January 9, 2013
The Fantasy Five: Colombia
Do you know what I officially get to say now?
I’M GOING ON MY ROUND THE WORLD TRIP THIS YEARRRRRRRRR!
Yes, I’m like super, crazy, over-the-top excited about my impending trip and can’t wait to see what lies ahead of me. There’ll be a whole heap of delicious food to eat, fantastic people to meet and party with, glorious architecture and sites to see, perhaps even a little bit of nature, and hopefully some comfortable hostel rooms where I can chill out and catch up with friends and family on Facebook, or play a few games online at partybingo.com.
Ahem. Well, one of the countries that I’m pretty confused about on this portion of my trip is Colombia. I mentioned it in my 2012-round-up-slash-2013-looking-forward post and still have no idea where to go. Not a clue. Because, you know, Colombia’s really, really big. We’re looking at regular ten hour or more bus journeys between major cities, not the maximum of four or five hours you experience in Korea, where you’re only ever on a bus that long if you’ve been visiting somewhere like Samcheok in northern Gangwon-do, or are heading from Busan to Seoul.
However, there are a few things I know I want to do for certain in Colombia, and a few places I’d love to head to whilst spending my month there. How do I plan on keeping myself entertained? Well, since you ask…
1. Not Get Mugged
Oh no he did NOT! Yes, I did. Come on, we have to admit it – Colombia still has an image problem, and two of its biggest cities (Cali and Medellin) appearing on a list of the World’s Most Dangerous Cities doesn’t help matters. However, the worst violence appears to be in-fighting between local gangs and criminals, and people travelling there aren’t targeted on a mass scale.
If I personally thought Colombia were unsafe, then I wouldn’t go there – I have no interest in visiting a country where I believe I’d be at a serious risk of having physical violence inflicted on me. Colombia is a place I’d love to go to, and come back with a great big, “told you so!” after not getting robbed or turned into an international drug mule. You all saw that movie Maria Full of Grace, right? If you didn’t, don’t worry – a little over-rated in my book, but a good drama nonetheless.
2. Surgery Spotting
From what I hear, Colombia is a nation full of beautiful women, and more than a handful may have had help from our good friend Doctor Lookgood when it comes to the area of their body south of the neck and north of the navel. That’s right, I’m talking about breast implants! I plan on spending a day in a well-to-do area of one of the big cities, sitting outside of a cafe sipping coffee, and both marveling and recoiling at the enhanced bosoms that clack down the street in killer heels.
I’m seriously hoping that this isn’t a stereotype that turns out to be untrue. I want to see gaggles of fabulous women that look like they’ve stepped straight out of a gloriously glossy and over-the-top telenovela. Actually, if I could see some men like the ones in this video, that would be acceptable, too.
3. Beach Time!
This one can be kept pretty brief. I’ve heard that Colombia has some absolutely divine beaches along its Caribbean coast, and I’m hoping that I get to do nothing but just chill out, lay on the sand, go for a dip in the sea, and see more beautiful men like the ones in the telenovela video above.
4. Super Cute Monkeys
The monkeys in Colombia don’t seem like the jaded Asian monkeys that attack travellers for getting too close, or the downright threatening European ones. At least, I hope not, because I googled “cute Colombian monkeys” and found these adorable critters. I’m not planning on going down to the Amazon though, so I’m not entirely sure what my likelihood of spending a day snuggling with monkeys and trying not to get poo flung at my face is.
5. Be Surprised!
Colombia is a country that I’m sure will surprise me, and hopefully in a good way. I’m open to hearing tips from travellers and locals alike on how best to enjoy the country, but one of the things I’m looking forward to the most is not planning every step and not having a fixed itinerary. I want to be wowed by colonial architecture, puzzle at strangely sweet fruit, spend a night or five partying til dawn, and hopefully not being too embarrassed if I attempt to speak Spanish.
I’m hoping that Colombia has a few surprises up its sleeve for me, and hopefully in pleasing forms like pastries and puppies and not nightmare bus rides or colossal spiders that eat baby birds. Bring it on, Colombia! Except for the spiders.
So there you have it, folks! Now, I want to hear from you! Have you ever visited Colombia, are you from there, or have you lived there before? If so, what are your top tips for the country? How can I satisfy any of the points on my list here? Do men really look like the guys from the telenovela video? Let us know in the comments below, or shout out on Facebook or Twitter.