Healing through travel: Cuba

”Your soul was not created to sit in a cubicle and make money, you came here to make memories that will surpass time and space”

Esmeralda Garcia.

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When I first started this blog, I really had no idea what direction my writing would take, I just knew I wanted to share my experiences and help others in their own path to emotional recovery and spirituality.  And to be honest, I doubted myself a lot, and I still do.  I want honesty to be a clear foundation between my readers and me, I am not in the search of blinded followers, my heart desires to build relationships with my readers.

The platform that I want to create is: using travel as a way to free my soul and heal the many wounds created along the way, all the way from the first breath to the present moment.  You often hear that time heals everything. Indeed this is real but add a beautiful vacation to a destination of your choosing, and there you have a match made in heaven.

Speaking of which, Time has taught me is that the healing process cannot be rushed, you truly have to sit with all your emotions as hard and challenging as they may be. It took patience and commitment, but there is no more rewarding thing than looking back and realizing how much knowledge you have attained or even how much you have healed, give yourself acknowledge your progress. Do not follow the voice of the inner critic, it will never give you the encouragement you need.

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Now, back to my trip to Cuba, this adventure came with a lot of fear, doubts, and challenges, flying on a plane triggers my anxiety, and it is tough to deal with even with the amount of knowledge I have picked up over the past year. You probably wouldn’t even guess this with the amount of travel  I have done this year alone, but this as well is part of my journey, overcoming this fear every time so I can get to my next destination.

I have realized that although I live in a big city which brings a lot of incredible opportunities, my heart is set on the countryside. I love the rain, the trees, and don’t even get me started on watching the stars on a clear, beautiful night and for my blessing, Cuba offered this and more.

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I think the best way for anyone to connect with themselves while being away is to disconnect from distractions and noise. I came here with the intention not to use my phone, and I have to admit it was an excellent way to remain present, not checking my phone every 5mins to check on social media updates.  In this millennial age we live, our phones have become a part of ourselves, and using it on a daily basis as the answer to everything is easy to forget how much we take for granted in the outside world.

In this beautiful country, one of the best assets I encountered were the people, the hosts at the house we stayed were so kind and genuine I honestly felt like I was visiting long time friends, this was a great sign for me to let my guard down and let them in. I never really encountered such feeling with my family but it always amazes me how strangers can make you feel so at home yet they don’t really know who you are. This restores my hope in this world becoming a better one for everyone.

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We stayed about 45 mins from the capital: la Habana, and it was truly the best decision we could have made, I love the feeling of being surrounded by nature everywhere you look and the peace of observing all these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.  Another perk that we had was: the beach, about 5 mins away from the house, how wonderful to be there with all the locals and see things through their eyes. Reading so much about the Cuban “situation” you’d expect to see a lot of sadness and catastrophe but what I witnessed was nothing but pure joy and happiness. There wasn’t really one moment while being in the country where I felt unsafe or uncomfortable.

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But, because nothing is ever perfect this trip did not come without any lessons not just for me but also for the rest of the group, I will share the most enlightening and powerful of our experience. We are so privileged, so damn lucky of the many opportunities we get every day, yet we are very ungrateful, and we take all this privilege for granted. I thought to myself, how lucky I am where I get to make a commitment to be a vegetarian, and although I have profound ethical and spiritual reasons to choose this when you can barely afford the basics, this becomes a sacrifice, not a choice as it is for me and many of us.

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On our last day in Cuba we visited ”el Barrio” this translates to: ”the hood”.  El Barrio located a block away from one of the main streets: Calle Obispo. Just walk one block, and you will see poverty and a lot of struggle, kids running around the streets with bikes I have never seen anyone here in NY riding. Sadly enough I have seen many beautiful toys in the trash those kids would kill for. But you know what else I saw: happiness, humility, open hearts and genuine smiles.

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My girlfriend asked me if we could take the kids to eat ice cream with us, I must admit she is more kindhearted than me, I thought to refuse, but her desire to make a difference genuinely inspires me, and boy was it inspiring. We took them to the same street where all the tourists walk around, I dare to assume this is not something they often do.  They were so happy, it brought me back to my own childhood, I was just like one of them, I did not have luxuries or even some basic needs, but I was so happy. Seeing them so excited and contempt makes you wonder why is it so hard for adults to be happy having it all while kids who have nothing feel on the top of the world over getting ice cream on a hot day in Habana.

I had one of the best experiences of my life, and the more I know myself, the more this brings me closer to those around me.I cannot wait to take you with me on my next adventure.

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Healing through travel: Cuba

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