Julia Stiles didn’t wake to congratulatory calls and text messages last month on Golden Globes nominations morning – the “Dexter” star was stranded in Havana, Cuba, broke, with almost no one to turn to for help.
The actress ran into trouble when she ran low on money during a humanitarian aid trip and was unable to access her bank accounts.
“With three days left to go in my trip, I was walking around Havana flat broke. I had been spending my convertibles, the secondary currency used by tourists, like Monopoly money. I figured when my cash supply got low, I’d simply slow down my spending. With funds dwindling, I realized I had miscalculated the cost of my lodging, and forgotten about the exit fee at the airport,” Julia wrote Saturday in The Wall Street Journal. “Cuba is not a place where one can access American banks or use credit cards, so if you run out of cash you cannot get anything. You can’t even get off the island.”
In the process of figuring out how to get some cash – all other members of the group she had traveled with had left for the other side of the island from Havana – the 29-year-old actress learned she had been nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Lumen on Showtime’s “Dexter.”
“There I was, thrilled to have received such a professional honor, yet still unable to barter it for cab fare,” she wrote.
Despite limited cell phones and Internet access, Julia was able to borrow money to pay for her lodging travel fees, along with learning an important lesson.
“With all of its crumbling beauty, Havana taught me the true value of a dollar,” she continued. “It also taught me that the people you know, and the ways in which you rely on one another, are more valuable than any paper currency.”
To read Julia’s full account of her journey, CLICK HERE.