Looks like my next trip will be to Colombia. “Colombia?!”, you say? Yes indeed, the country spelled with TWO o’s and no u. “But aren’t there like, drug lords and terra-ists there and stuff? You could get kidnapped!”
Yes, the country did have something of a problem in the recent past. But with the help of massive U.S. aid – in the form of guns and cash (used to buy more guns) -, things have actually gotten a bit safer in Colombia. Well actually, we just drove the nastier problems further north; to the Mexico-U.S. border, to be precise. But for now, everyone is happy in Colombia – except perhaps the FARC (local commies) who have been losing ground and fighters for years. But that’s all just sour grapes.
But safe or not, Colombia is an absolutely beautiful country – with nice people, white sand beaches, old colonial cities, and excellent food. Hey, at least that’s what the brochure says! In fact, Colombia’s newest slogan to attract tourists is “Colombia: The only risk is wanting to stay”. I think that’s awesome.
But only a fool would think it’s totally safe. Being dilligent and aware of your surroundings are the keys to having a safe, enjoyable trip anywhere. Hopefully, I won’t encounter what author Robert Young Pelton once called “The Four Horsemen of Colombia’s Apocalypse” – Crime, Cash, Cocaine, and Communism.
Been making a list of some of the stuff to do there. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
- Spend 2-3 nights on a white sand beach. Yes – ON the beach. No resorts, hotels, or a power grid on this beach. It’s just me, a hammock, and my kindle.
- Ride a “Chiva” bus. These are party buses that drive around the city all night long. There is a bar and a band on the roof.
- Bathe in a mud volcano.
- Dance lots of salsa
- Maybe go elsewhere in the country – maybe Medellin or Tayrona Natl. Park (nice beaches, indigenous villages)
I’m going to leave the day after Thanksgiving and will be gone for just two weeks. Also, the day after I get back will be my 30th birthday, so I’m also calling this “The Twilight of my 20s” vacation. It’s when life will start to suck. (just kidding!) Will try to update again soon.
Oh yeah, I have some photos of Montreal that I haven’t uploaded yet, so stay tuned for those as well.