I don’t know if I should hug her or cuss her, my mother, that is. She is at least partly to blame for my inheritance of that pesky little DRD4-7R gene, otherwise known as the Wanderlust Gene.
I woke up to a dreary gray December morning a few weeks ago and that darn gene kicked in. The need to travel and see something new and escape from the cold damp winter was overwhelming. So, instead of taking a deep breath and letting it pass like normal people do, I booked an impromptu trip to warm sunny Cuba, knowing my partner in wanderlust crime, BG as my mom is affectionately known, would be up for it.
I know your first reaction is, what about the travel restrictions? I did some research, knowing there are 12 categories under which an American citizen can visit Cuba, and found that because I have a Blog I qualify under the journalist category. BG is an artist and qualifies as a professional doing research as she will be studying the historic Cuban architecture and gathering subject matter for her artwork. Both of us however, also qualify under the category of Support for the Cuban People, because we will be meeting with local sailing schools (me) and artists (BG), visiting museums and markets, and discussing Cuban society with locals (I’ve scheduled a tour of Havana with a local economist!) Drinking Papa Dobles or Cuba Libres at the Floridita doesn’t count as Support for the Cuban People!
The biggest restriction for Americans traveling in Cuba is we must avoid all transactions with a GAESA-owned (military-owned) business, including many hotels. A complete list of who to avoid is on the US Department of State website.
Because we can not stay at many of the hotels, we chose to look into Airbnb options, or as they are known in Cuba, Casa Particulares. We will be spending our first night in Havana in an awesome place with a view of Havana’s Capitolio (capital building), and the next morning we will hop on a bus to spend a few days visiting the historic towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, then back to Havana.
Cienfuegos is home to the Dream Yacht Charter base, so I will be scouting out the next chartering destination, so stay tuned for information on potential sailing opportunities in Cuba and highlights from our trip!