Aside from my beautiful Instagram photos, traveling with Remote Year hasn’t been easy. I get homesick, I miss out on major milestones with friends and family, I have deadlines in different time zones, I am overlooked for promotions, I am easily overwhelmed with social anxiety, I break down with language barriers, and I also get burnt out more often than you think because I’m only human. On the other hand, I didn’t sign up for this one-year program because I thought it would be easy. I signed up because I felt that I wasn’t growing personally and professionally and wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone. As an artist, I am a curious being by default with a need to break complacency. I wanted a global perspective and an intense immersion into cultures I wouldn’t have fully gotten to experience if I stayed in my bougie Los Angeles neighborhood. I am now well aware that I should be careful what I wish for because this so-called glamorous year also comes with a heavy dose of fatigue, struggle, rejection, headaches, late-night crying, and loneliness. Traveling to a new city, sometimes new country each month with multiple side trips in between takes a toll on your health and well-being but is also something that I’ve recently accepted as part of my new life.
Cartagena de Indias is a 16th-century treasure rich in history and culture, of cobbled streets and pastel-coloured walls, of arcaded squares and elegant promenades on the Caribbean coast. This charismatic Colonial town is a popular tourist destination and was a convenient side trip from Medellín, where I was living for the month. I knew I would fall in love with it because I heard it was the New Orleans of Latin America.
The city was originally five islands connected by bridges, but now is divided into three general areas: The Historic Centre (the walled old city, including Getsemani), the New City (including Bocagrande, Castillogrande and Lagito, identifiable by the line of high rise apartments) and Manga. The vast majority of notable attractions are contained within the walls of the Historic Centre.
The tropical town has boutique hotels and grand open plazas filled with stylish cafes, cocktail bars and fine cuisine restaurants – all within the ancient city walls. I went without an itinerary and loved the spontaneity of my weekend.
Month 3 of Remote Year has me living and working in breathtaking Medellín, the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of Antioquia. I fell in love with this city the moment I arrived with its laid-back atmosphere and colorful culture. The temperature hovers anywhere between 65 – 85 degrees which has earned the city the reputation of “City of Eternal Spring.” I really enjoy the humidity and tropical vibes. Also, it rains intermittently throughout the day which I find quite romantic. It’s nice to dodge into a cafe or restaurant to wait out the weather and awaken your senses in that moment. Because of the rain, it is super green and lush throughout the urban areas. There isn’t a lot of traffic here making the air cleaner than the previous cities I’ve lived this year.