Who am I and what this blog is about?
Hi everybody 🙂
My name is Danay Bustamante. I’m a Cuban girl living in Germany since 2002. I’ve been a travel addict since I was a child and a non-stop Salsa dancer…I can spend hours and hours dancing till the sunrise and beyond and I can spend weeks and months travelling without the feeling of wanting or needing to go back home (I´ll be visiting my 100th country in November 2017). After leaving Cuba, I lived 6 months in Scotland, 3 years in Mexico and then moved to Germany in 2002. I studied first in Psychology and finally graduated from Business Administration, after many years, at the University in Munich, studying and traveling at the same time. I ended up quitting my job in September 2015 „only for few months“ (or so I thought) and here I am, almost one year later, still traveling. I just can´t stop. I don´t know what will happen later, but I have enjoyed every moment so much that I feel like sharing this with you. So.. this blog is about my travel experiences and places to dance all over the world.
The first time I sat on a plane I was around 5 years old and I was flying alone. My parents had moved to Havana looking for better living conditions and I stayed with my grandma in Guantanamo, where I was born. (If you don’t know anything about Cuba I’m sure at least you have heard about my hometown because of the American base/prison in Guantanamo). It wasn’t until 4 years later, when I was 9, that my parents managed to buy a tiny apartment with only one room for the 3 of us. They were living at an aunt’s place until then, which is completely normal in Cuba due to dificult living conditions. So I could now move to Havana, and we were all happy for a while. During those 4 years I was flying alone from Guantanamo to Havana to visit them 3 times per year for every holiday we had at school. Even after moving to Havana I kept flying alone back to Guantanamo, this time to visit my grandma and the rest of the family. Flying alone was a nice experience, I remember. The stewardesses treated me like a princess, gave me lot of chocolates and candies (well, that was previous to 1994…then economic things completely changed in Cuba). What I want to say is that I got used to this and I loved and enjoyed this flying alone every time.. and I still enjoy it nowadays, to the max. Entering a plane for me is almost like entering my apartment. It feels like home, lol, and if it’s a long flight with movies and dinner even better.
So, I moved to Havana, and after few years living and studying there I realized that I had to see my whole country before moving to another one. And I did that. I was young, had no money, there were difficult travel conditions… But I did it, and believe me, I don’t know many Cubans who have travelled their own country in its entirety. I also don’t know many Cubans traveling around the world, lol. Of course there are still places in Cuba I haven’t been to, but I have been to all of our 15 provinces plus the special municipality called Isla de la Juventud. There were a few places (principally beaches/keys) you were not allowed to visit as a Cuban. They were only for foreign tourists at the time. Nowadays, I still haven’t been to those places because every time I go back now, I spend more time with my family than sightseeing, but the day will come 🙂
I left Cuba in 1999 (long story) and spent half year in Scotland until I could finally move to Mexico and meet my father that I hadn’t seen in 7 years, after he moved out of Cuba in 1992 (it was much more difficult to visit him directly in Mexico). I lived for 3 years in Mexico, close to my Dad, and then moved to Germany in 2002.
Well… I graduated a few years ago from Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Germany, where I currently live. My studies took me much longer than the rest of my Uni colleagues because instead of writing 7-8 exams per semester like they did, I had 3 different jobs in addition to the classes at the university but I could still manage to pass 4-5 exams each semester and work hard to save some money to travel the rest of the time, when I had no classes. I guess that I felt that I needed to travel more than to finish my studies within an estimated time, lol. It took me soooo long to finish the university that I didn’t even go to the graduation party because I didn’t know anyone else there from this year, and my class had already graduated years before. My poor Mom thought I would never graduate. But yes Mom, I did.
What I want to say is…
I love traveling and fortunately I have had (or created) the opportunity to travel a lot (I´ll be visiting country number 100 in November 2017). My friends ask me sometimes if I’m not scared of traveling alone. I always answer… I’ve been traveling alone since I was 5, it’s in my blood, like salsa dancing :-).
And yes… Talking about salsa… Apart from traveling, I have a second hobby which is the best thing that has happened to my life: salsa dancing. For those of you not familiar with the topic you will be impressed to know that there are salsa meetings/congresses every single weekend all over the world and we (salsa addicts) manage to travel for many hours just to have the satisfaction of 1-3 nights full of dancing. There are also few events that last up to 12 days. It’s a whole world of dancers out there and this blog that I’m starting right now is not only for all the travelers but also for all the salsa dancers.
That’s me and my hobbies and I wanna share my experiences in these fields with all of you. If you are not already, maybe you become a travel or a salsa addict… or both, who knows?! And if you are already one of us, I hope I can help you with my blog.
PS: Please note that English is not my mother tongue. I apologize in advance for it and hope you enjoy my relates.
I started writing this blog in October 2015 at the airport in Addis Ababa while waiting for my connecting flight to Malawi, which was my first stop of 14 countries that I visited during the few months I spent traveling in Africa, but I’m finishing it now in July 2016. It took me a long time to decide to blog or not to blog, lol. I wasn’t sure about it but thanks to all my friends out there who kept writing me private messages and pushing me to start blogging, I’m here now, writing for all of you.
Enjoy it and stay tuned! 🙂