Take a holiday break – relax in Cuba


Forget cell phones, whatsapp, facebook, wireless connection: just have a good time!

Ah, the pace of life as it used to be back in the days – how I miss that.

Before travelling to Cuba, my friends recommended that I stay in touch with them! After all – they suggested – you are going to log on the internet every now and then, check your email, look at your facebook page.” You see, I sit in front of a computer screen all day, every day – or so it seems. I thought to myself: what is the point of going on holidays to exotic places if I end up living the same life I live at home? I promised myself that I would cure my facebook and cell phone addiction, knowing it would be fairly easy to do in Cuba. I purposedly only topped up my cell phone with 15 euro, knowing I would most likely be unable to top up from Cuba, and warned my parents and friends not to call me, but at most send text messages (roaming is waaay too expensive), and I promised I would send a text home every so often. It is very difficult to get Cubacell sim cards for foreigners, so I had to make do with whatever credit I had on my cell phone.

Wireless basically does not exist in Cuba, so checking emails on the cell phone was not an option. And bless for that! People in Cuba like talking on the phone. Anything is done over the phone. Want to book a room in a casa particular? You call, ask questions, see what they have to say. Want to have informations on buses? You call, or go to the station. Front desk at travel agencies have no computers. When you book a tour, everything is done manually, and via phone. Computers are so rarely seen, and the internet connection so slow anyways, that I never even considered for a moment to get on the web. It would have been a waste of money, time and energy. So, I relaxed.

Whenever I wanted to call home, I would go to an Etecsa point, top up an international calling card, and make the phone call from a phone booth. If Etecsa was closed (such as at weekends, or after office hours), I would have to wait till the day after.

I learned to wait. I learned to switch off, to forget about my phone (I left it off for days!). I learned to take my time in talking to people and ask for directions and explanations – after all, there was no google, wikipedia, or anything similar to easily access information. I had to take it easy, one way or another. So I did.

With all the difficulties I found in travelling around in Cuba, where there hardly is any free commerce, where even when you have enough money you can hardly find what you need, I can say that the lack of easily accessible communication made my life nicer and my holiday a real break. At times the electricity would go on and off and at 9:30 I had to be in bed, nothing else left to do but talking to my just as exhausted sister. Have I missed anything? Has the world stopped just because I could not observe it through a computer screen, a cell phone, tv, read it on a paper or whatever else? Surely not. But I can promise you, the day after I was so rested.

Just… chillax!

Care to know more of my Cuban adventures? Read my other posts.


 

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16 Comments

  • Samantha
    30 September 2014 at 11:51

    Oh I can’t wait to see photos! We were going to go to Cuba at the end of July but my friend had a teeny tiny problem with her passport at the last second and we couldn’t go. It looks amazing! I bet you had a wonderful holiday there

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      1 October 2014 at 10:06

      It was incredible. I would go back any time. It is a bit difficult to travel there. But once you get the hang of it, it is great.

  • Sammi Wanderlustin'
    30 September 2014 at 17:44

    Coool! I think I’d love that 🙂 on trips I’ve taken recently we haven’t had WiFi for large chunks of the day (particularly in Slovenia) and it’s been amazing 🙂 really get to see things without holding up a cell phone, or tablet to instagram a photo!

  • antonette - we12travel
    30 September 2014 at 21:10

    We love travel without the outside world! It’s so much better to enjoy things without your buzzing phone. ENjoy Cuba!

  • Megan Claire
    30 September 2014 at 21:31

    Sometimes disconnecting is just what you need while traveling. I’m a bit addicted to my wifi myself, but I do enjoy being forced to switch off when I get to a place which is disconnected!

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      1 October 2014 at 0:26

      That’s the thing. Unless I have to, I never manage to switch off. Cuba is perfect for this!

  • Dave Cole
    30 September 2014 at 23:03

    There are definitely some nice advantages to forced disconnection. When I’ve been in this situation, I’ve found that my other senses are reactivated and heightened. You are required to depend on yourself and communication with other human beings to a much greater extent. Not bad things! Love the new site design, too 🙂

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      1 October 2014 at 0:27

      Thanks Dave!

      Yes it is nice when there is no internet. I don’t necessarily feel obliged o communicate with other people. I take the opportunity to read and sleep!!

  • Ron | Active Planet Travels
    1 October 2014 at 1:36

    This goes right in line with an article I wrote a while back about disconnecting from the world while traveling (the technological world anyways!). I feel like this enhances your experience overseas, gets you back down to your core roots and the appreciation of traveling to a location is greatly increased. Great article, Claudia, can’t wait to see your other posts on Cuba!

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      1 October 2014 at 10:07

      Indeed. It just is great to know that you don’t have to be “social” on the social media for a while. Who cares if the world moves on? I am seeing it!!

  • Hannah
    1 October 2014 at 3:38

    switching off while travel can be hard, especially when I travel solo and want to share my daily exploits with back home, but can be so relaxing when you do!

  • Lauren
    2 October 2014 at 18:06

    Sometimes it is great when you’re forced to put the computer away, the messaging and texting away, and just relax and enjoy yourself! Sounds like my kind of vacation!

  • Margherita @The Crowded Planet
    3 October 2014 at 22:26

    I totally get what you mean Claudia. I loved not being able to be online while in Madagascar. Being connected is amazing, but so stressful sometimes. And Cuba is just amazing. Let’s just hope it won’t change too much.

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      3 October 2014 at 23:20

      Don’t get me wrong. I am a social media addict – although I must admit with this blogging business it has become a job more than a pleasure. So, it is just great knowing that no matter how hard I try, I can’t get online 🙂 – so I have plenty of time to relax, read, talk to people face to face!

  • Raphael Alexander Zoren
    8 October 2014 at 20:36

    Nice photos!!! I’m really liking the new design of the blog, Claudia!

    • Claudia Tavani
      Claudia Tavani
      9 October 2014 at 0:31

      Thank you 🙂

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Hi, my name is Claudia. One day I packed my life and started travelling... except I packed too much. Follow me as I fill my life with dreams, drop the weight and inspire you to live your dreams. Learn more about me here...

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