Since this is my first post, I decided to tell the backpackers who follow me, the story of how I became a fan of traveling around the world when I was at home in Colombia.
I still remember when my friend Billy from Canada came to Colombia for a visit. He was very excited to come and learn Spanish, although his family was kind of scared of the country because of all they had seen on tv. But he just didn’t want to believe all the stereotypes they were showing, because he met me, and he wanted to see the everyday life, he wanted to see the real Latin-American lifestyle. We were just kids by 2007, but this was (with no doubts) the experience that thought both of us that the real world is much more amazing that what they show in media. You can imagine that now Colombia has changed a lot, it is becoming better every day and you can actually visit the country without having any problem. And I don’t lie when I say that it has gotten a better reputation around the world. Even
You can imagine that now Colombia has changed a lot, it is becoming better every day and you can actually visit the country without having any problem. And I don’t lie when I say that it has gotten a better reputation around the world. Even Lonely Planet considers it one of the best 10 countries to visit in 2017!
If you want to check on some general facts about Colombia, you can either check this website or buy some guides that I recommend:
- National Geographic guide, available on Amazon.
- Lonely Planet travel guide, available on Amazon.
- 47 amazing things to do, available in Amazon.
Billy in Colombia
Coming back to the story of my friend, he finally decided to visit me after a semester of learning some Spanish with me and some months of his own. He could actually have a nice conversation with anyone we met, and I was very proud of him. My family was very open to having him around, and of course to bring him to some nice places around our city. He loved it so much, that he came for the second time in 2008. After that, we grew up and became too busy to visit each other, but we still hope to meet somewhere anywhere in the world.
Billy wrote a journal about his trip, which I read to refresh my memories and post some pictures in here. I sometimes can’t believe that time has come so fast. Nowadays we are living such different lives that it is becoming hard to meet again. During his visit, I took him to very beautiful places in my region, not only the most touristic as Medellin or Guatape but also some little towns worth to visit:
- El Retiro, La Ceja, and El Carmen, are towns close to Rionegro (where I used to live). Located only 1 hour far east from Medellin.
- Río Claro, which is a reserve along a clear river where you can do some extreme sports and enjoy the nature. It’s about 5 hours from Medellin.
- Santa Fe de Antioquia, a colonial town 2 hours west from Medellin.
My country is amazing
I have lots of things to teach about my country, especially to change that image that series and news want to keep on showing about Colombia. We are not the country of narcos, there is much more to see and learn. Here you can see some pictures of Billy’s trip. I only have to say that he really enjoyed it. He learned a lot of Spanish and the second time was even better.
Thanks to Billy, I decided that my life was not going to tie me to my country. I was meant to big things around the world, and the world was waiting for me to start exploring it. The adventure hadn’t begun, but I was already dreaming about my next steps. Then I chose to study engineering, which made me postpone my backpacker dream a little bit. Some years later I am here, with an ocean between my homeland and me.
But I still need to explore my country, get to know more about my own origins. It is still part of the dream. Feeling Colombia is not about a one time travel, it is about coming back again and again, and enjoying every corner, every meal, every activity.