After two-dozen trips to Cuba over the last five years, the country and its people still continue to amaze me. Although I do love a good refreshing mojito or chilled coco beachside, I don’t go back for just the superficial things. I keep on going back for a dose of Look Up a la cubana.
Cuban Life Lesson
Many argue that Cuban people’s perseverance, sense of community, and ingenuity are the nation’s biggest strengths. I agree with them; however, I feel the Cubans’ approach to happiness is by far paramount. The appreciation of the moment in Cuba is my greatest takeaway.
You will witness this every evening and weekend as the town squares and ocean boulevards, Malecón, come alive. Everyone from children to grandparents is chatting, eating, drinking, singing, and dancing, but not glued to their cell phones. The same goes for friends in a café or a competitive game of dominoes, Cubans are present, engaged, and all in the conversation, game, or moment.
Cuba Reinforces Look Up
In spite of hardships and obstacles, I have witnessed the perseverance of the Cuban people from shortages of water, transportation, and housing to limited quantities of toothpaste, diapers, and soap. However, Cubans have and continue to evolve. They understand that they have little control over any situation and take advantage of what they can, the moment. Countless times, I have been privy to Cubans adapting to a sticky situation or just really bad luck with jokes and a coffee or rum. The result is a shift in perspective and finding the upside. Each trip to Cuba reinforces this lesson, which is the same wisdom I learned in the fall of 2009. That’s why I created the mantra Look Up.
Look Up is to remind us all to:
1) Be in the moment appreciating the beauty around us as well as the hazards
2) Find the upside in any situation.
Look Up is a life tool you can take with you anywhere. It is lightweight. You can practice it without anyone knowing. You don’t need batteries or an adapter. It travels well. Don’t leave home without it!
So take five to Look Up or in Spanish mira hacia arriba.
Want More About Cuban Lifestyle and My Adventures...
If you are interested in learning more about Cuban lifestyle, recipes, and my adventures on the fascinating island and beyond, grab a copy of my latest book, Cubicle to Cuba.
Here’s to looking up!