Two things this Wealthy Chick loves, travel and gratitude.
Cuba – taking gratitude to a new level
One of the reasons I love to travel is the opportunity to experience diverse countries and cultures that are very different to my everyday life, and Cuba ticks all the boxes, so why this heightened sense of gratitude?
When you travel you always miss things from home, but in Cuba, a country that was forcibly stuck in the past, you feel conflicted. In the cities you love it’s old cars, shabby chic buildings and $5 bottles of rum, yet cross fingers the next loo has a toilet seat (probably not!), in the country you smile at the simplicity of life with horse and cart, whilst dreading another static filled night sleeping on synthetic sheets.
On one hand you love that Cuban life is social, it’s lived loudly on the steeets and in the parks, music abounds, yet you scream in frustration when you cannot get on the internet because everyone in town is at the one park that has wifi, and its noisy!
I had forgotten how to travel without my phone and wifi, and I am grateful to Cuba for forcibly giving that back to me. I had to use paper maps to navigate, not easy when some towns were deliberately designed to confuse invaders and directionally challenged Australians.
I am grateful I enjoyed a device free holiday. I loved the fact that every dinner was phone free, every cafe and bar had people talking to each other, no one had their head stuck in a phone or iPad.
Yet sometimes I still wanted the internet, to google the best restaurant or bar or use google maps and find my way back to my Casa. I had to stop living in my world and step in to Cuba’s world, ask someone for a recommendation, ask for directions, experience different restaurants and bars to find the best. It allowed me to really connect with the Cuban locals, who are very kind and helpful.
The photo and gratitude
The cover photo for this blog is where I really felt gratitude for the generousity of the people in Cuba and remember how lucky I am to have been born in Australia.
A wonderful family hosted my group for lunch, it was one of the best meals I had in Cuba, succulent pork, tasty vegetables, rice, black beans and an array of fruit. All fresh from the farm situated in the hills next to a gentle stream, delicious food in a scenic location.
As I was leaving I needed to use the bathroom, my mind shifted from being relaxed to toilet anxiety kicking in! Will there be a toilet seat, do I have enough paper, OMG is that wooden hut really the bathroom?
It was a very nice bathroom that consisted of a toilet, with a seat, and a shower stall, no running water. The toilet is “flushed” with a bucket of water, and the shower stall only had a drain, to shower you use a bucket of water, usually cold.
This place resonated with me because I frequently use being grateful for a hot shower as an example of gratitude when I am coaching clients who tell me they have nothing to be grateful for.
I am now even more grateful for my on demand hot shower and my flushing toilet, with toilet seat and paper.
As I write this blog I am also grateful for accessible and speedy wifi!
What are you grateful for?
More importantly what should you be grateful for?