|September 6, 2012 | Cuba, Recent Events Dictate, Travels
Holed up in the cool dark, playing with my travel journal. I neglected to write anything down about week 2 in Cuba, but I did manage to collect an entire run of pesos ( both systems of currency, the CUP or moneda nacional, and the CUC, commonly referred to as the cook. For more on this confusing system, see here. )
An idea I first encountered wile reading Paul Theroux, and which is a strong thread running through the travel books I’ve been devouring recently ( by Rolf Potts, Chris Guillebeau, and Edward Hasbrouck ) is that the best way to experience other places and cultures is to travel solo. I’ve always felt the opposite; I become more adventurous when I’m with other people, and more likely to disregard my own tiredness ( physical as well as existential ), and I think it’s just plain better to have someone to turn to and say, can you believe this shit?
I believe that the real reason these guys advocate a solitary approach is that they’re professional writers with deadlines, and if you’re with other people, it can be difficult to buckle down and get some work done. After all, if the gang comes by your room with plans of going to such-and-such museum or monument or bar, are you really going to hide out at the hotel and work instead?