• olawalsh

Just step outside - best travel advice

One of the best pieces of travel advice I ever had; just step outside and sit/stand in the same spot for 15 minutes or so. See what happens. Seamus had been travelling alone before - he knew.

I was in a bar in Havana. It was all so incredibly overwhelming and I just wanted to hide. I was feeling a little disappointed with my experience so far. I felt lost. Just step outside for 15 minutes, Seamus said.

So, a bit tipsy I stepped outside into the street with my camera and stood, leaning against the wall. A bird flapped its wings above me in a bird cage. I'd never noticed it before.

A few minutes passed and I looked down to my left, where a little girl was suddenly standing, looking up at me.

When I looked at her, she looked away quickly. "Hola" I said, "come te llamas?" (what is your name?) I told her my name was Ola. She looked at me as if I was a stupid tourist but I reassured her "si, si, mi llamo Ola...Hola Ola" (Hello Ola) I gestured waving to myself.

She chuckled and then all of a sudden 3 other children surrounded me. The smallest one, Michael, jabbed at my camera lens with his finger. The older girl slapped him round the head. I had fun with these kids and took their picture.

I grabbed their address from a local woman who approached us wondering what all the fuss was about. I promised I'd try and get the pictures developed and sent to them. I went back to the bar where Seamus was sitting. Well, how was it? he asked. Pretty awesome, I said.

In Trinidad I did the same. I sat on the steps by the famous Plaza Mayor and an old man selling bags sat down next to me. We were both a bit tired and taking shelter in the shade of the huge colonial building behind us.

He started talking to me - I really didn't want to buy his bags and told him politely that I couldn't speak Spanish very well and continued to watch children fly their kites in the square.

Feeling that I may have come across a little rude (I was grumpy from the heat), I nudged the old man gently and commented on a man with a huge beard who walked past us. He chuckled and pointed to a fairly overweight lady walking up the steps. A few German tourists stopped and enquired after his bags. He managed to sell a few and turned to me, beaming, holding up the coins he'd just earned. He slipped them into his pocket, chuffed!

We made conversation and Seamus bought us all a beer. So there we were, talking with this chap about nothing in particular, in broken Spanish, drinking beer, people watching, laughing.

He offered me a mango in return for the beer and invited us for dinner, but I explained that that evening we had been invited to attend a Cuban wedding.

And so, the adventures continued...

Trinidad - Two Prostitutes, a Horse Whisperer and a Wedding.

Check out my highlights and travel tips for everywhere I travelled to in Cuba and the world.


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Hi, I'm Ola

I'm a photographer and blogger, passionate about adventure.


I've travelled extensively and planned several BIG adventures. As well as providing travel and adventure advice, I've pulled together resources from adventurers and communities that helped me rediscover my love of the outdoors.


Check out my Advice Page and start planning your own adventure now.


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Happy Adventure Making x