When I graduated college for the first time, I was ready to work. But before that I was gushing because I was planning on going to Cuba with my then best friend. Now, the thought of getting on a plane and going to a country that hablan Espanol was amazing to me because it had been years since I’ve used my Spanish and I was losing the ability to do so. Then wouldn’t you know it, she backed out at the last minute on me!
I was furious!
You have to understand–I was going to college a good nine hour by Greyhound away from my home, family, friends and one of the only things that got me through being in this small, cold town was the thought I was going to be going to Cuba once I survived it. Sure I was being a tad dramatic but come on! I had a perfect GPA for four semesters! I graduated with honours! I deserved Cuba!
Needless to say we didn’t end up going. She flaked on me three more times after that until in 2012 I was hell bent on going with someone or alone. Of course my parents didn’t want me picking up and going to a communist country by myself, but I was tired of depending on people.
Wait, let’s stop right here and adress something. Try not to travel alone or with friends who constantly drink too much to know which way is up – Why? With these friends you’re liable to end up in a jail cell in –let’s say–Singapore facing a sentence of life or 90 lashes.
Anyways, so I practically gave up on Cuba until I graduated University with a B.A and started working a job that had nothing to do with my field. After a year of wanting to pull my hair out I decided enough was enough–one more kick at the post secondary education can. The new college I started has this thing about international learning. They believe you not only learn about/and how to protect your country and your community but you have to learn about/protect the world–the Global Village.
I stopped and read the posters and my eyes bulged! Right there in big blue letters it said it – CUBA! I couldn’t believe my luck. I applied and the wait began.
The first wait was for them to reply telling me if they recieved the application. The second wait was for them to tell me I was being considered. The third wait was for them to short list me for an interview and the fourth wait came for them to tell me if I made it onto the list to go to Cuba.
Think about it! After years of wanting to go to Cuba, willing to pay for it, here I was being offered a chance to go and not have to pay anything! I waited, checking my email almost a hundred times daily. Whenever my phone rang my heart would do this crazy, leap, twist-ie thing that drove me nuts.
Then one day, I was at the gym jamming out to Big Bang and speed walking the threadmill. The girl on the machine beside me poked me with a lovely smile and told me my phone was ringning. I missed the call and called them back. To my shock, it went to the main line and I was freaking out. The moment I got off, my phone beeped the Go Go Power Ranger sound (because I was a huge nerd back in the day–still am.) and told me I had a message. It was my school –telling me congratulations because they are proud to inform me that I was going to Cuba.
I hung up. Breathed. Dailled my voicemail again.
They were telling me congratulations and that I was going to Cuba.
Think about it. I was in a crowded gym, with a bunch of people and screaming. After the scream came flailing. I was 28 years old and flailing like a moron trying not to scream again. When everyone went back to what they were doing while eyeing me with expressions that said “OooooK, crazy person” I took a breath, got back on my machine and called mom.