Most travel bloggers give the worst advice: spending a week in the birthplace of humanity.
I just read an article on Colombia and traveling here that was the worst advice I have ever read, and it was by a very, very, very popular OG travel blogger.
He had an awful experience in Colombia last year, which I already had read an article last year. It leaves me a bit baffled at his travel advice; he was robbed and knifed in Bogotá, but he is fine.
He was in a touristic part of town, and Bogotá is known for being notoriously dangerous; imagine NYC or Chicago. I like it here, as I am here now, it is one of the biggest cities in Colombia, very spread out with lots of pockets of good and bad.
However, as we all know, bad things can happen anywhere, even in your hometown; currently, I feel safer in Colombia than in my home country. The rise of violence in the US is not a surprise as the country seems to be going through some aches and pains; I think of the US as a teenager since it is a relatively young country.
Back to the horrible advice I have been advocating for getting off the beaten path and practically screaming it from the rooftops; in his blog, he says to stay on the beaten path.
I almost dropped my phone; he was on the beaten path when he got robbed, and yet this is the advice he gives. He is very wrong and knows nothing about this country.
He is a tourist, and that is it. I might be biased after living here for two years, learning the language, and only surrounding myself with locals.
Locals are often surprised that I can speak Spanish, and I am amazed, too; a very up-and-down road. Which has, of course, had its ups and downs and has not always been easy; it is worth it.
Reading this also comes after I just spent the best week I have had in Colombia on a farm in Arcabuco. Oh, this is not on the backpacker track or beaten path, far from it.
Yet it was one of my favorite places, and I found my future home. The only problem is that it's not always sunny and 80 degrees, but I might actually be ok with it.
When I booked my ticket to Arcabuco, the bus driver looked at me and asked me about eight times, si, Trabuco. The bus driver goes, ok.
When it was time to get off the bus, I understood his confusion; he dropped me off as usual, I was the only one to get off, and I immediately thought, ok, Sara, maybe this time you have finally found the one place that you might get lost.
I was wandering the streets, and every head turned, and I felt a bit unwelcome. I asked a few people where the cabs were to get to my hostel, and they pointed me toward the main square.
As I was walking, I was getting a bit nervous and wondering what the hell I got myself into; as I was walking, I saw a truck selling stuff barreling down the road; with the microphone on blast advertising goods, I was instantly annoyed. Not sure why; maybe just the feeling of being overwhelmed and a bit tired.
Suddenly, there was a truck behind the big truck selling things, and the guy rolled his window down and said are you, Sara? So I looked at him like, what the hell is going on, he was the hostel's owner, and he just happened to be in town.
So I was like, talking about the right place, right time, and he took my bags, and I got in the car; the best part was he was following the truck, which was annoying me; he wanted to buy stuff off the car, as it's always on a bargain.
Isn't it funny how life works? Well, I think so, anyway. The one moment I lost faith, pacha mama reminded me never to lose faith; she will always care for you if you believe.
That was it. The host, Alejandro, told me how lucky you are to come to Arcabuco; you are my first guest from the US.
I was a bit shocked, but he told me that the Muisca culture is called the area of Arcabuco, the birthplace of humanity, and it was one of the most sacred areas.
The hostel was in front of the mountain, Iguaque, a sacred space. On top of the hill represents feminine energy, and you can see a woman lying on her back, and she is pregnant, meaning the birth of humanity.
Her partner, the masculine version, is in Villa de Leyva, about 30 minutes in the other direction. The feminine energy also influences this area; I felt so good being there.
Plus, the hostel owner was similar to me; I am now finding people in my life who align. Something shifted recently; unsure of the exact moment, but a flow and fluidity are inside me.
I can only say this because of my experiences and those I have attracted into my life. The best part about this week, besides new friends who are so similar to me, with the same life missions and goals, the farm next door is for sale, a perfect size for me with a cute little house that needs some love.
So do I advise you to stay on the backpacker trail, never?
The hidden gems will always be found once you leave your comfort zone; never let another person's fear influence how you see the world.
Originally published here.
About the Creator
I quit the rat race after working as a nurse for 16 years. Obsessed with moving off-grid, sobriety, and self-improvement. I live in Colombia.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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Awww, the cows! 😍😍😍 Just when you lost faith, there arrived a reason for you to have faith again. Such a wonderful story! Congratulations on your Top Story! I've subscribed!
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I loved your positivity in this piece and appreciated your joy and open-mindedness in trying and finding new things. So happy you've found somewhere that resonates with you. Wonderful read! Congratulations on Top Story :)
Really enjoyed this change of pace; super informative but also read like a personal letter. I enjoyed the way you presented this piece of writing, and your metaphors in comparing cities and safety is undeniable - what journalism like this should be. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and good luck on your travels and alignment!
"Never let another person's fear influence how you see the world" quite possibly the best advice I have gotten recently. I agree whole heartedly. I always listen to everyone but I tend to do what I want in the end.