Yesterday I flew from Buenos Aires to Medellin. It’s been about a month now that I decided to leave Argentina. I had no idea where I wanted to go so I created a poll on my blog. The results are in and I only got one vulgar suggestion (thanks Rachel):
A fellow traveler suggested Medellin. She heard it was sort of the new cool place for digital nomads. I Googled it. Now, here I am.
It’s a city of “eternal spring,” colorful, tropical, and close to both the US and Argentina in case I change my mind. You may have heard of it since it used to be the drug lord capital of Colombia. Don’t worry. The homicide rate is WAY down.
President Juan Manuel Santos recently won a nobel peace prize for his deal with FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army). Medellin quickly transformed into a chic city full of “digital nomads.” I already love it. Every street is lined with thick tropical vegetation, there are little waterfalls everywhere, and the traffic is incredibly relaxed. I’m staying in the somewhat touristic and expensive El Poblado right now and its still cheaper than Argentina. I’ve seen and heard foreigners, but this hasn’t changed the fact that literally no one has spoken English to me, which is exactly what I wanted.
I’ve already contacted a new Spanish teacher, located a coworking space, and have been stalking a few gym websites trying to decide how hard I actually want to work.
I have high hopes for Colombia and plan to do more traveling than I did in Argentina (which should be easy since I did none outside of Buenos Aires).
Why Not India?
I literally almost went back to India. By “literally” I mean that I typed in my credit card information on the Emirates website and my finger hovered over the “pay now” button but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to buy a flight. Twice.
I love India. But I realized going back was a bit like getting back together with an ex-boyfriend for a summer fling. My visa would expire in October and I would be back to where I was in February: confused and hung up on my days of masala chai and kurtis. I still want to return one day, but for now I’m going to see what else is out there.
I told myself I wanted to do a year in South America, and so I’m doing a year in South America. It’s better to move on and to focus on learning new things. For example, I never took a Spanish class before Argentina. In two months I went from speaking literally nothing to being able to have an incredibly slow and painful conversation. You don’t just walk away from progress like that…
In Colombia I can have the warm weather I am looking for plus a better environment for language acquisition. I literally haven’t spoken English since I arrived. In fairness that was yesterday, but still… In Argentina, once people heard me struggling, they switched to English. Here, they just watch you struggle.
Argentina was getting cold, but I was starting to get attached. I really liked the people I met in Argentina. I didn’t like the weather or how ridiculously expensive everything was there, but I really liked my friends. My last month I had a seriously great time. I met all kinds of new people and I was getting really comfortable. I even considered not leaving, but then I walked outside and was hit with frosty reality. So here I am.
I celebrated my 27th birthday in a party with tons of people, discovered all kinds of great new lunch places, and started feeling quite comfortable. I still plan to return. I left about 2/3 of my things with my friend Gian.
Thanks for helping me decide! I’m looking forward to new experiences and embarrassing myself in Spanish over and over. There’s nothing you learn better through travel than how to be comfortable consistently looking like an idiot.