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I loved Medellin, but needed to tear myself away and explore another city or two in Colombia. I mean, it was a nice city and all, but, really, I was doing nothing there. So, after a week and a half, I headed to Cali, the third biggest city in Colombia, with the intent of staying a few days, maybe taking a salsa lesson or two (it is, after all, the salsa capital of Colombia), moving on to the coffee region, and returning to Medellin a week later to spend the remainder of my time. Instead, I ended up staying two and...

  On our first night in Medellin, Poli and I went to one of the concerts for Feria de las Flores. Near the beginning of the night the MC told the crowd to introduce yourself to the others around you. We said hello to a woman and her husband next to us and then throughout the night talked more (well, Poli mostly, as my Spanish is not good at all). When it started to rain they lent us an umbrella. And, before we left, the woman gave us her address and invited us over for lunch the next afternoon. The next day...

Feria de las Flores ‐ a Colombian festival of flowers — is a big deal in Medellin, Colombia. Every August the city throws a huge celebration devoted to the beautiful blossoms. For an entire week Paisas, other Colombians, and tourists alike flock to the city to enjoy decorative figures made from flowers, flower exhibitions, parades devoted to flowers, and concerts (not made of flowers but still). I arrived in town towards the end of the week, so I didn't get to enjoy everything the flower festival in Medellin had to offer, but I did manage to take part in a few...

It wasn't love at first sight. Of course, it rarely is. I arrived in Bogota on a Sunday afternoon, after an 8-hour bus ride from San Gil, and opted for a too-expensive taxi into town. Pointing to one of the recommended hostels in my Lonely Planet, I told the taxi driver, "Aqui." On the way, as we drove through the city, he reached back and locked my door and pointed to the other side for me to lock that one too. Watching out the window everything seemed slightly deserted, slightly dreary. When we arrived at the address in my guidebook, down one of...

That's not to say that I did absolutely nothing in San Gil, Colombia. Though, yes, most of my time in the town was spent in my pajamas, in my hostel bed, binge watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix. But I did force myself away one morning, and took a 40 minute bus ride to the nearby village of Barichara so I could explore new place and walk the Camino Real from Barichara to Guane. Barichara was a lovely town. Stone streets, whitewashed thatched homes, a brick cathedral. I spent a little time wandering and taking photos. But I...

After spending too much time on the water between Panama and Colombia, I had no desire to hit the beach while in Colombia. While most travelers traveled from Cartagena to Santa Marta to enjoy the Caribbean, the sun, the water, I wanted to get as far away as possible. And so, instead, I took a 12-hour night bus that ended up taking 20 towards the town of San Gil, Colombia: an interior town known mostly to backpackers for extreme activities such as paragliding or white water rafting. I had no desire to go paragliding or white water rafting. In fact, I had...

Cartagena was hot. Too hot. And I was feeling a bit warn down. After five months in Central America I had finally landed in my first and only (for now, at least) stop in South America: Colombia. And I wasn't in love. I was afraid that I wouldn't be. Colombia was one of those places that was talked up so much as being a favorite country, a must-see, that I worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype. And while Cartagena was pretty, while the food was cheap and plentiful, while it was a nice town, I wasn't feeling it. It didn't help...

My sunburnt arm pressed into the wooden deck. My head, propped up with a balled up, wet, pink elephant-print sarong I'd purchased in Thailand. My eyes were closed and I breathed in and out with the waves. It was uncomfortable to say the least, but I was just trying to block out the nausea. The sun was setting on my fourth day of what was meant to be a five day sailing trip: we had officially hit open water that afternoon. For the first few hours I did doing nothing but sit, staring at the horizon. "Everything is going to be...