I recently returned from a 10-days travel to Colombia and here is summarizing some key impressions.
1. Caribbean coast is wonderful, humid, sea-hugged and colorful. Beaches are great too.
2. Everything seems to happen in dance rhythms, and that’s a great thing. Báilalo!
3. People, oh the people! Cheerful, smiling, kind and just too nice. I got a bracelet, a lunch and even a city tour, for free!
4. Spanish, lovely language, makes conversations sweet, emotions filled and so vivid.
5. I would literally pay for being treated words wise like in Colombia! Mi reina, mi amor, mi princesa, it’s like EVERY MAN would address everyone, EVERYWHERE.
6. The Caribbean coast cities are such a nice mix of old and new, nature and architecture, chaos and order, improvisation and straight forwardness, dirtiness and shining, but colorful always. I am talking about Cartagena and Santa Marta, Barranquilla I just passed by it.
7. The food, oh my! Arepa, rice+meat, empanada, MANY FRUITS, repeat! Like really, all those amazing juicy colorful fruits we see at exotic place far from Europe are everywhere, each corner of the street, too available I would say.
8. It’s been already 5 years since I am not living in a Spanish speaking country but man, how well I tuned in my Spanish! After ‘where are you from’ question, it was how come I know such a good Spanish. Even got compliments that I speak as any Spanish native, which of course is exaggerated. I blushed several times for this
9. I realized that the majority of Latin music hits played at parties are part of my Spotify list I listen (and dance) quite often. Ni lo sabía! Casi me sentí en casa
10. I had different conversations with locals and one that sticks to my mind is that poverty is still a very present topic, and many people are barely earning enough to make a living, not to mention affording a comfortable life. 30% of population is living below the poverty line. Yet let’s be aware of all the contexts Colombia was exposed to throughout the years and how much advancement were made to fight poverty (read here http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2016/01/14/colombia-winning-the-war-on-poverty-and-inequality-despite-the-odds ). It’s not a new topic, though I need to admit that Europe makes us spoiled and ungrateful for what we have.
11. I didn’t feel unsafe at any given time. All the drugs and shooting and stuff we know from media, that’s in isolated areas.
12. How much I recommend Colombia? To the level that I’d jump to the next plane! PS: KLM has direct flights Amsterdam-Cartagena daily!
Here’s my highlight photo of the trip. Doña Julia was lovely smiling at all the shootings we did, and the mango was yummy too!
Colombia, hasta pronto! Te extrañaré! ️