It’s Colombia, not Columbia!
I confess, I was nervous to travel alone to Colombia. Long known for it’s danger, drug trafficking and famed Pablo Escobar, I moved beyond my fear and challenged myself to a month-long visit in this extraordinary country called Colombia, not Columbia. Of danger the most I experienced was in the small diving village of Taganga; an attempt to steal my dress off my washing line with a fishing rod and a rather cute Colombian arriving mysteriously at 3am to bunk in the neighbouring hammock on my porch. In every other situation I have never felt safer and more loved by the wonderful people of this land who call everyone ‘mi amor’ and who went beyond politeness to make me feel welcome. Even the sweet gent who had to help me out when I blocked the toilet facilities in my BnB rental (‘What? You flushed toilet paper?’ Silly gringa!)
From the stately buildings of Bogota, to the humble beach town of Santa Marta (where I became the surprised photographer of a wedding I just happened to stumble across), to the gentle harbour of Taganga and then to Tayrona – without a doubt one of the most beautifully preserved national parks I’ve ever visited (only camping is allowed here and my pre-made-on-demand one-women tent had me feeling like I was at the Ritz!) Then down to Cartagena, a classy tourist haven, and finally settling in Medellin (which I now consider one of the towns on this planet where I might happily put down roots). I climbed 725 steps to the top of Penon de Guatape and marvelled at the vista. I wondered the quaint streets of Guatape and allowed myself to be refreshed by the rainbow of colours that wash this town. I dashed through Escobar’s now crumbling estate and wondered if perhaps crime does pay? And I got lost in the magical forests of Parque Arvi and the twisting combination of metro lines, cable cars and giants escalators that have placed Medellin on the map as one of the most innovative cities of the world.
So here’s the thing about assumptions; they’re a story we tell ourselves that most often are not true. Colombia is one of the loveliest countries in South America and if I had bought my own ‘nervousness’ about traveling here, I might not have gone. And that would have been a sad loss for me. Don’t skip this country on your travels across this continent. Wifi is available everywhere (except Tayrona) and I was able to work throughout my trip and as always, bring more depth to my coaching clients because of it. If you would like to explore how you can package your skills so that you too can work and travel as a Portable Professional, be in touch. I’ve love to hear from you mi amor!
To see more of my pictures and adventures of being a Portable Professional in Colombia, South America, please visit my Best of Colombia album on Flickr.