Heading Home: What I will Miss About Colombia

Vendor in San Diego Plaza

It’s been an experience. For someone who’s never travelled alone until this trip, I’ve done a lot of new things. I’ve also never been happier than when I saw Brian’s taxi arrive at the AirBnB in Cartagena and I knew the alone part was over! Now I am heading home and I don’t know what to even say after this amazing experience in Colombia. Here’s a recap of what I will miss about Colombia. It’s a lot.


The volunteering was really great – and really hard. I have a lot of respect for all teachers, and day care workers and babysitters. And parents. But day care workers? Wow. 26 2 year olds. In 33 degree heat and humidity and no air conditioning. Impressed. Next steps? Knowing I will never be a child care worker but still love to play with kids and having the utmost respect for those who do that every day.

Living in Cartagena

The home stay was also great. Warm and welcoming people and a different world for me. I definitely got to use my limited Spanish. Next steps? Spanish classes or a tutor back in Toronto. I went to a couple of language exchange meet-ups, in Cartagena and Medellin, and will seek those out in Toronto now.

What I Will Miss About Colombia

I will miss:

  • The happy and friendly Colombian people. They are always smiling and can teach me a thing or two about being positive (hopefully they have)!
  • The fresh fruit and juices. Even if I get a juicer back home the variety and plenty can’t be matched.
  • Using my Spanish! I will need to keep practicing.
  • The views! What a beautiful country with so much to see (when I come back on my list: Santa Marta, San Andres, the hippos of Pablo Escobar!, Salento, San Augustin, San Gil…). Email or talk to me if you are planning a trip here. I can’t loan you my Lonely Planet since I left it on that hated bus, but I have a lot of info and LOVED Colombia, if you can’t tell.
  • All the wonderful people I met: My homestay family, especially Marcela; my volunteer coordinator, Spanish teacher and friend Libary; the kids and teachers at the volunteer project in Cartagena; our Couchsurfing host in Bogotá Robin; the people on the street and in stores and restaurants who helped a single female traveller. This is actually making me tear up to write so am moving on now.
  • Traveling alone and independently: Brian is always my #1 choice, but now I know I can do this solo travel thing, and there are parts about it I really like, like doing what I want when I want to do it. I also had to deal with problems and mistakes and fix them myself. Also, traveling alone made me more likely to approach others and be approached and I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world that way!

It’s over. My five and a half week adventure now transforms into wonderful memories and something that’s taught and changed me. I look forward to home with Brian, the cats, and all my friends and next adventures. And salads. Lots of salads!

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Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, blogging about the places we visit and the adventures we have. Love hiking, cycling, scuba, animals and adventure.

One thought on “Heading Home: What I will Miss About Colombia”

  1. Fantastic! Wonderful overview of your trip! I loved the part about your being able to travel alone. It always seems like such a daunting undertaking! So good for you. Colombia would not have been on my list of travel places but you’ve certainly made it sound interesting and appealing! Will miss your blogs!

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