Nerves for my trip
In February 2013, I board the plane for a three-week solo tour of Cuba. I am more nervous than usual. Since the fatal journey in 2010 with the Trans Siberia Express (by train from Moscow to Beijing) I have not made long journeys alone.
I watch a movie and talk to my neighbor on the plane. The conversation makes me even more nervous, because she is going to stay in a resort and does not dare to travel alone in Cuba. Just what I’m going to do! I used to have no problem with it, but the one trip that went wrong still plays through my mind. I sleep a bit and think I have already bought all guesthouses and buses so the route is fixed so it can’t be that difficult.
We land in the middle of the night, my transfer to Havana is ready. After an hour’s drive I arrive at a super nice hotel in one of the old historical building. I check in and get ready to go to sleep. I shift the time to local time and fall asleep.
The next day I wake up early and have an extensive breakfast. I get into conversation with a Dutch couple who have just traveled through Cuba for three weeks by car. I get some tips and check my clock. It’s time to meet my local agent to receive my hotel and transfer vouchers.
Something goes wrong
I take a seat downstairs in the salon. A little later, a woman approaches me, the agent. She says I’m late. I made a mistake in the clock setting and now she has to go to another appointment first. Oh well something is already going wrong! Breathe in and out!
It will be fine
I can go with her to the other two hotels she has to go to and while she is talking to them I can explore the area and afterwards she will give me my vouchers and explain some little things to me. Great deal, I come along and explore a part of Havana where I probably wouldn’t have been otherwise. At the end of the afternoon I am dropped off at my hotel with my vouchers and some tips by the agent. The next day I explore Havana a bit more. And then the adventure really starts, because then I will take the bus through Cuba to the other end of the island.
The rest of the trip
The transfers are going well and the guesthouses are cool and I get in touch with locals everywhere. My confidence is growing again. When on the bus from Santiago to Baracoa a tire blows on the way, we all have to get off. I get into conversation with 2 Italian sisters who have just started their journey. I meet with them to have a cocktail after dinner. It results in 3 dinners and a friendship with one of the sisters.
We are not only talking about Cuba, but also about life. We review that we have few vacation days to see everything we want to see in the world. This is the place that is starting a change for me and one of the sisters, because at the end of 2013 we both quit our jobs and went on a journey. We have a correspondence blog for 6 months together, parts of which can still be read on my website, she from South America and I from Oceania. We did not know all this at the time in Baracoa during the dinners and cocktails.
New adventure with confidence
Back on the plane, I was able to look back with satisfaction on a beautiful journey. My fatal trip in 2010 where I ended up in a local hospital in Mongolia and psychosis was diagnosed no longer arouses fear of traveling. There is even talk of my travel addiction again. On November 18, 2013 I left for Australia as a digital nomad, with new adventures in mind.
I wrote this blog for the assignment, describe a fiercely or special moment in your travels for the Instagram course Writing Travel Stories. It is a series of three assignments. The 2 other assignments can be read here: Assignment 1 who inspire you with travel stories and assignment 2 describe your environment.