Havana: A Travel Diary
Inspiration comes in waves. It comes in love, it comes in bravery, and it comes in discovery. Here at GLDN, we hope to be a reflection of a life genuinely and joyously lived. We harbor creativity in all that we see, experience, and feel. We find inspiration in all the ways that life can be lived, and all the places we find ourselves along the way.
I recently took a trip to Cuba. Here is a collection of photos from my trusty film camera, ramblings I scrawled across the backs of maps , and other observations that left my heart so full and inspired.
"The heat in Havana hangs low. It clings to your skin and your smile, and makes you forget there was ever a time before it. This radiates off each passerby, but no one seems to notice. There is too much living to be done to be stopped by heat."
"It only took me three days to sync with the rhythm of Havana. Nothing ever stops. The bustle is always moving, the music is always playing, the work is never done, the body is never still, and the sweat keeps on coming. In all this pleasant chaos, I found two things to be constant; a smile and proposal to dance. "
"It seems that art lives in every corner of this city. It is in the crumbling staircases and the heat of the language. Expression of the heart is rarely held back, and it shows through the vibrancy of Havana."
"There is music around every corner, and my ears fall in and out of tune as I walk down the street at sunset. Cuba is the kind of place where even the corner store is deserving of a ten piece band."
"There are more colors in this country than I have words for. Each structure has a grandiose vibrancy that mirrors the soul of its inhabitants. These hues change with the cycle of the sun and seem to sing into the skyline."
"We do as the Cubans do, and spend hours sitting on our front stoop, talking story with the neighbors and sipping on rum. We hear stories about everything, from the revolution to the ropa vieja at the restaurant next door. With enough time, you can see Havana, in its entirety, all from your front step."
"Even with the steady motion of Cuba, there is no sense of personal urgency. People stop to ask you about the weather, and with no hesitation, will re-route their course to walk with you a while. The eye contact in this country is something I’ve never seen before. The warmth of these people leaves me with a sense of something I have always known; almost a clue to unraveling our inner selves."
"On the plane home, I feel a sense of peace, I feel humble, and my legs have the distinct feeling that I am still moving through the streets of Old Havana."
All photos and words by Jordan Payne