El Malecón held a very special place for me during my trip here in Vedado, Cuba. This boardwalk is over 4.5 kilometers along the coast of Havana and carried the most spectacular view. It’s a place for decompressing and reflecting. It’s a place where your eyes can choose to watch and fall in love with the sunrise or sunset. It’s a place where couples fall in love. It was the first spot that brought my closest friends on the trip together and the last place my housemate and I revisited before departure. What made this seawall so memorable was the consistency of it bringing everyone together. Time didn’t feel like it existed here, making everyone stay in the moment, realizing a beautiful creation God has made for us. The sun complimented everyone’s complexion in all of the photos we took. The breeze made up for the humidity that felt overbearing at times. As I look back on the trip, all I could think was “This was truly the place to be.” After long lectures in class, having some rough days where I wasn’t feeling 100%, and sometimes feeling forced to decide very quickly what I wanted in life; being at the Malecón gave me a chance to take a deep breath and simply reassure myself that everything would work out the way it’s supposed to in the end. My portrait mode perspective broadened itself to acquire the ability to see the full picture and now I understand that life is limitless and I can do anything I set my mind to. I came into this program as the youngest of the group not feeling the most accomplished after a long school year. This trip was meant to be a reward for me for doing well in school. I didn’t end up performing to the best of my abilities in certain classes meant to align with my career path, and I came into the trip feeling very lost and confused. A few weeks after the trip and much-needed reflection, I ended up changing my major to something I actually enjoy. Long story short, don’t put yourself in a box and place restraints on your goals. I used to think I didn’t deserve this trip as “a reward”, but now I feel rewarded more than ever for reaching goals of finding myself, creating amazing friendships and memories, and being able to speak Spanish without the use of a translator while on the trip lol.