting to visit for so long.
I will be going to Cuba this upcoming week … It looks like it’s finally a good time.