Mis Sueños

One well-meaning friend calls it a "travel bug"; another skeptic reminds me about my fantasies of moving to New York shortly after a New York minute and my promise to wait tables in Paris if that's what it would take to repeat and prolong a romantic life in France.

I've always known myself to be a dreamer.

The point is, my head is still stuck in the clouds of Cuba. Every night, I dream of live music in the streets. I dream of tropical heat. I dream of complex clapping rhythms. I dream in Spanish. I dream that I am still in Cuba. I oftentimes wake up in the middle of the night, in my own bed, confused at the sight of my bedroom walls or guitar strewn at my side from the previous night's practice session. "Where am I?"

Five days in Havana and five days in Santiago was not nearly enough time for me to learn how to hold my own at the rumba dance clubs, jam with a Cuban jazz band, learn lyrics to a popular reggaeton song, formulate an opinion about the Cuban government, express myself in Spanish, or get lost by myself in the streets to the point of learning the streets and never getting lost again.

I have many stories to share about my experiences in Cuba and even more thoughts related to self-discovery and relationships between friends and strangers to detangle -- realizations and questions that I argue I could not have formulated were it not for a 1.5-week retreat from all that was familiar to me.

For now, these stories and reflections exist only in my memories and harried fragmented notes in my travel journal. I hope to soon find the time to begin piecing these together in order to thoroughly preserve the joy and wonder that I felt on this trip. I'll do my best -- if I fail, I can always find my way back to Cuba again.

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