It was my dream for years. South America has had a very special appeal for me. For a European citizen that so far travelled solo only within the EU, this trip was not only a dream come true but also, what can I say … a bit scary.
There are tones of full-time travellers that roam the world alone. Africa, South America, Asia. I know. I read all their posts and watch all their videos.
And then you have all the bad news. It’s dangerous – they say. There are civil unrests, kidnapping, theft and worse. We only hear bad news on the media. So we are worried and scared.
And so was I. If you think I was not aware of the dangers, you are mistaken. I very much was. But I decided to go anyway.
And what happened?
I sat on the plane with anticipation, and after gruelling 15 hours, I arrived in the land that was not only exotic but head spinning.
Like a child that learns to walk, I made my first steps into Bogota’s streets. Aware but excited. I discovered stories, art, people with open hearts willing to share their stories and the biggest portions of delicious food. Like a child, I had to learn to navigate around the streets, get used to the presence of fully armed police and people trying to sell you items, trips, sim cards, and all sorts.
And then, even more excited, I ventured into the Caribbean coast. And I am writing this article in the company of the spectacular sunset while listening to Latin dance music screaming from the speakers and sipping Club Colombia beer. Suddenly this scary land became a country of fascinating culture, super diverse nature and people willing to help you even if you are not asking for it.
I love Colombia. It’s funny as I mentioned this before and have had a conversation about it with some fellow travellers recently. I keep falling in love with all the places I visit, and it only gets better. And it’s when I expect the least – It hits me the most.
Of course, you need to be careful. Of course, while being a solo female traveller, I need to take extra care of where I go and what I do. But I don’t want fear to stop me. I won’t allow fear stop me from anything. I will push through it.
Mind you, fear is like a compass we utilize in life and navigate around dangers. When we feel fear we know we need to be careful, wary and aware. But it doesn’t mean we need to stop. We need to trad more carefully – that’s it.
There is something intangible about this country that I cannot put my finger on just yet. All these emotions live in me, and I cannot describe them just yet. This place is so complex and full of… Everything! How can one describe in few words a place like this? One day I will. Give me some time 🙂
So don’t believe what they say. Go and see for yourself. It’s been all written and said. There is nothing better than finding out for yourself. Creating your own story, your own memories of the place. No one story is ever the same.
Add your own feelings and memories to the place. So you can plant it in your heart.