Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Written by Karen.

I know - I can’t believe it myself. Six days from now we will officially become vagabonds heading towards the airport with our backpacks weighing around 25 pounds each and, hopefully - with the wind at our backs - begin our travel adventure. Our first destination? It’s going to be high in the Andes - we will visit Bogota, Colombia.

Bogota is the capital of Colombia. According to the Colombian Embassy’s website, the capital of Bogota has a population of roughly 8 million people and is located 8,612 feet above sea level. Right now, as I write this post in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am approximately 85 feet above sea level, some 100 times lower than where I will be in just a week’s time!

Bogota will be the highest elevation that we have ever experienced without being in an airplane. Mexico City will soon lose its former status as the highest city that we have visited at 7,249 feet above sea level. Mexico City is where Adam and I suffered extreme headaches for the first couple of days until we became acclimated to the thin air and pollution. We know from painful experience to go low and slow in Bogota for the first couple of days until we get used to the elevation change.

It’s still the rainy season in Bogota now (so much for us trying to follow the sun!), but we have taken the plunge and rented an apartment in the central/northern part of the City for the entire month of November. I really don’t know what to expect when we arrive. I have heard enough stories and warnings about how dangerous things still are in Colombia to make me a bit wary.

To be clear, I’m not one to sneer at safety warnings. We always go into new and unknown situations with clear eyes and apply common sense, but we are both extremely interested in seeing how Colombia has pulled itself out of the seemingly rampant and overwhelming drug violence of the 1980’s. 

Things change. People change. And it seems from most of what we have read recently about Colombia, that Colombia has changed as well. It is for this reason I am willing to give Colombia a chance.

Does Colombia need a PR makeover? Maybe - we’ll check it out and make our own assessment.

In the meantime.....six days and counting.......


SurlyTraveller said...

That really is exciting! Hard to believe, difficult to fathom, but soon to become reality!

And then...I'll be curious to hear your thoughts as that becomes your new reality. At some point, this new lifestyle will be the new-normal, and the rest will just fade away.

Looking forward to hearing more of your travels :)

Observers of Life said...

Hi ST:

It does feel a bit strange that this new reality may become our everyday new normal. It's a pretty exciting idea!! :) I can hardly wait!!