916 Days in Paisalandia

Two and a half years ago, my hair was shorter, my face was fatter (and the rest of me too). I had but two suitcases, not full, and only 2-3 people that I knew in Medellin. I forgot my running shoes. I burst into tears saying goodbye to my parents and I wondered when I became so crazy. What if only saw the city through rose colored glasses before?

Fast forward to today, I can’t put into words what living in this country, learning Spanish, meeting the wonderful people I have met (Colombians and fellow expats) has done for my life and for me as a person. Some difficult doors have closed and some exciting doors have opened. It hasn’t always been beautiful or social media worthy, but it has always been worth it. Even with the distance from family and friends in the US, I have gained my Colombian ‘family’ and met friends that I will see all over the world, assuredly, for the rest of my life.

I forget, sometimes, to feel lucky for this experience and to remember how hard I have worked in the personal and professional sense to live a life by my design.. even if some days it is seemingly mundane. Lately I’ve realized that I am stronger both mentally and physically for it. And, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve enjoyed some pretty nice vacations along the way too.

50+ hours of Spanish classes this year
37 new pueblos and cities explored
22 stamps from Colombia in my passport
16 visitors who have come to see me!
8 trips back to US soil
4 good friends who are now married
3 new countries visited
2 bandeja paisas (sorry, sorry.. I don’t love chicharron)
1 natural pyramid climbed
0 regrets, honestly.

If you think that you can’t do it or it won’t work, I can tell you that it will. I’ve had many doubts but none of them would ever make me want to do it again differently.

This beautiful country is my playground. Come visit me?!

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