Recap: All About my Cuba Trip!

Dear Friends,

It has been a super long time since I last posted, and this one is way overdue as well, but here is my Cuba trip with my boyfriend, Jessy! We went in mid-August, after he finished his exams, for a short 4 days.  I had been working in my summer internship so it wasn’t possible to leave work for too long.  I wish the trip was longer but we had a great time.  Keep reading to find out what I thought about Holguin, Cuba!

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I planned this trip for Jessy and I as a 4 year anniversary thing.  I am actually a very anxious person who secretly revels in curating every detail and having things play out to my plans, so I sorted through like a hundred other resorts before settling on one called Paradisus Rio de Oro in Holguin, Cuba. We were not disappointed by the way!  Also, I went and bought many products from the drugstore including immodium, insect repellent, sunscreen, afterbite… you name it, I was prepared to die.  To my surprise, we did not get bitten by mosquitoes once nor did we get food poisoning!

It was a 3.5 hour flight with Sunwing airlines to Holguin and then another 1 hour bus ride to the resort.  It went mostly smooth and the humid weather was not difficult to adjust to as Toronto in mid-August felt exactly the same.  Checking into the hotel was easy as well, and the employees were so kind.  A tip- if you want to book this hotel in the future or any other Caribbean hotel/resort is to look up Trip Advisor reviews for the best rooms (Corner, large windows, upsize bed etc) and email them ahead to request an upgrade and they will usually do it for you for free if available.  The resort also had an assortment of A la Carte restaurants as well as the buffet, and I emailed ahead as well to make bookings for a different a la carte restaurant for us to try every evening, as if you try to book once you are there, you are most likely too late and the restaurants are full.

So speaking to our resort experience, I think I can say we both really enjoyed it!  Jessy had his complaints about the lack of wifi and the heat sometimes, but overall, Paradisus Rio de Oro was a very relaxing experience for both of us.  The resort was not packed with people; we actually met many couples from England and some from Canada on vacation and the swim up Pool bar was the place to be.

We made a huge mistake by going too hard on tanning the first day and got sunburnt… so for the rest of our trip we mostly chilled at the pool by the shade.

I almost forgot to mention the beach!.  It was a beautiful white sand beach connected to the resort, but the length of the beach was shared with other adjacent resorts- so on the first day we walked too far out and noticed the patrons had different coloured towels!   We didn’t really use the beach as much as the pool, as it was very windy and sand would get everywhere.  An awesome thing about this resort, though, was it offered free snorkeling,  paddle boating and an activity called Catamaran.  It’s a must try! The Catamaran is a small sailboat with two prong shaped things sticking out of the back.  The driver took Jessy and I in the ocean, and the boat goes FAST!  We got a great view of the islands and the ocean in between wiping splashes of seawater off our eyes.  It was also a huge thrill as we constantly feared for our lives; the boat went so fast it felt like we were going to fall off the whole time.  But it was so worth it.

I’ll talk about one more thing as this post is getting too long … the FOOD!  First of all, like I mentioned,  I was so scared that Jessy and I would get food poisoning and/or hate the food as USA has an embargo against Cuba, but the food was both SAFE and YUMMY!

We had breakfast at the buffet every day and my favourite was definitely the Spanish omelette, which is more like a quiche without cheese.  We avoided anything that could rot in the heat like cheese and dairy.  Another great thing was All you can eat Mangoes, which I helped myself to in huge portions every day.  They’re Mexican mangoes, which are not as great as the yellow ones back home, but I really had no complaints.  We also tried 3 a la carte restaurants:  the Japanese, the Cuban, and the Mediterranean.  The Japanese was shit, as we should have known, but the Cuban and Mediterranean were amazing.  I had lobster on both days and thinking about it now makes my mouth water.  I would say the Cuban restaurant was my favourite though, as it was an open air restaurant so we got a beautiful view of the Palm trees and the setting sun as we ate dinner.  (I also booked our dinner times based on the sunset times in Holguin for those days; I am that detailed.)   Jessy’s favourite order was the Club Sandwich.  It sounds weird that a seemingly vanilla item would be that great, in Cuba especially, but it was SO GOOD.  We ordered it through room service the first night and Jessy was hooked.  It was toasted white bread with grilled chicken, ham, egg, melted cheese, tomato, and lettuce.  Literally it had 4 kinds of protein in there, which explains why he loved it.  So every day he would order it, either through room service, or he had the chefs at the poolside restaurant custom prepare it for him.

So that was our trip!  I am so happy we went, and it was a great bonding experience for us.  It was the first time in a long time we were away from our phones and away from our problems back home.  Aside from a bit of bickering at the airport, we did not argue during this entire trip, which is a record!   It has been a bit over 4 years with him now, and although we still have our ups and downs, we are definitely much happier than ever before.

PS. My pink bikini as well as the bronze/ black bikini in the photos were both from Aliexpress. (BEST website for cheap bikinis and cheap anything!)

Please leave me a comment or a question if you have one!

