It has been nothing but freezing cold weather since I came to Philly, and I started to miss summer, beaches, and sunshine. So, my friends and I decided to skip classes for a week (hey we are all exchange students, it’s now or never sorry professors), packed our bags, and went to Florida.
It was no wonder that the official nickname of Florida is ‘the Sunshine State’. It was sunny and warm every day, and the temperature was around 30 degrees (80s in Fahrenheit) for the whole week. We landed on Friday afternoon, and the parties were non-stop during weekends in Miami: pool parties, festivals, and concerts during the daytime; bars and clubs at night until the next morning. It was the perfect vacation spot for college students. I had the honor to get dancing lessons from a group of Latino girls, and we danced to Spanish songs all night long.
Besides Miami, we also went on a road trip to the islands in the south of Florida. Out of the islands that we went to, I would say I enjoyed Key West the most. It is the southernmost point of the USA and only 90 miles from Cuba! As you would expect, the island was filled with Cuban cultural heritage. Restaurants were playing live Cuban music, and everyone would dance with each other. Key West also had the most stunning beaches and breathtaking sunsets I have ever seen. Everything was perfect and just like a coming-of-age movie: friends, road trips, sunsets, beaches, parties, and more. It was incredible, and I am grateful to have met such great friends during my time in the US.
The main takeaway for me from this trip is my appreciation of Latin American culture. The Latino people we met made me feel so welcome, and I adored how enthusiastic they were. It was very different from the culture back in Hong Kong, where everyone is more shy and reserved. Moreover, I got to try authentic Latin food for the first time, and it was delicious! I would definitely visit a Latin country before I return to Hong Kong, but for now, I need to get some post-vacation rest. Back to hibernation mode, can’t wait for spring when it will be warmer!