PHOTOS: Dylan Gordan Travels to Cuba

At the first thought of Cuba, the name alone lives and breathes its own legacy. Old cars, notorious tropical tobacco, wild nights on the streets of Havana and radical revolutions all on a small island only 90 miles offshore from one of the United State’s largest metropolises.

Cuba, Dylan Lucas Gordon.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to this incredible island three times this last year, all with very different purposes and with each trip the place revealed an incredible side of its personality.

It’s a funny place to travel. Half of me wants to tell you to keep it simple…take a camera, good t-shirt and a hat and just see what you find. The other half wants me to tell you to bail and not to go because the bigger you go the deeper you fall in love with the place and get addicted to going back. She’ll serve you the best of times and the worst of times all wrapped up in a lovely Mojito or a hangover from hell. Like traveling in most Latin countries, you have to stay on your toes or you’ll get sucked into the standard street hustle and come out broke with nothing but a hangover and a couple faint memories of wandering the streets looking for an ATM. (If you do go…take cash. There is still no way to withdrawal money while you’re down there unless you have a bank card from somewhere outside of the US.)

As a photographer, it’s an incredible place to travel. Stay wide-eyed and take it all in. I love going in without much of a plan and simply talking to locals about where to go. You end up finding some of the most amazing streets, waves, food and times. The tourist destinations are cool if that’s what you’re looking for, but you’ve probably already seen photos of them so why waste your time? Then again, that’s kind of my theory on traveling in general.

Go with purpose and just follow your feet. Stay with locals, get out of Havana for most of your trip, and that mojito at the end is only going to taste that much better after you’ve seen the country and other faces of the island.