Matador blogger “novoarte” on life in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and NYC

Matador Travel member “novoarte”, better known in real life as Julie Schwietert Collazo, spends her days bouncing between Mexico City, Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, and New York City. Married to a Cuban, she also spends a fair bit of time in Havana, visiting the in-laws that her husband has had to go years without seeing. This semi-nomadic lifestyle, Julie writes on her profile, “is a constantly fascinating contrast in internal reactions and external realities: blue skies vs. cold winters; freedom to be almost anything vs. colonialism internalized; 24/7 culture vs. globalization American style; fire escapes vs. windows with no glass and no screens.”

Julie’s blog entries about life in all four places are articulate, thoughtful, and beautifully written. She asks tough questions and confronts often ugly realities, while also capturing those moving, human moments of daily life. I’d recommend them to anyone interested in the blurred lines between long-term travel and ex-pat existence, and what it really feels like to be immersed in another culture. Here are a few of my favourites:

The Immigrant’s Suitcase – On preparing for a trip to visit family in Havana, and her husband Francisco’s packing habits.

La Llegada and Cuentos Duros; Muy Majadera; “Oye, Mono”: Some Thoughts About Race, Sex, and Economics; Reluctant Tourists at the Buffet Bar… All You Can Eat, But No Appetite – All from Julie and Francisco’s recent trip to Havana together, Francisco’s first visit home in 27 years.

Sunday Morning Stroll in Reforma – About finding a routine in Mexico City.

Calor Humano – On Julie and Francisco’s return to Old San Juan, PR.

Posted by | Comments Off on Matador blogger “novoarte” on life in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and NYC  | October 25, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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