When A Nomad Needs A Home

I’m tired.

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.

Cape Palliser Wellington New Zealand

weekend camping trip outside of Wellington

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.

me Colombian flag

Colombia represent!

What Now?

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!

  • That’s a lot places in 11 days indeed. Maybe if luck would have it our paths will cross when we’re in Colombia in April. Can’t wait to explore this country that you apparently love so much.

  • Raulrey18

    Can’ wait to hear about your new finds!

  • Sounds great! You´ll have to let me know your itinerary so we can meet :)

  • Thanks! I´ve already got my eye on a few new pueblos :)

  • Thanks Steve :) You´re right, it´s hard traveling every few days. I´m really looking forward to taking a break. Glad you enjoyed Colombia!

  • Steve Waiksnoris

    Jasmine, good for you. It is incredibly tiring going at that pace you describe. No matter how much one enjoys traveling sometimes you just need a “home” for awhile. It’s especially great that you scrapped your plans of being on the move to go back to a place you loved. I really enjoyed Colombia and would have liked to stay longer. Pre-booked flights made that difficult, however. Enjoy your time there!

  • Good for you for recognising that you’re feeling tired and not enjoying the constant travel – enjoy the break!

  • You do know there is so much more to Peru than the “harsh desert scenery” located in the Northwest right? Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.

    Desert, trekking in some of the most beautiful mountain scenery outside of the Himalaya, jungle, you name it. Peru has it. If you don’t visit further South and explore the rest of Peru you are really missing out. It’s an amazing country.

  • Hey Carl,

    I’m positive that the tiny bit of Peru I saw wasn’t a representation of the country as a whole, and I’m certainly not done exploring Peru or the rest of South America. I just don’t have the energy to do it right now. There are tons of places I’d like to visit in Peru, just later. Thanks for visiting :)

  • thanks Rebecca :)