Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I guess you could say I began traveling before I was born. My mother was very pregnant with me when she traveled from Cuba to New York City where I was born. Growing up my mother took me to Cuba to visit family. I loved being there. When travel to Cuba became difficult I listened to my family’s Cuba stories and imagined being there.
When I was six I asked a relative where he was going. He flippantly responded, “To the end of the world”. I thought that was a real place. I became fascinated with knowing where this place was. What did it look like? Was it hot there? What where the people like? How far was it? How long would it take to get there? Shortly thereafter, on a cold morning I woke up very early and left the house when everyone else was still asleep. I went to look for the end of the world which I imagined was somewhere beyond 72nd street and Broadway, the farthest I had ever walked. To this day I remember the way I felt that day; the excitement, anticipation and wonder at what I would find once I reached the end of the world. After a few blocks I got really cold. I went back home and got into bed thinking I might not have gotten to the end of the world that time, but someday I would.
Growing up my mother had a travel agency. On the largest wall there was a massive map that covered the entire wall from ceiling to floor. I would stare at that map for hours imagining what life was like in different locations. I knew someday I would visit these intriguing places. Even at a very early age I just assumed it was just a matter of time; you grew up, you travelled…to me it was just one of the immutable and inevitable facts of life.
My early years’ experiences in Cuba, that brief conversation about the end of the world and the map on my mother’s wall is what instilled in me a passion for travel, exploration and different cultures. And that´s what led me to write this book on Cuba. So far it is my only book.
In college I determined that whatever I studied would have to lead to the ultimate goal of traveling. I obtained a Masters in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania but felt that alone could not guarantee me a career that would enable me to travel as much as I wanted, so I got an MBA in International Business. My Spanish language background and love of languages also helped me. Over the years I learned Italian, Portuguese and enough French to manage.
My background led to a career in international business. This has allowed me to feed my voracious wanderlust traveling to over 100 countries and living in Colombia, Spain, The Dominican Republic, Mexico and the UK. I’ve worked throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and South America in places as diverse as Nigeria, China and Argentina.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is ¨Don´t Just Travel to Cuba, Experience Cuba Like a Local.¨ I was inspired to write it because I noticed a lot of confusion around travel to Cuba, especially for U.S. citizens. I wanted to demystify the experience.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not really. I´m pretty standard when it comes to writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I like Stephen King´s writing style.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a new book describing my travel stories and learnings from a life on the road.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Selling on Amazon is the best way to promote my books.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice for new authors is to focus and set aside a few hours each day where you sit at the computer whether you write or not.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
The best advice I have ever encountered is ¨Try and you might fail. Don´t try and you´re guaranteed to fail.
What are you reading now?
Ï´m currently reading Prisoners of Geography
What’s next for you as a writer?
I hope to continue writing and developing my travel blog.
What is your favorite book of all time?
George Orwell´s 1984.