I went on my first solo trip to Cuba when I was 9 years old. It was winter holidays and my parents put me on a bus to be picked up from the station by my uncle. Today’s parents probably can’t believe it. The official version says something about the bus arriving at the destination station too early, but I bet my uncle was late and just afraid to admit it.

After all, I landed in Cuba alone, it was raining outside and the station building was closed for some strange reasons. So I waited for about 15 minutes (or something like that) and in order not get too wet, I set off. I was confident that I would be able to retrace my steps to my aunt’s, where I had once been. 

I was right, I found it without any trouble, and the old aunt treated me to a delicious hot tea with raspberry juice. This memorable “first time” taught me that traveling on my own is not as scary as everyone says, that I can rely on my orientation in the area, and that it is worth to provide good company or a book for the road (I still remember how long the bus ride was). 

I suspect that my uncle, who came close to having a heart attack and was looking for me all over town convinced that someone had kidnapped me and cut me into pieces, learned to be more timely.