Tom@ZENtral America – Cuba & PachaMama
We have been traveling for one month now so time for an update! Wow, one month… It feels so much longer… It just depends so much on HOW you travel instead of WHAT you did or WHERE you went… Anyways, let’s get started….
In order to get ourselves to ZENtral America we first had a two-day stop-over in Madrid. The last time I visited Madrid was when I was three weeks old and it was winter. Quite a few things happened in the meantime and I loved the summer in Madrid, hanging around in a the parks and strolling through the city before our flight to Habana, Cuba! Lots of fun in the plane with all my neighbours, playing with them all the time. I kind of forgot to sleep during the trip of 10 hours flight and before we left, hence I was a little exhausted when we arrived in Cuba. So decided to have a proper KO when we arrived there….
Wow! What a different place again. It’s true what they say about Cuba, you enter into a whole different reality. So cool to see all the differences in this world. Beautiful people, beautiful nature, beautiful connections. Unfortunately, also a lot of pain as Cuba’s (political & economical) system is not working in the way the Cubans would like to. We were told that Cubans rather not talk about politics etcetera, however we were proven the opposite. People definitely like to share their disapproval of Fidel Castro’s regime and that it brought the people of Cuba a lot of misery. There’s still a long way to go and hopefully the former regime (enriching themselves and treating the Cubans as slaves) will not be replaced by a new “nouveau riche” that are now getting opportunities to earn decent money. Just for your understanding a monthly salary would range between USD 15 or USD 40 (next to that everyone gets food (racionamiento) through the government) and currently people are able to charge that amount for a single night renting out rooms to tourists… Luxury products (soap, bottled water, imported products) have the same price as abroad… Hence, most people will never be able to afford a car. For this reason, we at times felt as if we were seen as a walking ATM. This did not feel right, however we do understand that it is happening… Thank you Fidel, thank you Che. Probably your intentions once were once good, however they did not work out that well… Dad thinks wearing hats/shirts with Che on it is suddenly not so cool anymore… We wish Cuba more love & prosperity going forward!
Apart from that we stayed in beautiful casas particulares (private homes), met very interesting people, had beautiful conversations, saw beautiful art and drove in pretty cool vehicles and listened to beautiful music (Cuban Salsa) and danced as well! Ooh, and I almost forgot some great diving (we went there with the school bus) and relaxing breakfasts at the beach!
Slow / Flow travels – 4 countries in 1 day…
We are frequently asked whether traveling as a family (me being 20 months old) is actually relaxed… Ok, let’s be honest about that… Most of the time I really like to travel. Lots of new things to explore and I like being in the proximity of my mom & dad. So whenever they are around I am cool. Furthermore, I am a good looking guy (blond hair and blue eyes and an innocent smile do wonders in Zentral America) and therefore it’s easy to get some attention.
For my parents it is most of the time also pretty relaxed. Of course they need to plan somewhat more (they do not prefer to end up at a deserted train station in the middle of the night with me, actually they did not prefer that before I was here either :)), have to dive in shifts instead of together or take courses (see below) apart as one needs to take care of me… Well, basically that’s just responsible parenting right?
A big plus is that I get the conversations started. Everyone smiles at me or says something to or about me after which my parents tend to take over the conversation.
So in the majority of the time it’s really no problem at all. However, sometimes such as my dad’s birthday where we flew from Cuba to Panama, from Panama to Nicaragua, took a 2.5 hour taxi to the Costa Rican border (due to the social unrest we decided not to stay in Nicaragua) after which we had to travel another 3 hours by bus to our destination. That was aa little exhausting… Well, I suppose most grown-ups would find that a tough cookie 🙂
Often people ask my parents whether they meditate often. And often they say “no”. However, that’s the formal practice of sitting on a cushion, they often practice the informal form, going deep into the present moment and be aware, that makes these travels very manageable.
After that journey we decided to slow / flow travel for 10 days by visiting:
Pachamama Costa Rica
Pachamama is an ecological, spiritual community in the middle of the rain forest. It’s a platform for a deep voyage into healing, self-acceptance and expansion of consciousness.
Again another different reality compared to back home or Cuba. The experience was phenomenal. Dad did a 8-day breathwork workshop that was really profound. There’s a 2-day event coming up in Amsterdam, so for anyone that wishes some deep inner work, highly recommended! Incredible what a specific method of breathing can do on an emotional level. Many people received really deep insights and / or worked through unconscious trauma. Mind blowing and that ‘just’ with breathing only…
Mom and I hanged around the place and spoke to so many interesting and loving people while enjoying the jungle, great (vegan) food, smoothies and very good chocolates (pure cacao). In the mornings and evenings mom did some yoga and meditation and I hang out with dad.
We slept in an open room and once we had a small owl fly in and he was just sitting there watching us, so amazing. Furthermore, lots of lizards (big ones!), butterflies, colibríes and (howling) monkeys. Next to that I played on the quads, motor bikes and in the sink or did a tarot reading. Pretty awesome!
Ooh and I almost forgot the beautiful beach where we went twice!
We ended our stay with a tribal ceremony called Mesa Chachi. It lasted from 11 pm until 11 am next morning and I was able to join and sleep in my own tent during the ceremony and was very welcome after I woke up at 6 am to join the event. All people were very friendly and many thanked me for my presence and innocence (as there were many Israeli people I was taught that Tom actually means innocence in Hebrew, how cool is that!). The ceremony was all about honouring the four elements and living a life in balance with nature and let healing with ourselves and all of our relations happen. Again a very profound experience.
Now we are back to another reality, which I would call “gringo tourism in Coco beach and diving”. Tomorrow mom & dad will check out the wildlife under water and I will be swimming in our pool that we have to our disposal! After that a few days of forest and hiking before we leave for three weeks Mexico.
¡Hasta la próxima!
PS We are not only expanding consciousness of ourselves, but also of others. Please check out our new website Zenerife!
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