08/01/2013 AT 8:00 AM ET
At 55, Gloria Estefan is right where she wants to be.
“This is the time in my life when I’m doing everything I want to do, when I want to do it. It’s ‘me’ time,” the singer tells AARP magazine.
And that includes spending time with her husband Emilio, who is still making her swoon after 35 years of marriage.
“Oh my gosh, Emilio – he’s a dreamer who makes things a reality,” she says.
“There are so many story lines,” Estefan says. “It’s a universal story, it’s an immigrant story, and it’s a love story. In the United States, if you believe in yourself and you’re determined and persevere, you’re going to succeed.”
While the singer praises the U.S., she admits she still feels a strong connection to Cuba.
“There’s something that pulls me to Cuba and its plight, even though I’ve been here for more than 50 years,” she says. “That love of a homeland that no longer is the same reaches into every aspect of who I am.”
Estefan will headline the PEOPLE EN ESPAÑOL Festival later this month.