I found the Colombia Travel Blog before I even set foot in the country. That is pretty much the moment my love affair with Colombia began. My name is Tracey Armitage, hailing from the that gringo state up north, the good ol´ USA, Maryland to be exact. At the quarter-life cross-roads, I decided to go after the dream I had been sitting on to live and work in Latin America and try to make a difference through positive social impact. At last, I landed an internship as coordinator of a young and innovative sustainable Colombian coffee brand! Hola Bogotá, Colombia, home sweet home...wait, it is an average of 15ºc all year? I thought this was tropical, palm trees, sandy beaches Colombia? And thus began my education in what this incredibly diverse and awe-inspiring country has to offer; practically everything.
In the last 8 months living in Colombia I have soaked up as much culture, custom, language and “buena vibra” as possible, becoming quite a “rola” (term for Bogotanos) in the process. Living and working with gregarious, inspired and warm Colombians, I have found my “familia” and learned from them bit by bit about all the amazing spots I have to visit, the fascinating and very real recent history, what it´s like to live without seasons and how to handle a few rounds of Aguardiente (the only moment when you wish Colombians were not so hospitable).
Specifically, working in the specialty coffee industry here in Bogotá, I have had more delicious coffee than I had ever dreamed of and now know why Colombian coffee is truly some of the best in the world. I also was able to be part of driving a big change here which is keeping more of the best quality beans here in the country vs. export to my local hipster café back in the States (Europe, Austrailia etc). The diversity of regions, varieties and techniques of processing is creating a thriving coffee culture and excellence that every Colombiano should be proud of and any visitor or expat should learn about! Starbucks? No gracias, plenty of great home-grown operations to satisfy your caffeine craving.
I am joining the See Colombia team as a travel enthusiast and avid reader myself. Before moving down, I already knew the top 10 Colombian songs, the best typical foods and some great slang terms thanks to the blog. Since arriving, I have seen it all come to life and am so grateful for the reliable and really useful resource I have found in the blog. I am thrilled to add my spin on the vibrant culture, complex and exciting cities, delicious gastronomy (personal obsession!), other-worldly landscapes and enchanting people, most of all because I want people to know ALL the reasons why Colombia is more than worth their time. It´s beautiful beaches, salsa and coffee, sure…but beneath the surface and off the beaten path is so much more to discover and experience here. My bucket-list has certainly grown exponentially since moving here. So as I work on that, thanks for the opportunity to share my perspective and enthusiasm with you and the See Colombia community!