VARADERO, CUBA: The Truman Show

Resorts are kind of like The Truman Show – tiny towns meant to feed happiness while subduing curiosity for the outside world. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical, can’t forget about the organized tours to caves, artisan markets, and other controlled forms of contact with the locals.

As a last hoorah with an ex before my move to Korea, I ended up at a Cuban resort for a week. The weather mirrored the mood, 4 days of rain. There wasn’t much to do at this particular 3.5 star resort, so a lot of the time was spent watching TV to follow the news story of the Tucson, Arizona shooting that had just taken place.

An off-resort visit to Varadero revealed a stark contrast. I remember thinking back to the privileged complaints I’d heard from some Canadians prior to the booking trip, “The beaches are nice and Cuba’s cheap and all, but the food at the resorts is tasteless and disgusting, so that’s something to consider.”

I learned two things on that trip. One, traveling with someone that’s about to become an ex is as bad of an idea as it sounds, and two, resorts are not for me.

People go to resorts to relax, to be catered to. But if like Truman, you suddenly notice a spotlight falling out of the sky, you might start fixating on all the other unusual things taking place around you.

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