Monday, November 21, 2016


Going to Cuba has generally been a difficult task until recently.  Now, not only can you travel directly to Cuba from the United States but you can also bring back Cuban cigars!  I went to Cuba in October and had a great experience.  From the people, to the culture to the beautiful terrain, Cuba has something for everyone.

Check out my video about Cuba Here

Before flying out of the U.S. there are a few things you want to make certain of:

  • When booking your flight make sure to get insurance that covers you specifically in Cuba.
  • Make sure to get your Visa (select Educational Purposes: People to People as your reason for visiting Cuba).  The Visa is $85.
  • Exchange your money to Euros prior to going. Your credit cards wont work there so calculate how much you will need.  I would suggest having $100 a day plus whatever you may need to cover the hotel stay if it is not pre-paid for.
  • Look at as a lodging option if you want to be more a part of the culture.
  • Book some tours before going so you have a plan in place.
From Miami the flight was only 33 minutes to Varadero where I flew into.  This is about 2.5 hours from Havana.  You can also fly directly into Havana.  When you get to Cuba you will want to exchange your Euros to CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso). You can do this as soon as you exit the airport. You will also want to get a WiFi card if the place you are staying has WiFi access.  Keep in mind, if they have access you still need a WiFi card if you want to try to call out on WiFi or use the internet.  The WiFi is sketchy so even with the card there may be times where you are unable to access the internet.

You can look into some tour companies as this is the best way to see different parts of the country.  You can email Zoila for tours and transportation:

You will want to know some basic Spanish to help in getting around as most of the taxi drivers and even restaurant workers know very little English.  However, everyone I came across were generally willing and happy to help.

One of the things people love about Cuba is the Cuban cigars and they certainly didn't disappoint.  I went to a farm in ViƱales where me and some friends tried some cigars and went horseback riding.

Cuba has something for everyone.  From the mountainside to the beautiful beaches in Varadero I can say I had a magical time there.  It was once a forbidden place that now we all have the opportunity to go see.  Don't miss out on this chance of a lifetime!

If you have any questions about going to Cuba add a comment and I will be happy to reply! Thanks for sharing in my journey. ~Gen

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

That time I went to one of the most ancient lands in the world: Machu Picchu!

     To get to Machu Picchu you first have to fly to Cusco, Peru.  I flew there from Lima where I was living.  It was truly one of the best experiences ever as you will see from the breathtaking photos.  Here are my first moments in Cusco:

From the plane

Landing in Cusco

     Now its important to understand that you need the first 24 hours to just eat and sleep as the high altitude is very hard to get used to.  I felt light-headed and it was almost impossible to catch my breath the first day but by the next morning it was much more manageable.  My second day I spent exploring the area and enjoying the culture and the food.  Its cold in Cusco so I had to buy a new hat, scarf and coat to avoid freezing. Plus I made sure to buy a raincoat for my trip to Machu Picchu in the likely chance it would rain.  After 2 days in Cusco I booked my train ride to Machu Picchu.  I had to get up at 4 am to meet the driver at 4:30 to take me to the bus which was an hour ride to then get to the train.  This is a long trip so be prepared for an entire day of traveling.  It will all be so worth it when you get there!

View from the Train

Finally arrived


     This has to be the most amazing place I have ever been to.  I never felt more connected to an area before like here.  It was like you could feel the spirit of the people from way back when.  You could feel their souls carried by the wind and the mountains held their smiles.  The stone work left behind after  all these years showed proof that they were here oh so long ago.  And maybe it was just luck but I believe my ancestors allowed me to visit their beautiful land without any of the usual rain!