My first guest post – so exciting! This excerpt is written by Jessie Smith who was my coworker, turned good friend, who came to visit Dan and I in Medellin with her three best friends last week. We had such a great time with all of them and are still crying over their departure. All of the awesome pictures below were also taken by Jessie’s infamous GoPro. Because Jessie would probably kill me if I choose a picture of just her as the feature image, here she is in all her beauty and glory at Machu Picchu:
HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Not that it’s a huge deal or anything, but I am one of Christie’s best friends (self proclaimed). We were co-workers for a year before she went and abandoned me (I’ve since forgiven her). Myself and three of my friends had a trip to Peru planned, but when I realized C was going to be right next door, we couldn’t help but tweak our plans a make a brief 3-day stopover to visit C and D.
I begged C to let me make a cameo on her blog. I thought of probably, eh, 15 different angles for this post and none of them felt right so we’ll see how this goes. I want to show how much my friends and I enjoyed Colombia as a whole — because we seriously did. BUT, most importantly, I want to do at least a tiny bit of justice to C and D’s new lives in this wacky, hectic, yet beautiful part of the world.
5 TAKE-AWAYS. HERE WE FRIKIN’ GO.
1. C Actually Knew Her Way Around — She really did. They’ve been there for a little over 3 weeks and it seemed as if she’d lived there for years. She knew exactly where to go and how to get there. She’d even throw in the occasional fun-fact here and there. We were very impressed.
2. D Actually Does Study Spanish — He was in charge of the Spanish-speaking and translating when we were all out and about. C would kind of hang back in case disaster struck, even though when it did, she’d typically just let it crash and burn and just giggle in the background. But really, he actually does speak Spanish quite well. Sure, my friends and I were more or less fluent in Spanish ourselves, aka Hola! Cervesa! And No Gracias, on repeat. So yeah, we were relieved to have them around to do our dirty work.
*Editors Note* They did show up to our condo one night with a case of non-alcoholic beer, so clearly they still have a lot to learn.
3. The Food Was Actually Great —We didn’t have a bad meal in Colombia. That’s a fact. C had an arsenal of restaurants ready and we were not disappointed. D also introduced me to the heaven that is STREET MEAT. Chicken wrapped in bacon on a stick. We were going to go out to a ‘nice dinner’ but one beer led to another and we were crowding the street empanada stands and stuffing our faces. I selfishly had 2 jumbo chicken wrapped in bacon sticks. NO REGRETS.
4. Colombia is Actually Quite Safe — I can not even begin to put a number on how many times I told people we were going to Colombia and everyone was like – BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DRUGLORDS!!!!
It was extremely annoying.
We walked all over the city, night and day, and lived to tell the tale. Sure, the downtown area has some interesting characters and you might not want to drunkenly wander around alone at night flashing hundred dollar bills and your iPhone, but assuming you’re simply acting like a civilized human being, you’ll be just fine. Seriously.
5. C & D Actually Don’t Regret Leaving — I came to Colombia on a mission. I was going to ask C and D the toughest questions I could to uncover exactly how everything was going. In my head, I assumed they’d put up a front, but I knew drunkenly the cold-hard facts were bound to shine through.
I can honestly report that drunk and sober, C and D are truly, sincerely, straight up happy.
I think it’s easy for people at home to get a little snooty and assume — I just don’t get it….? What are they doing? Like traveling the world, not working? What do they even do during the day? Just nothing?! What’s the point? For what?!
Or something like — yeah, that’s very admirable of them, but it’s just a temporary fix, they’ll have to come home and THEN WHAT??
Or who knows – THEY DUMB!
Etc. Etc. You get it.
But the reality is, and this became very clear to my friends and I — they don’t care!
C literally wakes up every single day and does whatever the heck she wants. She writes and reads and wanders and listens to Adele on repeat and learns and befriends food vendors. D drags himself to Spanish class for the first half of the day, pending his hangover. Then they go out exploring and you guessed it, they do whatever the heck they want — go on a little adventure, go binge drinking at a salsa club, or hibernate all day watching Colombian Netflix.
I think it’s easy to be a bit confused about the whole ‘wake up and do whatever you want’ thing. Not sure why there seems to be some negative feeling towards taking hard earned and planned time off?
When really in this case, it should be more of a, ‘wow, you guys worked, saved and planned and made it happen. YOU GUYS ARE BAD ASS!’
SO, hey C & D — you guys are bad ass! Thanks for having us!