CUBAN EXILE MEMORIES is a collection of narratives about the Cuban exile experience of the mid-20th century. It is a testament to the courage, perseverance, and determination of people whose lives were upended quickly, dramatically, and irrevocably by a revolution.

These anonymized experiences tell of the sometimes-improbable circumstances that led a generation to leave their homeland and everything they knew to come to a foreign country and start their lives again from scratch.

This book is for anyone interested in stories of courage and the pursuit of freedom. The memories have been collected from anecdotes passed down over generations, interviews, and personal recollections. Many of the stories are in the speaker’s own words, which sometimes revert to Spanish, and these are accompanied by English-language translations. Each story is told by a different exile sharing his or her own memory.

The main thread that runs through the book is the chaos and confusion of the communist takeover in Cuba and the subsequent exodus of a significant portion of the island’s population. Also covered are the struggles and sacrifices the exiles made during the early years of arrival in their new countries as well as sometimes humorous recollections of cultural clashes while attempting to adapt.

Lastly, this book is a declaration of unabashed appreciation to the United States, the country that gave so many the opportunity to pursue their destinies in peace and freedom.


“With searing insight, Cuban-American, Talek Nantes powerfully portrays the tragedy of Cuba and the triumph of all those Cubans who, though they fled their homeland, never abandoned the spirit, the sensibility or the passion of their beloved and bedeviled island.” —Anthony DePalma, award winning author, The Cubans: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times. 


“Heart-wrenching. Cuban Exile Memories is a well-written, gripping and tightly crafted collection of vignettes. These personal stories are a window into what Cuba became after Castro stole the revolution. It reveals the chaos and confusion that followed, and the struggles Cubans faced after arriving in the U.S.

Cuban Exile Memories is a celebration of life, and a thank you card full of gratitude to the United States.”  —Daria Rosa Nasca, author, Lights Out: A Cuban Memoir of Betrayal and Survival.  


“In this touching compilation, the author’s short but poignant segments tell myriad memories of escape, separations, disillusion, and fierce hope. The book celebrates Cuban exiles as they remain unsinkable, ebullient, and ferociously positive in their resolve to make their lives in the United States a success.

I am a Cuban exile, and the book sparked a magnetic pull and a deep kinship with the people in these narratives…because they are my story. Those of us who arrived the early 1960s share an unbreakable bond no matter where the winds of change have scattered us across this great land.”   —Miriam Isidro, author, Cuban Exile: A Young Girl’s Story  


“In Cuban Exile Memories, Cuban Americans share their stories of escape from the oppression of Castro’s Cuba to a new life in the United States. We hear their individual voices of hope and fear as they leave their homes and step courageously into a new life.  It is their story, but for many Americans whose stories began with the immigrant experience, it is our story too.  I highly recommend this lovely book.” —Ann Hamer, award winning author of Writing Your Life: The Ultimate Guide to Telling Your Story


“An extraordinary selection of personal, heartfelt accounts that capture moments in time of the Cuban diaspora. Extremely powerful!” –Betty Viamontes, award-winning author of Waiting on Zapote Street.
In celebration of having visited 110 countries, Talek Nantes would like to share her 110 best travel tips with her readers. “110 Best Travel Tips” is a collection of actionable advice for travelers who want to learn tips for maximizing their travel experience.


The book is divided into six sections; safety, transportation, staying healthy, packing light, saving money and, critically important, having fun! The tips and hacks in this book are gathered from a lifetime of travel across the globe and answers questions like:
  • What is the single most important tip guaranteed to save you money and headaches?
  • What are the best websites to find and book cheap flights, and which should you avoid?
  • How to breeze through airport security.
  • How to reduce the effects of jet lag so you can start enjoying your trip faster.
  • The best way to pack a carry-on and avoid checking luggage, even for a long trip.
  • How to save money on meals and eat better for less.
  • Where to get the best currency exchange.
  • How to get around efficiently even if you don’t speak the language.
  • Tips for never losing your valuable possessions while traveling.
  • How to avoid pickpockets and tourist scams.
  • Tips on how to break out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself into a different culture.
110 Best Travel Tips inspire readers to travel and explore experiences in interesting locations. To inhale the smells of a spice market in a Turkish bazaar. To marvel at the Statue of Liberty while drifting slowly past it on the Ferry. To view a sunrise on the other side of the world. It’s all about the experiences that will stay with you.
When asked why she travels, Talek responds “Travel makes you happy. It just makes you feel good in a way nothing else does. Seeing a place for the first time is especially electrifying; tasting new foods, finding your way around, communicating. I believe that traveling outside your comfort zone helps you hone practical skills used in your day-to-day life like problem-solving, goal setting and communication.”
Talek has been traveling for a lifetime. She has lived and worked in places as diverse as Nigeria, China, Argentina and the U.K. Along the way Talek has picked up the best practices for optimum travel that only a lifetime of trial and error experience can deliver.
110 Best Travel Tips shares these experiences with you and will inspire you to create your own unique experiences. These travel tips and advice will provide you with useful information to help you create unforgettable travel adventures.

Talek Nantes

This blog was created to inspire your travels and to explore experiences in fascinating locations. What you will find are thoughts on how to immerse yourself in local culture, food, history and people. On your way to these adventures I hope to provide you with useful information to help you get there. Come see the world with me!


Enter your email address below to receive travels tips and free guides to exciting destinations.