La Noche de las Velitas

This past Thursday, December 8, was a holiday in Colombia. December 8 is the day of the Immaculate Conception, and on the eve before this holiday Colombians celebrate La Día de las Velitas (The Night of Candles). Continue reading

Top 5 Things I Miss from the Coast

Flag of Barranquilla

Today is my last day in Barranquilla; I go back to Bogotá tonight. The next time I’ll be here will be for CARNAVALES! I can’t wait. I’m excited to go back to Bogotá, but there are some things from Barranquilla that I have really missed, so I want to share my top five.  Continue reading

Back in La Costa!

View from my old classroom of the preschool where I taught

I am back in Barranquilla, my old home, for the first time in five months. It is wonderful being back. Everything feels so familiar still; it really feels so much more like home to me than Bogotá does. Although perhaps that will change in a few months.   Continue reading

Why Colombia?

Exciting news! GoAbroad.com, one of the leading websites on meaningful travel and studying, living, and working abroad, has chosen to feature The Wanderlust Chronicles as their Blog of the Week. In honor of having my blog featured on GoAbroad.com, I want to tell you, Dear Reader, why I chose to, well, go abroad to Colombia. Continue reading

Colombian Cuisine

When discussing cultural differences of a place, one simply cannot ignore the food. Colombia has some very interesting and different foods that also vary within different regions of the country.

First, the fruits. There are some crazy fruits found in Colombia. Well, crazy to a gringo, that is. No Colombian meal is complete without a pitcher of freshly made fruit juice. In the coast, I drank juice of pineapple, mango, blackberry, passion fruit, guava, strawberry, orange, mandarin, lulo, corozo, tomate de arbol, guanabana, and many others. There are even more unusual fruits that are not commonly made into juices. My favorite is definitely tomate de arbol. It’s sort of like a citrusy tomato juice—think V-8 Splash, not the regular V-8.

Arepa de choclo con queso-Medellin

Frozen White Corn Arepas

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Too close?

I mentioned briefly in my last post the difference of the lack of personal space here. This, I believe, is a very big difference. In Colombia, people live with their families until they get married, which is generally not until their late twenties-early thirties. In the States, we’re outta there at the age of eighteen. (Maybe not financially, depending, but out of our parents’ houses as soon as we are able.) To me, this speaks a lot about the individualism of the US versus the family- and community-oriented culture of Colombia, and Latin America in general.

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Hola, ¿cómo estás?

As a North American in Colombia, I notice that at first glance, in many ways, my birth country and my new country of residence are not all that different. The coastal city of Barranquilla where I lived could easily be a small town in Southern California. Sunny, palm trees everywhere, tall apartment buildings, stucco houses, malls, paved roads with cars…These are all superficial observations, of course, but they are similarities nonetheless.

Perhaps this is the reason I’ve never had a big “wow I’m in Colombia moment.” In all of the other places I have traveled to, and especially the ones where I have lived, at some point shortly after my arrival I find myself thinking, “Wow! I can’t believe I’m really here! Is this for real?!” But in Colombia, that never happened. I felt more like, “Cool, I’m in Colombia.” My life here is very normal. I wake up, go to work, come home, watch Friends on my computer, hang out with my roommates, eat dinner, go to sleep. I go to the mall, the grocery store, bars, the pool, and friends’ houses on the weekends. The same can happen in every corner of the world.

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