So the other week I talked about my recent vacation and how important I think it is, as a writer, to ‘get away’, even if it’s just for a stay-cation. But I thought I’d let you all know about my actual vacation, as it was pretty momentous for my husband and myself.
It was the first time in 25 years we actually left Canada! I know, it seems crazy, but life is complicated and it’s not always that easy to go away. Given how rare this opportunity is for us, we decided to go somewhere exotic: Cuba.
I’m so very glad we made this choice; I feel like I learnt so much from the experience.
I, like many, had a lot of preconceived notions about what we might find in Cuba. I thought that I’d arrive to a land where tanks or armed personnel lined the streets—after all, that’s what the news is always telling us about communist countries. But nothing could have been further from the truth.
The country is poor, there is little question of that, and there are obviously very complicated political and social issues at play that I wouldn’t even attempt to tackle here. But fundamentally, it is a country filled with beautiful people doing the best they can to care for their families; in that, they are no different than any of us. And as I got to know some of the hard-working people there, it became more and more difficult for me to understand why the United States would still be so stony in their approach to a nation that seems, at least to me, so honest and filled with so many compassionate people. I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t time for the US to re-evaluate their position on Cuba, especially in a world where there are countries that are in far greater turmoil?
The Cuban people are at the end of the day, people. We spend so much time demonizing the country that we forget about that fundamental truth. They are no more or less valuable and important under God’s eyes than anyone else—it’s time we all remembered that. I, for one, am grateful or the opportunity to have been given that reminder.
I can only hope that all my future travels be so fruitful in so many ways…