Thoughts about the Cuba Trip

I’m a very lucky guy. I’m thinking about this Cuba trip that I’m about to embark on and I can’t help but think about the last big trip I had to Andros last year. There are some parallels.

  • It was almost at the exact same time of year.
  • It was a dream destination that I had no idea  how I would ever get to.
  • I was getting over a cold (then, I actually had one on the plane on the way there).
  • It was an opportunity that came to me through the blog and people that I genuinely like.

There were a couple of differences.

At the time of that trip I had a sense that my marriage was on really, really thin ice. It was when I got back from that trip that things fell apart. Literally the day after I landed. That was pretty horrible, but it wasn’t totally out of the blue. I’m pretty sure I told one or two people in Andros that I suspected my marriage was about to end. In fact, the story I wrote for Pulp Fly is a fictional story about a guy going through a divorce who went to Grand Bahama to try and get his mind of things. I wrote that a good 5 months before le merde hit le fan. Something in me had a feeling about things.

I was right.

As the Cuba trip comes into clear focus that old relationship is in the dustbin of history, save for a 5 year old connection we still have in the form of a wonderful little girl who loves cobras and wants to fly fish in the Bahamas with her old man.

I have a new relationship and one that is going to be around for a long time.  She’s happy I’m going to Cuba. She’s happy FOR me. That’s a pretty important attribute.

So, the tale of 365 days and two trips and two different me’s. I find that the trips I take like this sever as markers to remind me of where my life was at at any given time.  This trip, most likely, will mark the beginning of a new life.  I’ll say “Oh, that was the year I went to Cuba when all that wonderfulness happened with Renee (that’s her name).”

This year, with this trip, the future looks pretty bright. I’m full of optimism and hope.

Do your trips mark times in your life like this, or is that just me?

Yeah, this year is shaping up nicely.


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  1. Bjorn, I know exactly what you mean. Like you, my last trip was to Andros – it coincided with the final few months of my wife’s pregnancy. Knowing that opportunities for exotic fish-based adventures would be thin on the ground once the little one arrived, she very generously agreed to do without me for a week. I went alone, had the lodge to myself, spent a week wading the flats in search of bones and had no-one but myself for company. The time I didn’t spend fishing I got to sit and think (with Kalik in hand, naturally) about the new direction my life was about to take. That trip (probably my favorite trip of all time) will forever be imprinted on my memory as the one I took before my daughter arrived in the world. And as you know, anything with that kind of association is a very special thing indeed…

  2. Yep-that’s right.

  3. Nice. It’s all about the journey (more than the destination) and it sounds like you are making all the right decisions while enjoying the ride.

    Have a great time in Cuba and post lots of photos.

  4. I think trips take on deeper meanings because we get away from our daily routine. As with most adults, everyday life at home and work represents a lot of drudge and maintenance. When can get away from this stuff it frees up our minds to enjoy every moment of the new experience, and often gives us time to reflect on things. Like the old saying “when you’re up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember that your original intention is to drain the swamp”. Have a fantastic trip!

  5. Is cautiously optimistic the same as pessimistically optimistic? Well, that’s me then. I’m not saying things should be great–that’s a bit much to ask–just please, please, don’t let them be awful.

    …then when they are great I can be bowled over by surprise at the generosity of the universe.

    BTW, if you ever have a chance to go on any fishing trip ever, the answer, no matter what’s going on at home/work/school/life/etc. is always YES.

  6. Ha… Davin, there is a certain benefit to low expectations. Under-promise and over-deliver, as they say.

    The answer is “YES,” so long as there is enough vacation time.

  7. I had an unbelievable experience in Cuba in 2000. It seems like a lifetime ago in some respects, while other things about it I vividly remember like it was yesterday. Particularly the baby tarpon fishing.

  8. No, no, you always say yes. Period. Trust me on this. Later in life you’ll look back and regret not going. The key to living without regrets is to always say yes to fishing trips… at least, that’s the working hypothesis at this time… I might regret this later on.

  9. My name is Phil thompson. I am the author of 97 Miles South and a columnist for Coastal angler Magazine. My columns are currently about fishing in Cuba and the April issue is about Zapata and The Bay of Pigs. Zapata recently opened to a few outboard operators. Great opprotunity for flyguys. One thing. Stay in private homes and hire private guides where possible. It’s cheeper, a better experience, and helps the Cuban people.

  10. Phil that’s what I did back in 2000. We rented a car from Havana and hired a local orinthologist to take us on the Rio Hatiguanico. Totally undeveloped and amazing. I’ll have to find your article to take me back.

    We ate dinner in peoples’ houses set up with an extra table for guests, called paradors.

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