It sucks to have the country you were born and raised be like exiled from the rest of the world. It sucks because when I think about visiting, I feel stopped by all the bad stuff in the territory. It sucks to feel like an outsider without a place to set your roots in. That is how I felt all my life. I know how hard it is for people in Cuba, but also Cubans out of the Isle. It takes many, many years or lifetimes to accommodate into a new country and people.

Here, from my perspective, it takes a lot of effort to adapt for most people. And while it is a great experience to learn from other cultures and visiting new places, there is also a downside to that where you feel unrooted and scared most often. And more, when you can not go back to visit the place of your childhood. All the memories and friends you made are in this dark place in your mind where it is almost impossible to reach it in the physical now. Every time there is, inside me, this big warning sign of, no, don’t even think in that place because it is not there anymore. And it feels sad. For me, it’s been relatively less hard to learn the language, but that doesn’t make it less complex because I struggle to make friends here. I feel not part of the environment.

If you live like me in a rent apartment, in a place where is not yours but someone else’s building, you will find yourself without the freedom to create and be more yourself because there is a lot of limitations no matter if you pay more than $1400 a month in rent. So you are working to pay rent and unable to pursue other dreams, be happy, and plan for a better future. Unless you get credit and use it, but can be tricky and dangerous, especially for people who have no self-control when it comes to finances. So, it is like you are just a visitor for many years consecutively, and it doesn’t feel good or right. Let’s talk about the other challenges I am facing here. You end up sharing rent with others, even if they are not your family members, to be able to have some money on your own.

Then, there is this “day-to-day” lifestyle. I see people buying boxes of water bottles like there is no tomorrow, creating pollution without planning for a better future. People live like they do not belong, and it shows. It does not have a positive effect on the environment. Responsibility for what we consume is necessary. What can we do to improve day by day? But most people don’t think about that, and they are so used to buying things instead of creating better outcomes for their daily lives. And I understand they are under a lot of stress, and like me, they feel like outsiders. It is a struggle to find a way here, especially if they have not been in the educational system of this country, meaning in high schools or so; even they might also find it hard to adapt and develop.

Hopefully, there will be solutions to both sides; for the people that live here and in Cuba. We will feel like a part of the community, living our best lives, positively affecting our environment. It takes each one of us to make a change. I hope we will still have opportunities to do that. I hope Cuba and all of us break through this regime and limited beliefs, chaos, and necessity. And finally, belong to a place that we are proud of and happy.

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