I’ve been contemplating my future direction for some time now, and I still have yet to determine a trajectory in terms of how to make my money in a manner that I might be alright with over the long-term. (Considering either grad school for Public Policy, or opening up a wine/fine liquor bar/used bookstore/hookah bar/whole foods restaurant/dance club). But for this year at least, I’ve made certain decisions about my immediate future: for example, I’ve decided that I must journey to Colombia, and I’m pretty excited about this. This will occur at the end of the year, and I’m still trying to determine the exact length of time to be down there, but I’m hoping for at least 2 months, if not more.

Why Colombia? Well, for starters, my cousin is a Colombian organic farmer (go figure, considering I’m mainly Swedish in heritage), growing platanos and café, and as I haven’t seen him since I was a kid, I figured that now’s about the time, given that I am getting into permaculture and planting concepts. Furthermore, given that I had a wonderful journey into Perú last year and picked up a little bit of Castellano, it only seems natural to continue exploring the wonders and beauty of South America. And also, of course, it is extremely cheap down there as well.

Different this time around will be that my girlfriend plans on accompanying me, which will change the experience of travel in many ways. She’s terrified of being in a foreign country and of dealing with strangers in another language. Especially a country that has the cloud of narcotic traffic terrorism hanging over it. When I am by myself, I never feel very threatened, both because I am secretly a ninja, and also because I can be very accepting of people when I need to, even when they appear threatening. But with her by my side, I may feel more of a protective urge and not be as inclined to place myself in potentially sketchy situations that could also lead to interesting adventures. But at the same time, I also think that I will be more adventurous in other ways, such as when I want to go check out a local bar playing criollo music, I won’t hesitate to go out since I will have a companion. Many times last winter when I wanted to check out some local joint and I hadn’t made any local friends yet, I was a little bit nervous because I was alone, blonde, and didn’t speak very good Spanish, so I didn’t feel comfortable just busting into some bar and dancing merengue, even though I really wanted to. I’m not sure how it will be exactly, but I know that it will be a whole new experience unto itself.

I’m excited already, I love to travel and explore foreign cultures, where sometimes I feel more at home, and also feel more self-explorative then when in my native environment. I feel like the juxtaposition of being in a strange and foreign environment challenges you to appreciate difference, and open yourself to wholly new perspectives that you wouldn’t normally consider nor accept.


Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

8 thoughts on “Colombia-Ho”

  1. Hey, Gladd you are going to Colombia, I’m from there, but I live now in Washington DC. I go to Cartagena very often and is one of the most beautiful places in Colombia. Avoid all the crouds by going before December 15, that is when Colombia’s go on vacation, and it goes until January 15 . Always as for discounts no mather what, exept in the big stores. Good luck and have fun there. Jose

  2. Hugo Chavez is the president of Venezuela, not Colombia. And I would love to meet him. At least his “dictatorship” is benevolent, as opposed to our current dictatorship by Dick Cheney.

  3. Bubbler,

    Hugo Chavez ordered that a television station[network] he does not like will be closed down. By any definition Hugo Chavez is a dictator and I’m sure you would love to meet him.

  4. Yes, of course every action taken by Chavez that can be considered unsavory is blown up by the American media, and our government would love to see him deposed (we supported the short lived coup of Chavez in 2002). But closing down a TV station seems pretty darn insignificant in comparison to things that our own government have been doing on a consistent basis. I don’t think I need to list these things, as you have obviously been paying attention to the news, but here’s a reminder: firing of US attorneys, Jack Abramoff, Valerie Plame, unauthorized wiretapping, nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Halliburton, Tom Delay, Abu Ghraib, etcetera etc ad nauseum.

    Let me also remind you that we don’t exactly have a “free” media in these parts either. Now, I’m not trying to justify Chavez’ actions. But I also don’t know anything about Venezuelan politics yet, and I have the feeling that neither do you, aside from the one-sided portraits painted by the American media.

    We got plenty to criticize within our government before we start criticizing foreign governments.

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