If my first day traveling the globe is in any way representative of what's ahead of me, I'm in for one hell of a ride.
As you might have noticed from the title of this post, I'm not sipping on mojitos and soaking in the splendor of Havana quite yet. After touching down in Cancún, my luggage was lost in transit. Luckily, I had a four hour layover before heading to Havana, so I wasn't worried about missing my connecting flight. Determined to find my bag, which I literally watched them load onto the plane from my window, I scoured the airport in search of someone that might have some answers. Miraculously, the airline found my bag two hours later, though they didn't have an answer to why it ever went missing in the first place.
After taking a shuttle to another terminal in Cancún's ridiculous maze of an airport, I came to find out that my flight from Cancún to Havana was delayed "3+" hours. By that, they meant 12. Despite the setback, I was consoled by countless airport personnel that laughed with me as I attempted to explain my problem to them in terribly broken Spanish. I was shuttled to a nearby hotel about 30 minutes from the airport, where I have been provided a comfortable room overlooking the Gulf. With any luck, I will be leaving for Havana at 3AM.
With all this said, today has been actually kinda fun, though I'd prefer to be lounging by the Malecon with a Partagás and an icy glass of rum. Over the course of just 12 hours, I have not only been thrust into an environment completely unfamiliar to me, but I have been forced to think on my feet and remain calm at all costs. There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you kept your wits about you when confronted with a barrage of errors.
While I don't want to ever have to waste another day because of careless airlines, I probably will. It's going to be important, though, to remain calm and enjoy the moment, even if it's not the one I had imagined. There are going to be a lot of things that I won't be able to control over the next eight months, and I'll only drive myself crazy if I let every issue get to me. Rather than sulk that I'm not in Cuba, I'd rather be grateful that I've been put into a hotel for the night so I don't have to sleep in the airport. Despite the chaos and confusion, it would be meaningless and draining to try to point the finger at anyone for these unpredictable roadblocks. I'm happy to be here right now, free off all burdens and obligations. Shouldn't that be enough?
Disclaimer: Internet is not readily available in Cuba, so I won't be able to post very much over the next month, if at all. If I find that is not practical to gain access, I promise to have a comprehensive post about America's former rival when I arrive in Colombia come September.