Much Love,

Boki

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MUSINGS: WHEN YOU ‘CHOOSE HAPPY’

Hello! This is gonna be a kind of heart-to-heart post that I spontaneously wanted to write.

So flash back a year ago, I was a really different person.  I was full of negativity, self-loathing and despair and I constantly wanted to be sad, too… because I knew a part of me wanted pity and attention from other people.   I was very jealous of basically everyone around me and I judged myself so hard.  Also, I would tell one of my best friends about it all the time.   She had her fair share of rantings and expression of unhappiness, so in a way, I enjoyed how we bonded…..although it was over mutual negativity.  I also became a judgemental and contemptuous person, towards some of the closest people to me.  I got angry at one of my best friends and held grudges just because I felt like it.  Every little thing she did pissed me off and I found reasons not to like her.

Eventually, all this negativity affected people I expressed it to; it was constant complaining and being upset at this or that, and it really wears someone down hearing about it so often.  I am so thankful to one of my besties for calling me out on that – and it was SO easy – I decided to stop.  If I wanted to be negative I kept it to myself and eventually told myself it wasn’t worth it.  Because dwelling in sadness is a waste of time; a waste of life.  Spending any second being sad could be a second spent being happy and doing the things that I love to do.  Life is really how you make it, and I realized, that Choosing Happy is so liberating.  Happiness is a choice.  I’m not trying to generalize for anybody who is going through something different, but I am trying to say that I go through something myself, and I’m on my own path to figure things out.  For me, liberating myself from my thoughts was how I could be happy.

In the recent months, I saw this happen to the very best friend who called me out.  I don’t know if it was work stress, a lack of downtime (quality time alone to chill), or a build up of something else, but she became a girl who got mad at every little thing that her friends did.  She was irritable and kind of like a ticking time bomb.   She would be happy one second, then at one thing, have her mood turned 180 degrees.  My best friends and I let this go on for a while, but I decided I needed to tell her.   When I finally did tell her, it was so easy too – she just decided to let that go.  She realized too that she could be so happy to let the little things go and to move forward living life as a positive person – by choice.

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Be a little silly my friend

If you’re going through something like this because of a stumbling block happening in your life, know that you will get through it, but why not get through it being positive?  I really believe that God puts the right things there for you at the right time, so if this applies to you, I’m happy I wrote this post 🙂

much love,

Boki

I DIDN’T THINK I’D HAVE TO WRITE THIS POST …

Hello to you who are reading this,

The blogging community really has been amazing so far and kind.  It is not the same with real-life people for some reason.

I’ve only been blogging for a short period of time but I have gotten only positivity from all of you who comment and like my posts.  If you didn’t know, I recently did a photoshoot with a friend, or rather an acquaintance, and posted about it here.

However, I found out last night that I received backlash from people whom I thought were my friends.  Without coming to me or Jon the photographer, they made disgusting assumptions that he asked to shoot me in order to holla, for lack of better words.  Whatever they think, they thought Jon had ulterior motives.  They twisted the story even more by saying it was inappropriate that we drove 2 hours to a beach just to do this shoot.  Towards me, they were astounded that I “even said yes” to doing this shoot when I shouldn’t have.  Someone close to me told me that if “I were smart, I wouldn’t have done it.”

Now here I am, hurt but thinking, the facts are that Jon asked me, without pressuring me, knowing that I have a boyfriend, and conversely I agreed to do it to help him grow his hobby of Photography and help him add something new to his portfolio.  He came to me only with good intentions – art – and I respect that very much so I agreed to do it.

I myself am in the creative field, and going to a school like Ryerson whose photography program is prestigious, I see photoshoots happen all the time, and it is even normal to do nude or lingerie photography or whatever you can imagine.  This is art.  On top of that, I did nothing of the sort, I wore dresses that I brought and did not pose in a sexual way either, nor did Jon even ask me to do so.  He did not lay a finger on me.

How in the world is this entire ordeal “weird” and “sketch” and “shouldn’t have happened”?

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What was heartbreaking was that the person closest to me did not have my back during the gossiping but instead chimed in.  No one tried to ask me what the truth was.  Everyone made assumptions and judgements based on the surface – but the surface was merely the story they conjured up together.  It hurt me further that I tried to explain to this person, the only one whose opinion I care about, the truth and this person refused to accept or listen to it.  This person preferred his wrongful opinion over the truth from me.

All in all, I have realized that in the most unexpected times, people can turn on you just like that.  Yet there are people whom you barely talk to but if you dare try, they might surprise you with their wisdom.  I have to thank Kenneth, Jon’s photographer friend who helped set up this shoot, for his words.  Even though I just met him, he encouraged me by saying everyone has their opinions but there is only one truth.  Don’t let other’s opinions upset you if you know what the truth is.

If you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading.  If you’re going through something similar, be encouraged that no one has the ability to make you sad except yourself – it is YOU who has the choice to choose whether you want to be affected by other people’s words.
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Thank you for reading.
Boki