Life in Cuba – New series by Bethan James


Hello! I’m Bethan and I will be guest writing for Joanna about learning to live in Cuba.

After visiting the island several times, I moved here for good in August 2017, firstly for love (of course) and secondly to start work at an International School. I now live with boyfriend Danny in Miramar, an area on the edge of Havana.

Weeks are spent teaching English and literature to sparky students from a huge range of cultures and backgrounds, in a lovely little classroom where I can see palm trees from the windows (but where my lesson can be completely disrupted by tropical sized bugs). Evenings and weekends are spent enjoying the delights and negotiating the challenges of life in Cuba, and holidays are spent exploring the rest of the island! Whilst I can’t claim to be an expert on anything – quite the opposite, in fact – what I can hopefully offer is a little insight into Cuba beyond the tourist experience.

As a teacher and lover of anything wordy, I would love to get your comments, questions and suggestions for future posts… what do you want to know about life here? Please also have a look at our pictures too, at

Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.


  1. I would certainly like to know what is available for tourists. Lodgings, food, and of course costs. I never though about Cuba as a holiday destination, but being that it is so close, it would be ideal for a short 4 or 5 day getaway.

  2. I have never been to Cuba and I don’t know anyone who has been. I have read blog posts and seen a lot of pictures and the country does look amazing, colorful and so rich of history! It really is a country I want to see, but as you said, beyond the tourist experiences! xx corinne

  3. Oh wow what a place to work! It sounds like you have really got a lovely life going on – palm trees from the window sounds wondrful. Though I’m not sure how I would cope with the bugs!

  4. Wow how exciting! I visited Cuba back in 2010 and I loved learning about the culture and exploring Varadero and Havana. Also got to practice my Spanish! I would love to go back!

  5. I can’t wait to visit Cuba. It looks like I would really enjoy it there. I can’t wait to experience the culture. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I would love to go to Cuba sometime. I have heard a lot of great things about it. That it is beautiful and full of history.

  7. What an exciting series – I can’t wait to read more! I went to Cuba myself in December and completely fell in love with the people there – so helpful and wonderful!
    C x

  8. I’m happy for you living there. I haven’t been in Cuba but this is a place in my travel for pleasure wish list, so I’ll love to read about how is spending time after work and over the weekends.

  9. I have not been to Cuba but I have met many Cuban during my travels. I certainly love to know and read about the heritage, culture and art of this magnificent country.

  10. Cuba has always fascinated me in unknown ways..Would love to know more about the must see places and great restaurants that offer local food plus vegetarian options as well!

  11. My brother and sister in law went to Cuba for their Honey Moon, so I got that “tourist” perspective from them. But I would love to know more about the everyday life!!

  12. You are glowing in this picture! Cuba seems to be doing you good! Id visited Cuba once before and it is truly a beautiful place with some very interesting places and things to do. I am sure you get to see way cooler things since you live there.


  13. Hello Bethan! I may sound very ignorant but I didn’t know people from other countries actually moved to Cuba to live there. I never been there and there are certainly many stereotypes so I would love to read more about your perspective of living there as a foreigner beyond touristic experience. I find this very interesting.

  14. I have always wanted to visit Cuba but I got feedback from others that had visited said that their resort foods are terrible. Have you tried any of the resort foods and what do you think?

    1. Yes, sadly people who eat only at resorts will never get try the amazing food you can find here! I’m going to write more on this soon. 🙂

  15. What an amazing opportunity to go there. Imagine wakening up to that on a daily basis, would be my idea of heaven. great tourist tips would be amazing, the better places to eat more traditional food as well

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