Colombia is known for...

colombia the spot of joe travel self awareness

... Let's find out!

Now that I've become true to myself and pursued a passion close to my heart - writing about travel and self-awareness - rather than my weaknesses - attending a linear path in college towards a life others want for me, but I don't want for myself, I feel more clear-headed.

I made a choice to forge my own path through life, since I value self-exploration and honest self-expression. The ultimate life comes from within and shines outwards.

So on my last day at Walmart, after my summer road trip to Raleigh, Orlando,N'Orleans, Nashville and other cities depleted my bank account,  a photo customer told me about Colombia.

Beautiful land, culture and women. And a flight is sub-$500 round trip.

I had to check, and sure enough...

So I decided to take the plunge.

One of the first things I did was create a budget. I checked Google for prices in Colombia, and found this site which I took my numbers from. Assuming a lunch a day, some eggs, bread and milk, plus a bit extra padding should I want to explore the local food, I calculated my food expenses. Shelter is 0 as long as I get some couch surfing hosts for the time I'm there.

Not bad at all.

Tips when planning:

  1. Plan a general area and leave room for improvisation.
    • Some people need tons of planning in order to feel comfortable. And some experiences need to be scheduled in advance. But leave room for the magic of travel - spontaneity.
  2. If you'll need a flight to get there, plan early enough to get good prices.
    • flights.google.com is an amazing search engine. Input your source, your destination and you can filter by price, stops, etc. It even checks middleman sites like Priceline.com and Expedia.com and includes them in your search
    • Check different departure days, and arrival days. If I left a day earlier, my flight would be $106 more expensive. There are so many moving parts in airport prices, so take that into account
    • Check taxes and baggage fees. I still need to do this but I gave myself more than enough time.
  3. Use CouchSurfing.com
    • Seriously, use it.
    • It's free.
    • Girls have to be a bit more careful, since some guys host in order to take advantage of women, but there are articles about searching safely and people you can turn to in case of unsolicited sexual advances from your hosts. I'll look for resources in future posts.
    • If you get serious, verify your profile. I did. It's $20, and it'll make people a lot more comfortable hosting you.
  4. Look up the currency exchange
    • If you're travelling internationally, make sure you can understand the prices you're looking at. One USD is 2990 Colombian Pesos.
  5. Figure out whether there's WiFi, and prepare to get a cellphone for emergencies.
    • I bought a OnePlus 3T, a flagship-level Chinese phone, which comes unlocked.
    • I can use it in almost any country, if you're serious about travelling I'd suggest doing something similar.
    • Search "Cell phones in [country name]" for quick, good info. I found this site for Colombia. Since I have a good international phone (with TWO SIM slots!) I'll be able to use their SIM in my own phone ;)

So I'll buy the ticket at my earliest convenience and put the rest of the money aside once I get it. This goes to show that travel is easy. "I don't have enough money" is never a real excuse. INCLUDING the flight from NYC, a month in Colombia is LESS than living where I'm living.

So what's your excuse?

Unchain Yourself and life life on your own terms!

Sound off in the comments, where would you go if money was no issue?