Feb 10

Why I’m excited to be back in Colombia

el cocuy colombia

Puedes encontrar la versión en español de este post aquí : http://seecolombia.travel/blog/2014/02/regresar-a-colombia/

I have been lucky enough to live and travel in many countries across the world. I spent 3 days in some, 6 weeks in others, and a year in a couple. I can honestly say however, that I have never left a country so secure in the knowledge that I’d be back as when I left Colombia in 2012. Well, it’s happened sooner than I expected, and in under a week I’ll be touching down in my favourite country on earth.

I cannot wait to get back to Colombia. Where else can you experience the majesty of snow-capped Andean peaks, the mystery of the Amazon rainforest, the picture-postcard beauty of the Caribbean, and the rolling green hills of the coffee region all in one trip? That’s not to mention the numerous bustling, culturally diverse cities, and the variety of unexpected Colombian highlights: sun-scorched deserts, ancient jungle cities, and incredible wildlife watching. Colombia is a traveller’s paradise.

To be honest, I’ve missed the music as much as anything. Day-to-day life in Colombia moves with a rhythm that we just don’t have back home. From buses blaring out reggaeton and salsa at deafening volume, livening up that morning commute, to the vigorous strains of cumbia and vallenato echoing along the coast, Colombia is a country that lives through music and rumba. The next step is to get my salsa skills back up to speed, and I’ll be ready for the dancefloor. Watch out ladies (as I may accidentally tread on your toes)!

Los City Tayrona Colombia
Chris at the Lost City of the Tayronas

 

It’s an exciting time to be heading to Colombia right now. With Brazil 2014 a matter of months away, and Colombia firm favourites to qualify from Group C,  it promises to be an exhilarating summer for fans of the beautiful game (which is basically everyone here!). Colombian football legend (and close personal friend) Radamel Falcao may be a doubt for the tournament, but the Colombian team is blessed with a wealth of talent, and, when you throw the unbridled passion of the local fanáticos into the mix, Colombia may well be the best place on earth to enjoy the World Cup (except perhaps for Brazil). One of my first tasks when I get back will be picking up one of Colombia’s new national team shirts – we’ve got to cheer the boys on in style here at See Colombia Towers.

Not only that, but with the Ibero-American Theatre Festival and the Festival de Cineboth taking place in Bogotá over the next few months, there’s plenty to get excited about for those who are less passionate about fútbol. Both events confirm Bogotá‘s growing reputation as a culturally important global city, along with the growing number of internationally renowned bands visiting Colombia over the coming year – Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pixies and Metallica, anyone? Might give One Direction as miss though…

Amazon Colombia
To the -Colombian- amazon and beyond!

 

However, having said all that, what makes me most excited to be returning to Colombia is the chance to be surrounded by Colombians again. It’s quite common to hear people say that the folks they met travelling were the ‘friendliest’ and ‘kindest’ people they’ve ever met. Which is nice, right?! Colombians though really do take some beating on the cheerfulness scale. There aren’t many places in the world where you could turn up in a small mountain village and, within an hour,  be introduced to seemingly everyone in town by the owner of the local hardware store, before being offered his family’s spare room for the night (true story…).

I have never felt as welcome in any country on earth as I do in Colombia, and I can’t wait to once again fall victim to the  (former. JL) touristboard’s inspired slogan: “The only risk is wanting to stay.”*

*Or leave for a bit, then come straight back.

Chris

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