"GO TO COLOMBIA"
Considered one of backpackers favorite hub, Colombia is on the rise with increasing numbers of tourists each year
When I was backpacking in 2009 everyone I would meet would tell me “Go to Colombia”
At that point in my travels I had made the decision to settle somewhere in Central/South America so I was traveling with that objective in mind
As a westerner, newly embarked on the off the beaten path travel adventure trail, I was still very much brainwashed by the media not realizing yet that they were just a public relation office for big corporations
So each time my internal response was “Are you crazy, I’m not gonna settle in Colombia!!!!”
Well I did ….
In 2010, we were 50 000 tourists to visit Colombia each year but you could feel that this country was about to pop up open in a big way within the next 5 years
And that’s exactly what happened …
In 2017 that number rose to 4 Million visitors each year and along with it the Immigration office getting their act together, well sort of, trust me we all have horror stories to tell
Today still, as I speak to backpackers who travel all over and come to stay at my place, they mention the same recurring theme when they encounter fellow backpackers who tell them “Go to Colombia”
You’ll never hear someone say “oh you absolutely have to go to Peru or Bolivia or any but you will always hear people say “you HAVE to go to Colombia”
And the reason ? Well Colombia is Magic
Until 10 years ago, you would hardly see any tourists here and for a good reason, you didn’t want to end up chained to a post in the middle of the jungle
The first westerners I met who settled here started to relocate around 2007 and it’s been growing ever since
For this reason the average local Colombian is still very new to the experience of meeting someone from another country so they are eager to meet you, to talk to you, to ask where you are from, how things are in your country, they are exited about this new world opening up in front of them and that is mainly why backpackers love Colombia because of its people, their generosity, their openness, their eagerness to get to know you
…. not for the food, sorry this is not Mexico …. unfortunately for my taste buds
I enjoy watching the Netflix series Narcos although Colombians do not like this show, but it made me realize what they went through, all the violence which you would hear about but not actually understand what it really meant for them to go through in their daily lives
Although they went through such ordeal, you would never know it by being around them
They have no resentment, no bitterness, I know I would be angry as hell but you don’t feel any of that They live for the present moment and do not dwell on the past, a big lesson for me !
And most of all, they absolutely adore their country
Don’t get me wrong, it’s no all peace and love either and you still have to watch out and use your common sense, like you know, don’t dangle your $2000 camera in front of their noses when you know that the average person takes in $10 dollars a day and they know what that thing costs … they have internet too !!!
There are con artist who see you as a target with a big bulls eye on their back but at the same time, you will encounter a person who will watch out for you and come next to you and say “be careful , don’t leave your bag like this” or to stop you when you are about to get off at the wrong bus stop
So in a nutshell this is the country I live in now, this is my home, where I found my little piece of paradise and live in contentment[wpforms id=”331″ title=”true” description=”true”]