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Cuba Bicycle

Morgan Oliver-Allen


Behind the Shot

Cuba was open to American travelers for the first time in more than 50 years, and Morgan was not going to miss it. With little more than their backpacks, Morgan and his girlfriend traveled to Havana.

Morgan’s affection for the country is clear. “It’s like watching an old movie and being in the movie. We were there for 10 days. We had no plans, no schedule, no reservations. We stayed in casas particulares, which are just private houses. People would have a room with a bed or a couch and we’d crash there. We knocked on doors until we found a place that was available. There’s no cell service, no internet. We didn’t have any specific plans. We just kinda traveled around for 10 days, living out of our backpacks.

“My favorite times were in Havana, around sunset. School and work were over, dinnertime was coming, and everyone would come out of their houses and just sit and play and talk in the streets. There’s a shift from the school and work time to the coming-home time, then to the nightlife. People aren’t on computers, aren’t living through a screen, so people are out talking with their neighbors, playing ball in the streets. The girls in the background were in the street dancing to music. It's a view into life before technology took over everything.

“We saw this bike, and it had been through a lot. The tires were solid rubber—no air. The owner let my girlfriend take it for a spin around the intersection. It was the bumpiest ride ever.”