For the last few days I've been writing a huge itinerary article about my month of solo travel through Cuba in 2014, and I've been rediscovering all these moments I'd forgotten I'd photographed, let alone seen.
Finding these lost moments from our travels have the capacity to send us into a sensory overload. And this moment in the sleepy, sun-soaked town of Sancti Spiritus? It brings back plumes of cigar smoke from the elderly men sitting on metal benches; the sound of noisy engines from rusting cars and motorbikes; the woman herding chickens outside her front door; the girl cutting her brother's hair on the sidewalk.
But it's more than that. More than simple observational memories. Seeing this, I remember staying in a casa with high ceilings and marble floors and an abundance of rocking chairs. I remember reading Krakauer's 'Into Thin Air' in my room, shivering under the A/C while the oppressive midday heat bore down outside. I remember feeling lonely and done with Cuba, biding time until my flight back to Colombia a few days later.
There's no shame in finding yourself overwhelmed when you travel alone. It's too easy to chastise yourself for finding things difficult -- when actually you've just spent a month crossing an entire country solo and you're understandably exhausted! So if you're like me, and you're prone to self-deprecation, please remember how strong and confident you truly are. Even if you don't see it, so many other people do