Hello dear pals and traveler fellows!
You have no idea how much I missed this place, my virtual home. These 2 weeks were completly insane, really! I left Portugal in the end of September and seems I'll come back in the end of April, wow!! Remember when I talked about settling down? Hahaha it's not going to happen... for right now. But I have some plans for 2015 including leaving my life of nomad and living out of a backpack and live one year somewhere, which is still a secret. First I gotta be sure that is going to happen, then I can spread the word. If all goes as planned, I finally can host people in my house :) It's about time to pay back all these years staying with adorable and helpful friends, family and couchsurfers.
This time the reason why I'm not updating the blog 2-3 times a week as usual is because last week my laptop broke down, ooohhhh! My beloved electronical device that keep me in touch with the rest of the World :( I will try to fix it during this week, I think I just have to download Windows 7, cross your fingers guys! But that's not it. I lost my cell phone and now I don't have an alarm clock hehe (great excuse to purchase a smartphone, finally!) and I broke the screen of my new Canon DLSR big bummer!! I hope I can get it fixed in Bogota or some big city. Now I only have the tablet, at least something :) Keep positive Marta, better breaking electronics then a leg, right?
We are in Colombia for 2 weeks, I've been writting all transportation costs from my itinerary to share with you in the end of this trip. Transportation is super expensive here! For example: for less then 2 hours trip you pay 10 bucks. Doesn't sound a lot but when you travel 5 months, it's a lot! It was an awful surprise, I thought Colombia was just any Central American country but not really, besides food being cheap (fruits and vegetables are so delicious) life costs is just as same as Portugal. I really don't know how mostly colombians can live like this since their minimum salary is about 300 dollars. Someone told us that the government pays (more or less) well for each kid so there are many women out here with a bunch of kids and stay at home, instead of working.
Zipaquira, where is located the First Wander of Colombia: The underground Salt Church
For the third time in my life I felt the Cultural Shock, I thought after 7 years traveling this wouldn't happen anymore but I was wrong and now I understand is something that can happen anytime in your life. Nobody is unponished.
I traveled and worked in California for 2 months before coming to Colombia. We arrived Bogota which is pretty polluted, noisy, busy, tons of hours in traffic (also has good areas and interesting spots to visit - blog post coming soon) and felt like flying back to USA in the next couple of hours. Ahhh! But the worst is people ripping you off all the time. Although I'm experienced with this matter, I gotta say is very annoying all the time, even the man in the Exchange Money shop, he gave us 5 dollars less, just a try. All the time we have to check change and ask all prices before purchising something. I believe this happens more often in capitals or touristy places. I hope so!
Another thing about (mostly) colombians that piss me off from the moon and back is when we ask directions, even if they don't know, they will say something, but that something is wrong, making us waste time and patient. We had such an hard time with this matter but now we know: ask 5 different people and make a decision.
All these points made me feel sad, traveling like this makes your life harder. Don't think life of a traveler is super simple and easy because we don't have to pay car, house or bills. Sometimes we struggle a lot with the culture and with our budget. But this is also the reason why we love to travel: to understand the World, to see with our eyes and to discover the new. This way we appreciate even more our culture and feel so fortunate! One thing I can tell you: Colombia is very beautiful, I'm grateful for being here.
You might be wondering if I will stay in Colombia until April, nope, I will go to Venezuela next, Ecuador, Peru and if there is time and/or money Bolivia. Any tips of where to go and where to sleep is much appreciated! Or any tips in general about these countries are welcome. No return flight as usual :)
I'm going to prepare few posts for next days. If you want me to post about something in Colombia that interests you send me an email or leave a comment.
Hasta luego hermanos! Nos vemos!