But leave I did.
Twelve months ago, I set out to explore the rest of South America.
- Ecuador and an 8-day cruise in the Galapagos Islands
- Peru and the 5-day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu
- Living in Lima for 5 months
- Falling in love with a wonderful Peruvian girl
- Two weeks traveling Patagonia
- Ice climbing on a glacier for the first time
- Living in Buenos Aires for 6 weeks, and taking tango lessons
- Traveling the coast of Uruguay
- Chile and sandboarding in the Atacama Desert
- Bolivia and the Salt Flats of Uyuni
Three things were abundantly clear to me after my first few hours back in Medellin.
1. Medellin is the most beautiful city in South America as far as I’m concerned. I still need to see Rio, but I’m confident Medellin can hold up against the competition.
2. All the things I loved about Medellin in 2009 are still the things I appreciate about it in 2012. The mountains, the consistent Springlike climate, the friendly people, the energy of the city, and the pretty paisas.
3. I’m not the same man I was when I left. It feels like I’ve lived a lifetime or two in the last 12 months. That’s one of the things I love most about travel — it’s like taking steroids for personal growth.
After checking into my first of two Poblado apartments, I went for a walk around Parque Lleras, taking note of the bars and discotecas that have changed ownership in the time I’ve been gone. There were quite a few changes in Barrio Colombia as well.
Nightlife and food are two of my favorite topics to cover in the city, so I wanted to get a quick feel for what’s been happening.
Then I met up with Ryan, whose been doing an excellent job of entertaining and informing readers of this blog since I left.
After a few Pilsens, we walked over to the Buddha hostel in Laureles where he’s now working. Once there, he introduced me to Mariano, the owner.
The Buddha hostels are a real trip. The one in Laureles features decor he once used in a discoteca he owned in Bogota. As you can tell from the photo above, it’s not your average party hostel in Medellin.
Finally, there are some hostels where travelers can go for a more relaxed and peaceful environment.
I’m writing this after being back two days, and already I know two weeks won’t be enough time in the city I love so much.
I look forward to meeting up with all my friends, and getting a lot of writing done in between. If you’d like to meet up this week, leave a comment, or follow Medellin Living on Facebook for updates about any events I’m attending.