You probably don’t know, but I came home for Christmas this year, back to the UK. I’ve currently spent 3 weeks in and around London and have enjoyed myself a great deal. Still, even with how busy I’ve been I still find myself missing Colombia…
Of course, I’ll be back in just over a week or so, but while I sit here sifting through fellow Colombia travel blogs, reading about my adopted home, it reminds me of all the things I miss about Colombian culture. I’m ignoring stuff like beaches and heat, since they’re not part of my day-to-day life in Colombia. Instead, the normal things that I experience every week. Here is my top 5.
It’s not that Colombia should be defined by its penchant for a good party, but there’s no doubt that partying is something the country does very well. Although I enjoy my pubs and sitting down and chatting over a pint, I do long for the drive towards the dancefloor that you’ll inevitably find if you travel to Bogota.
They say that the majority of quality Colombian coffee beans are exported, but that notwithstanding you still find some of the best cups of coffee in the world in Colombia. And, if it’s not the best, at least it’s incredibely easy to find and very, very cheap.
If you’d have told me when I first arrived to Colombia that I’d end up missing the music I would have laughed at you. The drunken racket of vallenato? Please. As time has passed, however, I’ve found myself warming even to vallenato, and genres like salsa and cumbia have found a firm place in my heart. The sheer joy of Colombian music is the love almost every Colombian has for their music: they know all the words and are not afraid to sing along.
2. Speaking, Hearing and Learning Spanish
When I bump into people here in England, I keep murmuring ‘perdon’. I sound silly. After I’ve ordered, my go to word is ‘gracias’. I sound silly. In Colombia the only thing silly would be my foreign accent, and that’s just downright endearing.
1. The mountains surrounding Bogota
It might sound silly, but pretty much any Bogotano who has lived away from home will tell you the same thing: when they were away they missed the mountains. Not only are they a useful tool for locating yourself, but they’re a picturesque reminder of Colombia’s vast, expansive and incredibly diverse landscape. And they’re there all the time, whenever you look up, looming over the city.