7 Things I Learned Traveling to Cuba – Net Worth: $83.5K (CoffeeForTheBuzz)

 

7 Things I Learned Traveling to Cuba

If you’ve read through any of my earlier posts or theĀ Goals page of our website, you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate for traveling as much as possible. I believe that you can learn more from visiting a new place than you can from years spent in a classroom or even from reading books (even though I love doing that as well). I find that every time I return from a unique trip like the one I just took to Cuba, I am refreshed with a new perspective on life and feel a sense of responsibility to make the most of my own life because of the opportunities that are so accessible to me that most others in the world in the world don’t have. Many of you reading this, especially if you’re from the United States, would probably be a bit skeptical of traveling to Cuba due to the historically negative relations the two countries have had over the past 60+ years. What I found, however, was a beautiful country of people with good intentions and no ill-will whatsoever towards the American people (even if their outlook on the American government was quite different). The following are the 10 most striking things I learned when traveling to Cuba. All are reasons that I strongly would recommend anyone give the country a visit if they have the chance and/or means to do so.

1. Cuba is an incredibly safe country.

If you’ve done a good bit of traveling, you’ll know that, unfortunately, there are more unsafe than safe countries in the world, especially when visiting major cities. My experiences in Havana, a city of 2+ million people however, were nearly all positive ones. Like any country you travel to, you won’t want to flaunt your iPhone 7 or extra cash you are carrying around, but in Havana, if a local is approaching you, it’s almost certainly to ask you about where you’re from and how you like Cuba (and probably if you want to buy their cigars too). Like any major city, girls should not walk the streets alone, but all in all it is a very safe place to be when comparing to the cities of the world we live in.

2. There are virtually no homeless people in Cuba.

While Cuba’s socialist and planned economy principles have undoubtedly kept the country from being as economically successful as it could otherwise be, there is something to be said for the fact that virtually no Cubans go without rations for food and the major necessities of life. As a country that is quite poor in comparison to much of the developed world, this is an impressive feat.

3. Money doesn’t buy happiness.

The cliche had to be used in this situation because nobody embodies this mantra better than the people you meet when walking the streets of La Habana. They are filled with vibrant music, dancing, and parties all day and night and you will see people smiling no matter where you look. Most of these people just had the money to provide basic necessities for their families, but as an outsider, it appeared that there was no shortage of happiness in that major city.

4. I am incredibly privileged.

Each time I travel to a place with a lower standard of living, I’m reminded how lucky I have been to grow up in a fully developed country like the United States. The most basic things that we take for granted are not always within arm’s reach in most parts of the world. Cuba is one of the nicest “developing” countries I’ve seen and they still suffer from frequent power outages, hit or miss air conditioning, and street pollution. Don’t take the basics in your life for granted.

5. I am obligated to make something of the opportunities I’ve been presented with.

Along the way, I met several incredibly intelligent Cuban natives that will never have the opportunity to achieve tremendous financial success and to create their dream lifestyles for their families. That is not to say that they won’t live happy lives, but the work ethic I witnessed in many Cubans that goes without much reward inspired me to be sure I make the most of the hand I’ve been dealt. It feels like an obligation that I intend to fulfill.

6. It feels good to be disconnected for a week.

For about a full week, I didn’t have a cell phone or any internet connection. And it was great. In the United States, people my age, including myself, are glued to our phones, laptops, tablets, Kindles, etc. 24/7. There is no time for true relaxation in the sense that I was able to feel relaxation in Cuba without these distractions. Even if you don’t venture somewhere exotic like Cuba, take a few days off and go somewhere without your cell phone or electronic gadgets. Your mental health will thank you for it.

7. I will be back someday.

While political relations between the United States and Cuba are likely to make travel between the two countries quite difficult in the near future, I can’t help but want to go back and see some of the places I was unable to see on this trip. Between the friendly people, rich history, beautiful beaches and scenery, and feeling of calm happiness, there’s not much to keep me from wanting to visit again. This past week was an experience I’ll never forget and would love to help any of you plan a trip to do the same.

Net Worth Update – $83.5K

After collecting another paycheck and some additional rental income, my net worth has continued to climb slowly but surely. I’m looking forward to launching my first successful online business in the next few weeks – success meaning I’ve sold a few products to paying customers.

Posted by CoffeeForTheBuzz