South America has always been the continent we wanted to visit first on our adventure. Where to start in South America has changed a few times. If we had sold our house 2 years ago it would have been Cafayate, Argentina or a year later would have put us in Ecuador. We searched Ecuador, from Otavalo to Cuenca then up the coast as far as Esmereldas and settled on Salinas.
We have read and researched, pouring over countless blog posts, books and travel articles trying to settle on the first destination. We even went as far as visiting Cafayate, Argentina in Salta province to see if all we’d read about “Salta la linda” (Salta the beautiful) was true.
For one reason or another (time being the major one with the house not selling) we kept or minds open and our radars searching. We were still looking for something we hadn’t heard about in Salinas or Cafayate. What that “something” was we didn’t yet know but one country kept popping up in our reading, whispering to us, it’s here, look here…
That place was Colombia.
We initially put Colombia out of our minds, concerned about safety, but something kept us coming back.
We were intrigued by the diversity, the weather, the mind blowing beauty found on the beaches, in the mountains and throughout the forest of the Amazon. Colombia seemed like uncharted territory, the road less traveled, the place with boundless opportunity and optimism.
As we’ve learned more about Colombian people, their culture, I have almost forgotten all of my initial fears. One traveler we met said Colombia is a country not spoiled by tourism. She told us stories of time she spent there and how she felt so welcomed, people on the street would smile and stop to thank her for coming to visit Colombia. Everything we have read or watched about Colombia has kept drawing us in.
I can’t remember when the search changed course and began within the borders of Colombia. All of the reading and planning to visit Ecuador seems a distant memory now, fading in the rear view, Colombia is the road before us now and we have dialed in our destination.
Cartagena will be the first stop for the Expat Experiment. We don’t know how long we will stay or if what we are looking for exists there, but I feel a connection to Colombia already. Colombia seems to be like a kindred spirit, in search of change, working tirelessly to get back to a simpler life.
Seems like the perfect place to start I think.
Change and a simpler life are what inspired our adventure.