18 July 2016
Visiting Colombia: An English Perspective
In November 2015 I embarked on a 6 week trip to Colombia, South America. Coming from a tiny town in the East of England, everyone thought I was crazy- why would you go to Colombia? It's so dangerous and full of drugs and violence.
My Colombian friend had previously told me a lot about his country and how amazing it was, this made me even more intrigued to find out for real. I recently got a fortune cookie with a fortune which read 'only one who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible', I believe that this quote is 100% accurate especially regarding my visit to Colombia.
I have travelled extensively throughout America, Australia and Europe as well as many other countries but Colombia is definitely the country which sticks out the most. Colombia is beautiful; the people, the culture, food and landscape are all amazing and I love everything about it.
Colombia is a world away from England: Bogota, the capital, is a city the size of London population wise but couldn't be more different. London is a hustle and bustle city, everyone's in a rush to get somewhere and the buildings are dark grey or dull in colour. In contrast, Bogota is bright and cheerful with its orange and stone buildings, its mountainous surroundings and laid back and happy people.
Colombia's landscape is one of a kind, there are mountainous cities, crystal clear beaches, rainforest, desert plains and beautiful countryside, all in a tropical climate and everyone loves to travel around the country. I have hiked mountains, sunbathed on islands, had a fire on a beach, trekked through the amazon rainforest, cycled through the centre of Bogota on a Sunday when the main roads are closed to traffic, been caving, abseiled down a waterfall, been white water rafting, been horse riding in the countryside, visited indigenous people and celebrated a Colombian football win amongst as many more experiences. One weekend I left city life and the mountains of Bogota with its 16c climate and took a four hour car journey south to the beautiful lakeside town of Prado, which could have been in a different country; there was 35c sunshine, a huge lake with mountains all around it and an all inclusive resort-style house. It was paradise within four hours of the city.
Colombians love to have a good time and celebrate. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to spend an evening playing a game some Colombian's like to call the national sport-Tejo. This is an evening activity which takes place at a Tejo court where a hockey-puck-like object is thrown at a clay rectangle with a circle of fireworks in the middle, with the aim being to set off the fireworks, all whilst drinking beer. It would definitely cause some health and safety concerns in the UK.
Colombia is an all round amazing country which literally has everything to offer. It has the potential to become the world's next big tourist destination as it begins to break away from the media stereotypes and identifies itself as being able to provide world leading travel experiences.
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About the author:
My name is Anny, I am from a small village in the East of England. Since graduating University and realising I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, I started travelling and working abroad. Travelling was always a passion of mine and I managed to turn it into a career. I have worked as a water ski instructor in Greece and America, a nanny in a snow ski resort in France and I am now embarking on a new adventure to teach English in Bogota, Colombia.