Within the moment I stepped in line to board my flight to Bogota, Colombia, I noticed the difference: I was the only foreigner on this plane.

I’ve been used to this, having traveled more of my fair share on alternative routes in Southeast and South Asia, but it became more of shock having spent the last 4 days in Peru. Because on every flight, bus, or any other mode of public transportation in Peru, we were surrounded by a potpourri of Aussies, Brits, Swedes, Canadians, New Zealanders, Germans, Spanish, and other travelers that looked and sounded starkly different from the native population.

Other than the melodies of Peruvian flutists, the soundtrack of our Peruvian excursion was that of a “Best Of” compilation of every Western and Germanic accents you can imagine; it followed us everywhere. But that would change immediately upon my arrival into Colombia.

My foreigness was apparent; the moment I stepped off the plane, a Colombian from Washington D.C. advised me to put my camera (which is always strapped to my hand, as if you didn’t know by now) in my bag and then asked incredulously what I was doing in Bogota. She even insisted on helping me on arranging an airport taxi to my destination (in order to prevent taxi drivers from overcharging clueless travelers, you inform an airport taxi counter the address of your destination and they print out a ticket that lists the fare before you even get into a taxi; then you pay when you arrive at your destination). Although she ended up inconveniencing me (the taxi driver and I had to get a different taxi ticket from the airport about 3 minutes into the ride), I was able to come out of that learning 2 things: That Colombians are indeed extremely as friendly as my Colombian friends back in NYC, and that not many travelers hang out in Bogota.

I’m about to meet a friend of one of my best friends from college, who is from Bogota. Time to practice my Spanish.



- At time of posting in Bogota / Eldorado, it was 10 °C - Humidity: 93% | Wind Speed: 4km/hr | Cloud Cover: few clouds


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March 2011