Feeling Inspired in La Habana, Cuba
Location: Havana, Cuba
After daydreaming of visiting Cuba for what feels like most of my life, the moment had finally arrived; the trip Kirsten and I booked nearly six months prior was finally upon us.
Cuba, for obvious reasons, has always been very high on both of our lists of places that we wanted to visit. Since President Obama recently announced that he was charting a new course in U.S. relations with Cuba, we both felt a sense of urgency to go as soon as possible. This once forbidden land to Americans is about to go through some radical changes with the expected flood of U.S. tourism, so we wanted to experience the ‘authentic’ Cuba before that happened.
I must admit, even after spending nine days and eight nights on this gorgeous island, I struggle to articulate Cuba. It has rich but albeit controversial history, but it’s a country of paradox; the architecture is beautiful but crumbling, the culture is rich but in ruins, the people are friendly but in poverty, the street life is gritty but vibrant and undeniably photogenic.
From a photographic perspective, Cuba provides an endless source of inspiration. Begin to walk around Old Havana and you’ll immediately feel it; the streets are full of people, music, stray dogs and cats and the exhaust fumes from vintage 1950’s era Chevrolets, Buicks, Pontiacs and Plymouths. Simply put, Cuba is a picturesque time capsule. But soon that time capsule will be undergoing some radical changes which is why we felt a sense of urgency to go as soon as we could.
From just the first few minutes I spent in La Habana I immediately felt an energy and electricity here that I haven’t experienced anywhere else before. There’s an essence and magnetism to this country that has been pulling me to go back ever since I left. Needless to say, I would go back in a heartbeat. Hopefully after seeing my post, and regardless if you’re a photographer or ‘just’ a traveler, you’ll want to do the same.