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.