South America always had an allure, something that beckoned.
During my seven years in Florida, learning Spanish and living outside the United States nagged at me more than mosquitoes in the summertime, and I knew there was more to life than being a political reporter in an industry struggling to recreate itself.
I chose graduate school at George Washington University as my next step, but I swore to myself that by graduation, if I were not at least 90 percent happy working in politics in Washington, D.C., I would move to South America, maybe Medellín.
Why Medellín? The same reasons you read about often on this blog, the things you hear about when you talk to people who have been there. Nice people, perfect climate, pretty mountains, low cost of living, growing economy…it’s hard not to like those things. But I needed to see it up close before I made a final decision.
I went online to look into vacation packages and I searched everywhere for discounts, even looking at micro sites such as Expedia promo code, to find ways to maximize my vacation, a present to myself on the verge of my university commencement. I ended up staying at the Hotel Arte near Parque Lleras, the city’s Zona Rosa, or main nightlife district. Next month will make a year since I first landed in La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera.
I was drawn immediately to the people. For a lot of male travelers, it’s the women. But when you’ve just spent two years in a place like D.C., where a lot of people are nice only when they want something, sincerity resonates more than anything else.
Everything about the weather was right too. Sure, it rains, some months (May, September, October, November) more than others. So what. The temperature rarely gets hotter than the mid-80’s, hardly ever gets colder than the mid-60’s, and the humidity is almost always mild.
I liked everything else too. I made a decision that week: I would return to D.C., live out the remainder of my lease (because my landlord refused to work something out with me), and I would move to Medellín in September. I was worried about the cost of staying at a hotel the first few days. Turns out the Hotels.com coupons could wait for another time; I found a cool hostal instead.
I’ve heard it takes about six months to really get to know a place, to figure out if it’s where you want to be for a long time. Some people say three months. I thought D.C. was still great after three months. Lesson learned.
Well, I’ve officially been living in Medellín for six months when you take away December, when I was in Florida for the holidays. I’ve seen a lot of the city, met a lot of nice people, even traveled to different parts of the country, to the eastern region of Santander and several of it’s cities, to the central coffee region and a beautiful national park (which you’ll read about soon), and to the tiny pueblos outside Medellín that make great day trips or weekend stops.
But Colombia has become more than just a place to explore and call home. It has become a gateway.
I’ve been looking for coupon codes because early next month I leave for Argentina and Uruguay and I won’t be back in Medellín until mid-June. On my adventure I’ll be thinking about something else significant regarding the month of May, something I’ll share with you next month, something bigger than the one year that has passed since my first trip to Medellín.
It’ll be five years since the first time I came to Colombia.
This post was written by Ryan, and brought to you by CouponCodes4u.
I love the blog! I’m writing a series on the Cheapest Cities in Central and South America and am using your site for a reference for Medellin. Keep writing, can’t wait to read more!
Thanks Rachel, much appreciated!