Splash zone: Looking at the Malecón from Hotel Nacional

7 days in Cuba

8 min readNov 27, 2017


I’ve wanted to go to Cuba for years. So when my good friend Ankit mentioned he was planning a trip, I assumed he was inviting me and immediately booked non-refundable tickets before he could clarify that it was a family vacation.

I wrote some notes in my knock-off Moleskine but they read like a series of captions from a teenage girl’s Instagram account so I threw them out along with my dreams of ever being hired by National Geographic (an example: Everyone is as warm and welcoming as the weather. The pace of life is a few steps slower. The food is infamous for being bland, but your eyes can feast on the vibrant scenery instead.).

The photos came out (slightly) better than the writing. Scroll down for some pretty pictures, highlights, and recommendations.


Wander Around Old Havana

Check out the street art. Admire the colorful buildings and classic cars. Try to talk to people in Spanish. Skip lunch and opt for churros and ice cream instead.

Unlike Europe or Asia, friendly people aren’t necessarily trying to scam you. Cubans are actually just friendly. There’s no internet, so people have to talk to other people. A welcome change from life in San Francisco.

Five different strangers approached us to say how much they love Indian people. It was confusing until we found out that every Friday is Bollywood movie night national TV. It makes sense when you remember that American movies and music were illegal until recently and that India consistently produces the best entertainment.

Egg-scuse me, could you crack a window? It’s boiling in here.