I have never been to Cuba but it is a country that has always sat quite high on my bucket list. With the news of a thawing in relations between Cuba and its big, angry brother America, it seems likely that Cuba is poised to undergo great change.
As a traveller this gives me mixed feelings. All travellers will at some point talk about how a country has changed for the worse. Personally I hear this said most about Thailand and Cambodia. My wife travelled extensively in Thailand in 2002 and then again with me in 2011. She was quite shaken by changes to the places and the people. “They seem to smile less” she said.
Similarly with Cambodia I hear people talk about how Siem Reap was once a sleepy village and that the temples were deserted. Usually whilst enjoying the cheap booze at a bar in Pub Street.
The same conversations will happen with regards to Cuba, if American money pours in as is expected.
But is this change a bad thing for the people living in these countries? More money should mean a better life, generally speaking. More opportunity. Better education. Better access to health care?
So is this traveller desire for things to the stay the same just selfishness? Probably.
But one thing that I am sure of is that money pouring in to a country is both good and bad. I will keep my fingers crossed for Cuba as I do for Burma.
What do you think? Have you been to Cuba? How do you think things will change? Let me know.
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