I first arrived in Havana, Cuba in January 0f 2010. I lived there for three months, traveling to Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Vinales, Pinar del Rio, Varadero, Santiago de Cuba and Trinidad. I was lucky enough to return for a month each during the summers of 2012 and 2013. The place is full of contradiction and is rather opaque to most Westerners, especially Americans. It seems every time I learn something about Cuba it only raises more questions than it answers, but I still consider myself lucky to have been welcomed there repeatedly. I can honestly say the path of my life and my understanding of the world was permanently altered by my first encounter with Cuba. If you'd like to read more about my views on Cuba and my complicated relationship with the country, my blog posts on the subject have been collected here.