© Copyright 2014 - 2020 The Unsung World | Alexandra Ola Walsh | All Rights Reserved. 

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • olawalsh

Just step outside - best travel advice

One of the best pieces of travel advice I ever had; just step outside and sit/stand in the same spot for 15 minutes or so. See what happens. Seamus had been travelling alone before - he knew.

I was in a bar in Havana. It was all so incredibly overwhelming and I just wanted to hide. I was feeling a little disappointed with my experience so far. I felt lost. Just step outside for 15 minutes, Seamus said.

So, a bit tipsy I stepped outside into the street with my camera and stood, leaning against the wall. A bird flapped its wings above me in a bird cage. I'd never noticed it before.

A few minutes passed and I looked down to my left, where a little girl was suddenly standing, looking up at me.

When I looked at her, she looked away quickly. "Hola" I said, "come te llamas?" (what is your name?) I told her my name was Ola. She looked at me as if I was a stupid tourist but I reassured her "si, si, mi llamo Ola...Hola Ola" (Hello Ola) I gestured waving to myself.

She chuckled and then all of a sudden 3 other children surrounded me. The smallest one, Michael, jabbed at my camera lens with his finger. The older girl slapped him round the head. I had fun with these kids and took their picture.

I grabbed their address from a local woman who approached us wondering what all the fuss was about. I promised I'd try and get the pictures developed and sent to them. I went back to the bar where Seamus was sitting. Well, how was it? he asked. Pretty awesome, I said.

In Trinidad I did the same. I sat on the steps by the famous Plaza Mayor and an old man selling bags sat down next to me. We were both a bit tired and taking shelter in the shade of the huge colonial building behind us.

He started talking to me - I really didn't want to buy his bags and told him politely that I couldn't speak Spanish very well and continued to watch children fly their kites in the square.

Feeling that I may have come across a little rude (I was grumpy from the heat), I nudged the old man gently and commented on a man with a huge beard who walked past us. He chuckled and pointed to a fairly overweight lady walking up the steps. A few German tourists stopped and enquired after his bags. He managed to sell a few and turned to me, beaming, holding up the coins he'd just earned. He slipped them into his pocket, chuffed!

We made conversation and Seamus bought us all a beer. So there we were, talking with this chap about nothing in particular, in broken Spanish, drinking beer, people watching, laughing.

He offered me a mango in return for the beer and invited us for dinner, but I explained that that evening we had been invited to attend a Cuban wedding.

And so, the adventures continued...

Trinidad - Two Prostitutes, a Horse Whisperer and a Wedding.

Check out my highlights and travel tips for everywhere I travelled to in Cuba and the world.

Hi, I'm Ola

I'm a photographer and blogger, passionate about adventure, travel, fundraising and conservation.


In 2018 I was diagnosed with chronic migraine and it was only then that I realised how accessible adventure is. I hope to inspire others to get outdoors and discover their own adventures, big or small.


Check out my Advice Page and start planning your own adventure now.


I hope ​the information I've provided is helpful. Most weekends and evenings are spent tapping away at the keyboard and adventure planning - a cup of tea or freshly brewed coffee never far from reach.


If you'd like to support my blogging with a hot brew, it would be greatly appreciated - just follow the link below.


Thank you!

Happy Adventure Making x