As most of you know, our March Expedition just returned from Cuba. It was a fascinating and fun trip. Even though visitors from the U.S. represented only a tiny proportion of foreign travelers, it was apparent that there were a lot more Americans there than I’ve seen on past trips. In fact, the number has tripled this year over 2011, and it is expected to triple next year and each year into the future. This is definitely a wonderful time to visit.
The one thing that continues to stand out in our memories is the relative safety of the country and the genuine friendliness of its citizens. Since returning to the U.S., it is hard to ignore the lack of knowledge of our fellow Americans about Cuba. The incredible misconceptions of those who have never visited our Caribbean neighbor are difficult to accept. One of our travelers said that half her friends didn’t believe she really went to Cuba; the other half were continually worried about her safety! This was very humorous to those of us on the trip, but also very sad in many ways. Unlike in the past, the American government is now encouraging travel to Cuba, and has facilitated the licensing of groups to visit. It’s frustrating that more Americans don’t understand this concept, so they could take advantage of the many unique travel opportunities available today.