I’m in my final stretch here in Colombia, and I’m feeling nostalgic.
Ten months is an eternity to spend in one country for a nomad, but that’s how long Colombia has kept my attention.
Before I went to Ecuador at the end of last year, I was sitting in a café in Bogotá reflecting on all of my experiences here. I remembered the friendly hippies I met on the coast, the welcoming of the campesinos in the pueblos, the Paisas that taught me my first Colombian groserias (swear words) when I first got here, and all of the countless people who make Colombia so special.
I thought about all of the never-ending hours on buses, watching the majestic mountains, rivers, and waterfalls unfold before me.
I reminisced about all the secret spots I had found, the friendships I had made, and everything else that I appreciate about this country.
And then I wrote a love letter to Colombia.
After I had written it, I realized I was pretty much a freak show for writing such an intense letter to a country as if it were my lover. But the truth is, Colombia has had a powerful effect on me, and I owe it to her to publicize the truth here.
Colombia, te quiero mucho. We have been together for almost six months now. I don’t usually do long-term relationships, but there’s something about you that I find irresistible.
I love your music and the way you dance so freely, at any time and in any place. Your food comforts me. I admire how you’re so full of hopes, dreams, and passion. Behind the scars left on you by your tumultuous history, your beauty shines like a lone star on a dark night.
All of the fascinating aspects of your personality have kept me hypnotized since we met. I love your secrets. It has been one of the most delicious pleasures to uncover them one by one. I feel like I could spend the rest of my life with you and never stop learning.
I love your mind. I love the way you think, how you express yourself, your fearlessness, your perseverance.
But most of all, Colombia, I love your people. Their smiles make my heart happy. The genuineness, generosity, helpfulness, openness, and friendliness that live in the soul of your people has changed my mind about the world.
I write this letter to you because I must leave you.
Though we will be apart physically, you will live on in my mind and heart forever. I may come to know other countries and share great times with them, but you will always be my #1. And I will continue to come back to you.
How could I not?