Well, this post is…um…late. Yeah. Sorry about that.
Let me back up.
About a year ago, my husband and I took a blind leap of faith in the name of adventure and broadening perspectives. We put the contents of our lives and home into a storage unit, sold our cars, quit our jobs, put our dog in a travel crate, and moved to Manizales, Colombia, a small city in the stunningly beautiful heart of the Zona Cafetera (the coffee region – yum). As we prepared for this journey, we were frequently asked if we were insane. I mean, we were giving up good jobs with decent pay and a pretty comfortable life to live in a place where we had never been, in a country where we barely spoke the language and didn’t know the culture. It wasn’t going to be easy. However, Dan and I aren’t the kind of people who do things the easy way. We had decided that if we wanted easy, we would have stayed put. Instead, we chose to venture into the unknown for the possibility that we would experience something great.
So, as I write this, we are a few months into our adventure and while at times we ache for Colorado sunsets, powder days, the company of our friends and family, and microbrewed beer (of course), we are starting to get the hang of our new life and have found Colombia to be a nothing short of an absolutely magical place. There is noise. There is salsa dancing (and lots of it). There is breathtaking natural beauty – dramatic rolling hills, cloud forests, flowers, cool afternoon rain showers – that stop you in your tracks. There is lots of hearty, gut-busting food (damn you, empanadas!) and a “relaxed” sense of time. There are loud, passionate, warm people who love to laugh and dance and that will bend over backwards to help one another. And perhaps more importantly, there is a sense of family, friendship, and community that is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t observed or experienced it here. We have yet to feel unsafe or unwelcome here. Of course, this place is not without its troubles and contradictions, but what I can tell you from this initial impression is that Colombia is largely misunderstood by the rest of the world. In just three months, I know that much at least. I also know some good Spanglish…that counts, right?
Because we know our time here is fleeting and it is unknown how long we will be able to stay, we have learned to soak in everything we can while we are here. Our journey, so far, has proven to be exactly what we were looking for – a new adventure. Something different, that would disrupt the angles at which we view the world, something that would make us realize just how much we take for granted and how much the important things in life are to be savored and appreciated. I can’t wait to share more of this journey with you! Here are a few snaps of the city we now call home.