IT'S COLOMBIA NOT COLUMBIA
We sometimes have a skewed view of the world that is around us. The far far away lands that we don’t always get to touch but to only hear about. Hear about through one side perspectives formed only from glimpses and peeks into worlds unknown only to make out a small portion of what their reality is coupled with drama and theatrics for emotion. As I traveled through Colombia, in the wake of the Netflix series Narco, this idea really hit home. As we Americans revel in the production that only depicts one side of Colombia we somehow get lost and never think of the many sides a country as Colombia has. As many have said the film depicts the ugliest side of a country that is so breathtaking, [that it’s laughable.]
Colombia for me was temperamental weather, astonishing views, delectable food, and on many occasions I was gladly received along with the rest of the gringas in the land. Now there has never been a place where I have traveled and not felt at home. But there was something very special about the folks in Colombia and the energy there.
I am worldly, so I never assert myself as a tourist in any land. But even if I do not, the country or place I am visiting always reminds me that I am - through the way that the tourism is set up, the atmosphere, and the way the natives treat me. You just know, even if you may not claim to be. But with every city that I visited in Colombia, there was something that was old school southernly about it, something motherly.
Let me explain, you know when you down South and everybody speaks, people see you looking confused and ask if you need help, folk welcoming you into their homes for dinner and don’t even know you, the mothers of the church collecting money for you and your next ventures - it felt like that but in a Colombian way. I felt comfort when speaking in my broken Spanish and listening to much better broken English, they were gentle with me as I moved along the city, they were devoted to making me feel like I was home by sharing their spaces and protecting me with the knowledge of their country. It was fascinating to be so well received by a country who is new to having foreigners visit, this just accelerating in the past twenty years. They became very fond of me and me of them and I feel as if that is how they treat everyone that steps foot on their land unless you are blatantly acting like a gringa, which is American or idiot in English.
As someone who hasn’t watched Narco but has seen and felt present day Colombia I implore you to read along with me over the next few weeks as we portray what Colombia is today in the here and now. We are not dismissing the past, but we will not follow in the footsteps of glorifying a past that was created by one man and his tyranny but we are here to show you the authenticity of Colombia - highlighting the many entrepreneurs, the stunning geography, and the awe-inspiring things that are created in the country. Come with us as we expose the People, Places and Things of Colombia!