My plan was spending 4 weeks in Cuba for Spanish School and then 4 weeks in Costa Rica for voluntary work. But during the first 2 weeks living in Havana Vieja I already realized that I absolutely... Vanessa Meyer
Health and Safety
The time of my life
Submitted by Vanessa Meyer - | July 01, 2015
My plan was spending 4 weeks in Cuba for Spanish School and then 4 weeks in Costa Rica for voluntary work. But during the first 2 weeks living in Havana Vieja I already realized that I absolutely fell in love with this country, especially with the city Havana and the cuban lifestyle - that's why I decided to change the program to 6 weeks Cuba and 2 weeks Costa Rica. I informed my travelling organization in the second week and they managed everything without any problem, so they were really flexible and tried to support me the best way they could - and they did a great Job.
The group I lived together with was great, lots of people with the same wishes and plans that I had - here I realized really fast that travelling alone doesn't mean being alone because you have people around you all the time. That was a great experience too. School was really nice too, the teachers tried hard to learn us Spanish the best way they could, but also became good friends who always had good advices for us.
My highlights of the trip were the city tours through Havana with cuban people, who were able to show us the "real" cuban life and some places, we might not have seen if we walked through the city alone. Next highlight was the trip to Vinales, where we did horseback riding through the tobacco farms (amazing and unique experience) and visited the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in my life - white sand, light blue water and nearly no tourists at all - amazing!!
After my 6 weeks in Cuba I spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica, where I had the possibility to work in an animal rescue center (really cute) and got to know the beautiful country sides of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. If you compare it to Cuba, Costa Rica is really different (dark beaches, more kind of American lifestyle, little bit colder), but beautiful and charming in its own way and it's worth visiting.
After my program was finished, I decided to come back to Cuba again - I was just flashed by this great country, the people, the lifestyle - that's why I had to experience this place for 2 more weeks and that's what I did. I travelled all trough the country, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Cayo Santa Maria and I was even more flashed!
All in all I can recommend Cuba to everybody who likes to experience something totally different than the European or American way of life - if you're open minded and like to see a "real" country, Cuba is the best choice! Although you won't have a lot of luxury (supermarkets don't have a big assortment) nor WIFI possibilities, you will enjoy the trip totally because you're going to learn again, that real social contact is a lot more important than the social network. You'll get to know cuban people who will impress you with their talents of Improvisation in every aspect of life and especially with their everyday happiness, although they really don't have a lot. You will come home positive and with a lot of new aspects that will change your mind - just like I did!
Nos vemos pronto Habana!