By a series of impulsive decisions and fortunate circumstances, I have managed to go to 4 different continents in the last year.
No, this was not planned. (Though I am tempted to write it down on a bucket list just to have the pleasure of crossing it off).
First, let me clarify that I am not obsessed with traveling. I prioritize it, I enjoy it, and I am fortunate to have some great flying benefits thanks to my Delta pilot father. But I am not one to travel for the sake of traveling. The process of getting where you want to go, especially if you’re flying stand-by, does not thrill me. It is stressful and not for the faint of heart. BUT, the end result is worth it to me. I am not obsessed with traveling, but I might be slightly obsessed with exploring.
I love stepping onto the soil of a place so beautifully different than what is familiar to me. I love to taste the different flavors and hear voices all around you speaking a language you don’t understand.
Traveling makes you so vulnerable, which is probably why it is so daunting. You feel small. You feel overwhelmed with how little you know about the world. It is important to see poverty and beauty and wander through museums full of impossibly old artifacts from people groups who inhabited those places long before the world as you know it existed. It makes you feel a bit more insignificant as an individual, and a bit more appreciative of humanity as a whole. It stretches you and forces you out of what is comfortable. I love this type of traveling.
My girlfriend Constance is a seasoned world traveling. She has done it all-lived in Thailand, India, Central America, and has been anywhere and everywhere in between. Every centimeter of her passport is filled with evidence of a life that’s been a LOT more exciting than mine. She is the coolest.
I don’t remember how exactly we came to decide to go to Bogota, even though it happened very soon before we left. I think it was something about being in a similar time zone as Austin and a pretty short flight and maybe a few other factors. I had heard amazing things from various people about Colombia, and when you have a week off before school starts again, sometimes you just have to say yes.
Churros are my love language.
Obleas. Colombian street snack in which 2 crispy wafers are smushed together with gooey caramel sauce between them. I need one right now!
We stayed at a cute hostel in La Candelaria called Casu, and had our own room with a shared bathroom. The very nice thing about Colombia is that it is so affordable.
We did a lot with our 5 days in Bogota. We went to a gold museum, a few art museums, a couple street markets, took an aerial cablecar up a mountain to Monserrate, did a day trip to Zipacura to see an underground cathedral carved from a salt mine, ate some great food, and went to an emerald museum. We were offered cocaine, got lost in many questionable taxi rides, tried to go dancing at a Cuban nightclub but the power in the building went out for 45 minutes, and almost didn’t make it back to the US thanks to a very very hectic travel day. It was definitely one for the books, and I’m so glad we went for it. Saying yes is the hardest part, but the payout is rich.
For now, school has began again, and I’m loving and loathing every minute of it. There is more work to be done than seems humanly possible, but I’m absolutely enthralled with the things I’m learning. I never knew I could find a career that is so close to my heart. I’m excited and scared and grateful for this next (very different looking) adventure.
Cheers and happy new year!