I recently realized it has almost been one year since I went to Cuba and as I have been feeling a bit of fernweh as well I thought it would be a great time to share some photos from my trip in January. Cuba also happens to also be the most recent international trip i’ve been on which is a far cry from my numerous trips in 2016 (i’m crying so hard on the inside about this, okay maybe a little bit on the outside too) as it has been a complicated year for me in regards to travels. I am beyond happy that my friend helped make this trip happen in January or else I might have not left the country at all this year and that would have been a travesty! My friend and I had been talking about going to Cuba for years and decided to take advantage of the window for easy travel as we were (rightfully) worried about changes with the incoming administration here in the US.
We left for Cuba a few long, long days after the inauguration. It turned out to be a great time to go as we were almost completely disconnected from the endless new cycle and could take a breather from what would become an unsurprisingly hot mess of a year here in the US. We were easily able to disconnect due to the logistics of using the internet (which I talk more about in this article) and for once the lack of internet was a complete relief. Throughout our time in Havana we would occasionally get stopped by Cubans (some definitely trying to get us to go to some sort of tourist trap, but were still nice and not aggressive about it) to ask where we were from (especially since I am tall and white and my friend looks Asian but is Mexican, so we are quite the duo) and when we would answer the US. More than once we got the reply Obama good, Trump bad, to which we laughed and agreed completely, while being worried on the inside for what was ahead for our country.
Our 10 days in Cuba were everything we could have wanted and left us immediately wanting to go back to explore more of the beautiful country. We were so lucky to meet some fantastic younger Cubans who were more than happy to take us under their wing and show us a good time in Havana (check out more about our lovely friends here). Everyone we met were so friendly, helpful and so happy to share their love for their country with us. There was palatable energy of hope, community, and vibrance as we wandered around the different towns we visited.
Cuba was also a photographic paradise, for me, as I love street photography and there was no shortage of interesting things to photograph. I took around 3,000 photos in our time there and could have stayed so much longer to take more. While it was very hard to narrow down my selection of images to the ones I have for this post, I think this selection encapsules some of the country you don’t normally see in tourist photos from Cuba.
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If you are interested in more information about the logistics of visiting Cuba and what to do in some popular places to visit check out my posts by clicking below!
Also for those interested in the more “photo geek” details most of these photos were taken with my Canon 5D Mark III & 24-105mm f/4 lens. Its a bit of a beast of a camera but with a crossbody strap I don’t find it too bad to carry around and the quality is fantastic. All photos were shot in RAW and edited with Adobe Lightroom.