I’ve only been to Colombia twice. Yes, I was born there and still have family there, but after replanting our roots in North Carolina, there wasn’t much time or reason to go back. It wasn’t until last Christmas that I experienced Colombia to the fullest and I wasn’t the only there for a visit.
Colombia has become a hot spot for tourists from all over. The metro was lined with curious Americans and fast-talking Europeans. I’m happy to see that the country has made tremendous progress since the tumultuous 80s. The explosions and kidnappings shown on Los Narcos were all real. That’s why, like many families, we headed elsewhere.
However, this progressive, contemporary Colombia is full of color, life and energy. You can see it in everyday life–happy people painting murals on buildings, children playing in the street and live music in the town square. I have to believe that my passion for color has to come from my Colombian heritage. The brighter the better, I say!
Christmas is especially a neat time of year to visit, with fireworks and firecrackers lighting up the night and intricate light displays throughout. I spent most of my time in Medellin since that’s where my family lives. The Medellin River was completely transformed into a holiday wonderland, as you can see by the pictures. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes and the mild temperatures.
In case you didn’t know, Colombia is one of the leading nations in flower production; it exports $1 billion per year, most of which goes to the U.S. So, next time you get flowers from your sweetie, you might be experiencing a piece of Colombia! If you ever go visit you should take advantage of the parks, gardens and countryside. Here are a few must-see places while in Medellin:
- Museum of Antoquia (architecture)
- Parque Explora (experience the aquarium)
- Arvi Park (camp, picnic, hike, ride the gondola)
- Pueblito Paisa (authentic pueblo set up for viewing)
But seriously, how radiant are these flowers? There’s a butterfly center in Arvi Park where I took these pictures, if you’re into that kind of thing.
As far as food goes, you have to try different types of arepas. They are similar to a pita or a thick tortilla. They are served all day with pretty much anything you can think of as a toping, from meat to cheese (The one pictured below had a veggie medley). For the most part, Colombians eat their largest meal for lunch and have a small dinner. Don’t be surprised to see meat and beans with every meal!
The last color inspiration that came to me was through a teeny bop magazine. I know what you’re thinking, “Aren’t you a tad old for that?” but I have a good reason. I have a huge family with hundreds of cousins, and I haven’t met them all. Apparently one of them is famous. His stage name is Maluma, and he was featured all over the magazines and news. Once I got back to the U.S., I even saw him on the Latin Music Awards! He has basically become the Justin Bieber of Latin America?! Bizarre, but super cool.
Next time I visit, I want to hit the coast of Cartagena. I hear nothing but good things and I am ready to sit back with a coconut in hand!
Salut and happy color inspiration to you!
PS- why are adult coloring books becoming a thing? I’m not sure I get the trend.