Cuba Travel Guide

Hi, friends! I apologize for not posting in quite some time. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been in Cuba and have been busy with exams. The biggest takeaway that pertains to this post is that Cuba has really awful internet connection, if you’re even lucky enough to find it! If you’re planning on seeking sunshine in Cuba anytime soon, expect to not experience a wifi-friendly environment. On the bright side, this means more time to actually enjoy the surroundings free from technological distractions 🙂

Beautiful Havana

I’ll start off by selling tourism here by saying how magical Cuba is. Travel in general is pretty magical, but Cuba really is a gem. Between the hospitality of the people, absolutely gorgeous architecture, lush nature, and sweet smells; Cuba is a treat for the senses. I’ve traveled quite a bit and I have never experienced so much LIFE anywhere else.

If you’re fortunate enough to ever visit Cuba, here are some helpful insights to prepare you for your trip:

  1.  Cuba and Canada are lifelong friends. Being Canadian instantly connected the locals and I. Our countries have a flourishing relationship. If you’re from Canada, expect to make friends easily. (This is just what I experienced- I can imagine the people being friendly to everyone!)
  2. If you plan on going to Havana (which you absolutely MUST), plan on spending at least three days there. There is SO much to see. Old Havana alone has so many hidden treasures that can take up an entire day. Just roaming around Havana aimlessly will enrich your soul. You will see so much of their culture, and it’s beautiful Seriously, make an effort to get lost!
  3. This goes without saying, but the beaches are 10/10. You can find a lot of great beaches off the beaten path and even if they aren’t maintained, they are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Don’t stress too much about which beaches to make a point of seeing, they’re all stunning.
  4.  Skip the all-inclusive. Sure, if resorts are your thing, go for it. But, you’re better off with an AirBnB situation. Cuba is extremely affordable so eating and drinking can be done without too much budgeting. Having your own rented place will allow you to really immerse yourself in the culture and cuisine. Also, the Pina Colada stands on the local streets are the best I’ve ever had. Take it from someone who opted for an all-inclusive, I really regret not doing this when I went. I would’ve spent less $ and appreciated the experiences more.
  5.  Spanish is their official language but you can get by easily with English. I found almost everyone knew at least a basic level of English. I do recommend however, as with any country you visit, to learn a few basic phrases in their mother-tongue. This is out of respect, but also to gain a better sense of the world.

  6.  Great service? Tip! Just as in Western society. I was told when I asked service professionals that 1 peso is sufficient.
  7.  A warning to you females: Cuban men can be very forward and vocal. This can be a good thing or bad depending on your personality and comfort level. They will ever hesitate to tell you how beautiful you look, and you might receive several marriage proposals. It’s nothing like the degrading cat calls you might receive from construction workers but rather, extremely poetic comments and gestures. I’m the type of person who is super awkward with attention, so I wasn’t a fan but…I could definitely see how a lot of women would love this.
  8. Another warning to you females: The men are super attractive. I just had to find an excuse to gush. Moving on….

  9.  There is currently a Zika virus outbreak in Cuba. Bring that bug repellent with you!
  10.  Cuba is extremely safe. I walked around the streets at night without any worries. If you’re looking for a fun trip by yourself or with your girlfriends, Cuba is an ideal destination.
  11.  I traveled with Air Transat who provided me with my Visa documents to enter the country. Consult your travel line when booking your vacation and inquire if they provide your visa, or what steps to take to acquire entrance.

Overall, Cuba has the perfect balance of history, culture, tropical beaches, and scenery. I really wanted to get away for a bit because Canadian weathers are physically painful. I personally love learning about cultures and history, but I craved a sunny destination trip. Cuba was perfect to get the best of both worlds.

If you guys have any questions about traveling to Cuba, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment below. If you have any additional insights, please share them with me also!

I hope you guys have a productive rest of the week, and a happy easter!! xo

A Sparkly Introduction

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Hi, lovelies! Welcome to my first ever blog post on The Sparkle Style. Let me start off by saying how excited I am to finally introduce TSS. I have wanted to create this blog for many years, and I decided 2017 was the year I would finally step out of my comfort zone and make it happen. My plan is for the blog to focus on self-love through beauty, style, and travel.

I thought that for my first blog post, and my first post for 2017, that I would shower my readers in all the sparkly magic that is NEW YEARS EVE. I am a sucker for anything drenched in sparkles AND/or sequins, which is why it makes perfect sense to introduce the blog to you guys with a New Years post.

I’m not a fan of large crowds, which is why I always opt to bring in the new year with my family. Dressing up to the nines with loved ones and sipping on wine (or knocking back tequila shots), is my favourite way to spend new years eve. I imagine a lot of blogs showcasing 2017 posts with much to say on resolutions, tips on being a better person, and inspirational reflections…..which is why I will not be talking about any of these things right now. It’s not that these things don’t matter (duh), I just don’t want to begin blogging with a generic post.

Because my priorities are spot on, I’d like to move on and bask in all the WHITE SWAN princess glory that is THIS dress:

I’ve had this little number tucked away for too long. Seeing how I haven’t yet become a famous figure skater, I thought I might as well take the dress out for a spin…

// SHOP THE LOOK //
Dress: French Connection (sold out) / Choker Necklace: M for Mendocino / Earrings and other accessories: Betsey Johnson

   So, that’s it. Post numero uno! What did you guys get up to on NYE? I look forward to meeting and getting to know my readers so please introduce yourself to me in the comments section below if you love merlot, free vacations, and laughing at your own jokes.

xo, Nikole

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