Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination. ~Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I ran away to sea in my twenties, and like any clever Minnesotan would, the sea I ran to was the Caribbean. The moment a traveler steps off a plane into an island breeze that envelopes completely and brings scents like nutmeg and fresh lime, time stops. At least you hope it does. If you hop onto a boat, as I did, you will find that each island has a culture all its own. You meet people who are kinder than seem possible, and tougher too, because living on an island is not full-time paradise. Add a mix of dishes like bus’-up-shut, curried goat, and spiny lobster, and you may never want to go back home. I didn’t. I stayed for over a decade and can still imagine the caress of that breeze.
Dispatches from the Caribbean
Why travel to Cuba? Because Cuba has dangled there, off the Florida Keys, like a shark-shaped pendant; out of reach during my entire American lifetime, but right there—90 miles or so—practically in sight.
Cuba’s classic cars provide a handshake over the fence to its neighbor.
An eight-year-old boy teaches me that curiosity and creativity go hand-in-hand for a great time in the Caribbean.