Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 29, 2010

Seize the Moment

As I boarded the plane my mind wandered back to my first trip to South America, nearly two years ago.  My friends and family were all for it, but don’t go to Colombia .  My well-traveled friend S was the leader in this campaign to dissuade me from Colombia.   It is dangerous, you could be robbed, kidnapped, or worse… It just isn’t a safe place.

As one of the most pragmatic and worldly people I know, I trusted S, and crossed Colombia off my list of places to visit.  But when I arrived in South America I started to hear a whole different story.  Travelers I encountered, of all nationalities, were singing quite a different tune.  I heard account after account of amazing experiences; Colombia was the nicest country in South America, people were wonderful, and so on and so forth.  I had to visit.

From the moment I arrived the country took my breath away.  Greens that put the lush English countryside to shame, fruits more delicious than any genetically engineered import could dream of being, but most of all the people.  Couchsurfers are wonderful everywhere, but the kind, open-hearted, helpfulness I experienced from people I met on the street never ceased to amaze me.

Gone were the days of insecurity and danger.  Of course I stayed alert and listened to locals’ advice on where to go and where not to, as any traveler should do no matter where one goes.  But I felt as safe or safer in Colombia than in Peru, Ecuador, or the other countries I visited in South America.

Crossing the border from Ecuador I had been sure that a month there would be enough to see the country.   How wrong could one person be?   My time there was gone before I knew it and I had a million more things I wanted to see.  Pink dolphins, lost civilizations, pristine beaches… the list went on and on.  I wanted to get back, I needed to go back.  I had to get back to South America to improve my Spanish anyway, why not make my first stop Colombia?  It was a thought anyway…

Then everything started falling into place.  I was running out of contacts, having talked to my friend D about eye surgery in Medellin, Colombia where she lived I decided that I definitely needed to make it to Colombia sometime this year….

Perusing sidestep.com, one of my favorite sites for cheap international tickets one stood out from the rest.   $100 Miami to Bogota, that was all I needed to see.  Columbia would be my first stop  after the states.

Still organizing the details of my boat delivery, I had to wait a few days to talk to Captain X about sailing plans.  Unfortunately those few days cost me $100, the lowest price I could find now was $200.  Still, $200 to Colombia wasn’t bad.  But a word to the wise, when you see an inexpensive ticket, don’t delay.  As with life, seize the moment, you never know what will happen tomorrow…

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