Tag Archives: Culture

Visiting Cuba: My First Impressions


Like most who return from a first-time trip to Cuba, I’ve struggled to write about it.

I’ve struggled even as the cultural visitor that I was, on a people-to-people tour. In essence, a tourist like everyone else.

The truth is that I had no plan to post anything on my blog at all, because this wasn’t for work for a change. It was for cultural and educational purposes–I’d always wanted to visit Cuba and understand it. It’s also a neighboring country to the Dominican Republic, and yes, I did need to know a little of it from that standpoint. But I wasn’t on assignment, and I wasn’t there as a travel journalist… although, it’s always hard to put that hat away.

I’ve received numerous messages asking me about my impressions or perspective of Cuba. The most recent question was: tell me in one word, did you love it?

After I answered, I began to wonder–how much can one judge anyway after 11 days in Cuba, across several regions? Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t favor writing about a place after a short stay. That’s why most of my writing sticks to my expert destinations.

But that’s the thing. There are times I traveled on press trips for a short time, and came back enchanted (the reverse is also true). I spent a week in Martinique and returned with plenty of positive impressions. Four days Continue reading »

Postcard of the Week: Annual Mango Festival in Bani, Dominican Republic


Some snapshots from this weekend’s colorful mango festival in the town of Bani – also known as the mango capital of the Dominican Republic.

A recap to come soon, as well as big updates/news in exactly two weeks in the June newsletter.