Thursday, May 7, 2015
It's Finally Here...Time to Go to Cuba!
I'm 50. That's right. So, it's finally time for me to announce that there have been some changes in the world this week, that I've been waiting for my whole life. I love to travel. I hate to even think that there are places that I would not be welcome or that I would not be allowed to travel to. I honestly thought that by this time in the universe, people would be able to get along. Well, this week has seen historic changes in our relationship with Cuba. Jetblue will be offering services to Cuba starting July 3, 2015. The government here has also granted four licenses to operate ferry services from Florida to Cuba.
We've seen the foodies, the late night talk show hosts, the news people, Michael Moore and Anthony Bourdain running around Cuba. We've seen the classic American cars that cruise the streets of Havana. We've seen travel shows on Amazon Prime. We know that the rest of the world has been traveling to Cuba forever, enjoying the wonders that are Cuba. Finally, I belong to an era of American travelers that can make this amazing place part of their official bucket list.
What is Cuba really like? I can't wait to find out. I want to see the beaches, the forts, Havana, the limestone valley, the waterfalls, the hills, the colonial towns, the tobacco farms, the cigar factories, the nightclubs and all of it. I know that it's just another Caribbean Island nation, but it's like forbidden fruit, isn't it? This feels like the 1990's when it was finally all right to go the the Soviet Block countries. That was a great feeling that prompted me to spend Christmas in Russia and sit on top of the Berlin Wall. There's just nothing quite like that feeling of something being really new.
I've read and watched and talked to people who actually got a visa to go to Cuba, and it sounds like something that I would really enjoy. I think that the culture is the thing that I want to experience. I want to see what people think of me. I find it interesting. Cuba is home to some of the most famous cigars in the world. They were the birthplace of the Tropicana Nightclub. They are known for their nightlife. Anyone who has traveled there from other countries around the world will tell you that it is beautiful, fun, friendly, tourism minded, and unique. They are a communist country, but who cares? We've been traveling and doing business with China for decades. It's time to let it go of troubles from the 1960's and get on with letting people travel there. We can go to other countries that we've had disputes with over the years, now can't we?
This is a great opportunity for Key West and Cuba to work together on celebrating Ernest Hemingway as well. The author lived in both places during his lifetime and is celebrated on both islands. Now, you'll be able to start at one home and continue on to the other. It's just one more historical perk of opening up travel to Cuba. The country is full of history dating back centuries, through the Spanish explorers and beyond. It's been a hole in travel plans for Americans for decades, and now it's back. Rejoice!
Cuba is a beautiful island that is no longer off limits. Come and see the old time buildings, the museums, the coffee plantations and bistros. Come to the recently land of forbidden fruit travel and see one of the few places that have remained off limits during my lifetime. Come and see what all the fuss is about. Come and see the beauty and the fun and the lifestyles of Cuba.