By Chen Lizra
In 2010 I was leading another unique tour in Cuba; visitors came from three different continents to
participate. We had quite the mix. One of the evenings we went out and had dinner at Chinatown –
a tiny little street with a few restaurants to choose from. Dinner was yummy and the company even
better. We sat and chatted for a few hours about Cuba, Cuban life, and the Cuban people. They had
many questions. I was explaining everything in English and then repeating it in Hebrew to make sure
everyone got it and was included in the conversation. It brought up many interesting questions and
got the conversation going. At the end of it Ray looked at me and said: ”You know, I think that you can’t
define one system as better than the other.” That’s exactly the conclusion that I got to years ago. It’s
just that when you spend lots of time in Cuba you start to notice that they got certain things very right –
their sense of family, community and solidarity, not to mention playfulness and fun. It truly is fascinating
to see Cuba from the inside. I find that people that travel with me fall in love with Cuba as I have and it
makes them live more passionately. Cuba wakes you up.
As we sat there and digested our food, Keren, one of the girls, handed over the camera to the waiter
and requested he’d take a picture of all of us. He took it but instead of looking through the view finder
he looked by mistake through the lens, flashing himself in the eye. By the time we realized what was
going on it was too late to stop him. He ended up with a picture of his own eye! He simply didn’t know
how to use a camera. We could not help but laugh so hard. It was so adorable. Thankfully he thought
that it was funny too. He laughed with us and then took another picture the right way. Cubans are just
not always exposed to advanced technology.
For me Cuba represents passion because it’s a place that operates a 100% from the heart. Every year
that I visit, little anecdotes like this one remind me of how much we take things for granted – how much
we have and how much it isn’t ever enough. Cuba shifts it for me. It makes it enough.
Writing My Seductive Cuba is my way of shifting this perception for you and inspiring you to live
passionately so that it is enough. I honestly could not imagine myself doing anything else in life. I feel
blessed because what I do is the expression of who I am. And everything that I am choosing to create
from here on has to do with spreading this message. And I can tell you what my biggest lesson about
passion has been – it all starts with believing that you can have what you want, and then letting go of
the fear and going after your dream.