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.
Ajiaco is a classic chicken and potato soup from the mountains around Bogotá. I had it several times living in the city, and it quickly became a staple in my diet. This soup is about as simple, delicious, and comforting as food gets.
The second half of my stay here in Bogotá was so much better than the first half. I feel that I grew emotionally and physically this month, and even though it was challenging at times, I became so much stronger because of it. It didn’t hurt either that it was packed with some of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. This journey is a constant reminder of how much natural beauty I get to experience in the world. On weekends in Bogotá, I was often finding myself getting out of the city and becoming engulfed by nature. I find it refreshing to switch off completely from the real world to recharge, especially since my brain is constantly stimulated with newness.
Month 2 of Remote Year has me living and working in Colombia’s sprawling capital, Bogotá. The city itself is surrounded by Andean peaks and filled with urban sophistication and colonial wonder. It is the third-highest capital in South America at about 8,660 ft above sea level. Because of the altitude, the first few days here had me gasping for air even simply walking up the stairs or to the office. I have been trying to drink 2 liters of water to keep me from getting altitude sickness because several others from our cohort are feeling a bit off. Aside from living in the clouds, I’m grateful to be experiencing Colombia’s rich history, legends, and colorful cultures this month.