Tired of changing locations every few days, tired of sharing dirty kitchens, tired of not having my own space to hibernate.
Usually when I travel, I pick a city and stay for awhile. I spent 3 months in Wellington, New Zealand, 4 months in Christchurch, New Zealand, 5 months in Melbourne, Australia, and 2 months in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. I find when I balance short-term expat life with active backpacking, I enjoy it the most.
However, I haven’t settled down in one place since I left Guatemala 11 months ago.
As a long-term traveler with no particular schedule to meet (except those imposed on me by immigration officials), I prefer slow travel.
But recently, I’ve been barreling through places at a breakneck speed. My past couple of weeks have looked like this:
1 day – Loja, Ecuador; 1 day – Macará, Ecuador; 2 days – Piura, Peru; 2 days – Máncora, Peru; 2 days – Otavalo, Ecuador; with plans to be spending 1 day – Pasto, Colombia; 2 days – Popayan, Colombia.
That’s 7 cities in 11 days over 3 countries! Not to mention the 45+ hours I’ve spent and will be spending on buses in less than two weeks.
Why The Madness?
We originally had plans to keep traveling down through Peru to Bolivia and/or Chile and Argentina over the next several months. I thought I would find a cool place in Peru to hang out for a month or two, working hard so that I could have a bit of leeway in my work. But after a few days in Peru, the harsh desert scenery and the endless bus rides made me long for somewhere I could call home.
The truth is, I miss Colombia’s endless supply of green valleys, friendly people, and familiar food. It’s one of the only places that I could see myself settling down long term (if that’s ever in the cards for me).
It made complete sense for me to return instead of looking for some place new. So we did an about-face and are now making our way back to my favorite country in the world.
The reason I never fully committed to just one location in Colombia (though I did stay in Bogotá awhile, I lived in a hostel so it doesn’t really count) is because there are so many I love, and so many I haven’t seen yet.
The initial month or two, I’ll be looking for a town close to Bogotá (to be close to my partner) so that I can rent an apartment, work really hard, focus on my writing, and start developing some other business ideas that I’ve got running around in my head.
For the rest of my travel in Colombia, I’ll be exploring regions I haven’t seen yet, like Palomino and La Guajira, the Pacific Coast, and possibly even Leticia and the surrounding jungle. And of course, I’ll be scouring Colombia for more pueblos and off-the-beaten-path places to bring you.
Unpacking my backpack completely, experimenting with new vegetarian recipes, and eating arepas all day – sounds like heaven. See you on the other side!