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If You Want It Bad Enough, Make It Happen

This will be the first in a long series of posts about “the forbidden island,” Cuba. I’ve always been fascinated to the country ever since my trip to Czech Republic where I had the chance to experience what was once a communist country. In Cuba I would have the chance to experience first hand one of the last remaining communist countries in existence. It would be the next best thing to a time machine and would allow me to see what life was like in much of the world decades before I even knew what communism was.

On top of the historic aspects, there’s this silly idea that the government in my country of birth thinks they can control me and tell me where I can and cannot go on the planet. What a bunch of bull! It’s not your planet. I’m not your prisoner. I’ve never been one to play by all of the rules, and so going to Cuba despite the embargo was something I felt I had to do. With Fidel’s deteriorating health and the relaxing of restrictions by Obama, there’s no telling how much longer Cuba will be preserved in it’s current state. The time is now.

And so I woke up bright and early to catch a flight out of Nicaragua, connecting on Costa Rica, before finally touching down at Aeropuerto Internacional Jose Marti. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous. I had done plenty of research ahead of time, and knew it was possible. But there was the feeling deep down in my gut that said told me there was still some risk. Almost missing my connecting flight didn’t help. Were the powers that be trying to tell me something? Screw ’em! I sprinted through the terminal to make sure I would not be left behind on this trip of a lifetime.

The excitement grew and grew with every mile that we got closer to the island. When I finally saw the land below I had a perma-smile on my face until landing, and all the way up until the point that a pre-customs agent started grilling me with questions on my intentions in the country. So to all those who follow in my footsteps if you can avoid any (or all) of the following when arriving in Cuba, please do so: traveling solo, having two backpacks on you person, using the bathroom BEFORE going through customs. All those I feel were red flags that made me look suspect. Luckily I was able to pass through to level two of customs where they willingly AVOID stamping US passports. SCREW THAT! I want it documented that I accomplished my goal. Stamp please!

And with that. I was in! Mission accomplished.

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