“First time in Cuba?”

It’s practically the first thing out of everyone’s mouths when I meet them. I respond tentatively, “Umm no. I’ve been before. Twice? Maybe three times?”

I truly can’t remember. To be honest, all my all-inclusive resort vacations blend together…

Before I discovered adventure travel, many of my vacations were to all-inclusive resorts in Cuba and other places in the Caribbean. I know, I know – what a rough life I lead… But as much fun as the beach can be, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a resort in Cuba and one in the Dominican Republic or Jamaica. They all follow roughly the same formula: hotel, beach, bar, buffet and a pool or two. And although I’m not one to turn down a game of beach volleyball or a well-made cocktail, there’s something inauthentic about visiting a country and never venturing beyond the resort.

So when I was given the opportunity to visit Cuba on an Intrepid Travel trip, I leapt at the chance to see the real Cuba for the first time.