How I fell in love with Colombia

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Colombia wasn’t love at first sight. It was like John Green said, slowly and then all at once. If you are reading other blogs or have read other blogs about Colombia, there’s one thing that travellers say about Colombia, you can never forget its people. 

Except 2 or 3 cities in Colombia, which are absolutely picturesque like Cartagena, Medellin and Bogota, Colombia won’t look like what you’ve thought or seen in pictures. But I will encourage you to spend more time and travel more to see for yourself falling in love slowly.

Additional points if you speak Spanish.

I was welcomed with a peck on cheek by a good looking hippie gang when I got to know that it is perfectly normal way of them greeting you, also come very close while talking. This might seem off if you’re from Europe or even Asia. With not able to understand or speak Spanish had my initial days a bit tough but my hosts constantly tried to make me comfortable, they even printed out some chits of most common words used in Spanish and pasted them on the spots, gave some to me, which absolutely was the first time I felt at home. To add up to that, there was not even a single stance where I felt like an outsider in their home, I was offered everything their own daughters. The place where I was staying was half an hour from the beach, so my first date with Caribbean was a few days after I landed and got comfortable. As I stayed here for more days, I was taken aback with exceptional street arts, lush green valley and beaches.

The el cafe you get on the streets for less than a dollar will be the best Americano you’ve ever tasted in your life. Also, they do nothing without their cafe, they have it in the morning, before lunch, after lunch, evening, before dinner and after dinner. I started visiting my family’s grandmother’s house (case de abuela). The house was old beautiful, insanely covered with flowers and an amaca (hammock) in the middle of the verandah. I discovered that every house has a hammock, well almost. She was an amazing cook and host.

The warmth and passion, Colombians have is unmatchable and unbeatable in any part of the world. Everyone I was meeting was inviting me to their house to meet their families. Except for visiting small beaches every now and then, which were better than most of the beaches I have ever visited in my life, we finally planned a trip to the much talked about Cartagena. Cartagena was recommended to me even before I came here by several travellers online. Cartagena is so magical that you can photograph every house, corner, shop. It is like a fairy tale movie set. There is port, there is fort and the beautiful Cafe del mar. One side of Cartagena does look like Miami. It is named as one of the most romantic city, because of the plaza and beautiful historic city. You’ll also spot some horse carts with stunning woman, dressed in indigenous Colombian outfits. The weather is tropical, don’t forget to enjoy the scrumptious fruits when here.

I just never wanted to leave this city which looked more like a painting. It was too surreal to be true.

On my trip, I also happened to explore the never ending coffee gardens of Colombia and the process by which they harvest the best coffee in the world. The more cities you visit in Colombia, the more you’ll be surprised by the vast diversity of the country.

Bogota, the capital was a bit chilly and the weird part is that it is a huge city higher, on a valley. That is not normal right. Bogota was where I spotted mountains right out my windows, and not the kind you see on hill stations. The view was like a model, the buildings, the tall buildings and then the mountains. Bogota has the most amazing street graffitis you’ll ever see. This was where you’ll find a lot of metropolitan culture and expats but the Colombians are a lot more warm and inviting.

At the end of my trip, I felt so engraved in the culture – everything about it – the family gatherings which were more like festivals when there were soccer matches, Colombian jersey I wore, the dinners, the music, the way they celebrate life, the way they’re really enjoying a quality life, the amacas, the farms, the moto taxis, the coffee, the beaches, the fruits and most importantly the people.

People in Colombia will touch you, change you and make you yours. You can never be the old you after living here.

If its not yet on your travel list, its high time!

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