I recently got back from a week in Colombia and I had the best time ever, simply because I got the chance to fully immerse myself in the culture of that country, and experience a lot of what they are about.
Everyone I have come into contact with that’s either seen the photos I’ve shared on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, or the daily video-clips I shared through Snapchat, all pretty much asked me the same two questions… first being ‘why Colombia?’ which I mostly answered with ‘why not???’ lol and the following being ‘how was it?’, which usually opened the floodgates to a soliloquy of my highlights from the last number of days, which I believe would be boring to type out.
I explored the beautiful city of Medellin (the second largest in Colombia) and I thought a top 10 list would be more fun, inspired by the 90’s film 10 Things I Hate About You, here is my own version:
10 Things I Love About You, Colombia..
1. Oh, so thoughtful..
The steps that forced ‘leg day’ on me on my first day out and about.
Just over 700 steps take you to the top of this majestic rock and it took me about 35mins to make the trip. if you saw any of the video clips I shared on Snapchat [follow me tokelomotsepe if you haven’t yet], you will know that was no easy task… for me anyway lol. Though I have to say the view once at the top was well worth it.
2. Got me excited about retirement..
The small town of Guatape had me love struck over their small cobbled streets with their old buildings and homes, and I just loved how there were lots of old people hanging out chatting, one old man was fixing some shoes and it got me thinking about what I will get up to one day when I’m old and grey.. hoping it will be in a small town like this, that’s for sure, living the simple life.
3. Tengo que hablar algo de español [I got to speak some Spanish]
Be it in a restaurant when trying to order some food, at the market trying to buy something or just saying hello… I tried really hard to make use of the very little spanish I had learnt from my Duolingo app, in the month leading up to my trip.
A lot of the people there could speak English, even if it was slow and far from perfect, it was far better than my spanish, though I still tried to meet them halfway and use the few phrases I could string together… it made everything that much more interesting lol.
4. Got me thinking, “but first, coffee..”
One of their most famous exports, I started some of my mornings with a taste of their freshly brewed coffee.. though I must admit being the tea lover that I am, it wasn’t a daily occurrence, as yummy as it was… warm water or mint tea (no rooibos) is what I typically started my days with.
5. Had me feeling fruity 24/7…
Being close to the equator, and having one season through the year, a lot of my favourite tropical fruits grow year-round in Colombia, and they are always perfectly juicy and sweet, watermelons & other melons, strawberries, pap-paws, and my new fave [that sadly only grows over there] called guanabana (soursop). One thing I enjoyed was how they have these carts on the street, all over town, that sell fruit, either whole or in pieces and they also sell this Colombian fruit cocktail called salpicón, which tastes so goooood!
6. The views… oh, the views!
Anyone who reads this blog or follows me on any social platform will know I have a weakness for a breathtaking view, and that I proper capture everyone my eyes saw on this trip, from numerous angles lol and I didn’t get tired of it… they were amazing, to say the least.
7. You learn something new everyday…
From art galleries & graffiti walking tours, to well-known museums and an underground cathedral, I tried to do it all.. wherever I went I spoke to people, tried to get different perspectives, learnt so much; it was awesome and I was like a sponge, just soaking it all up.
I love food, and when I’m travelling eating healthy takes a backseat to trying local cuisine. Unfortunately, traditional Colombian food isn’t the healthiest, with things being deep fried and all that, but it reminded me of home and tasted oooh so good!
I got to finally try out some squid ink Peruvian rice, which doesn’t look so great, it being black and all, but it tasted so delicious, trust me!
9. Life is better in living colour..
Whether on the walls around me, in the food or in the cloths or lipstick I wear, a pop of colour or streams of it is very necessary in life. Colours bring things to life and add happiness to mine, sounds cliche, but hey.
10. Just keep looking up and things will do the same…
Sometimes, we get so caught up in all that is happening around us, we forget to look up… and I try to stay in the practice of doing that daily, not just to admire the beauty I may unexpectedly find, but to also give thanks to the Almighty for every experience.
I’m already looking at planning a trip back there, to tick off some of the new things that got added to my list while on this journey. I really enjoyed the city man.
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