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Posted by Jessica on Jun 29, 2009
Feeling at Home in Bogota

Tim has shared before that we feel like we have two homes: one in our cottage by the sea in Cape Cod, and one with our packs on our backs anywhere in the world. On Monday or Tuesday last week, while I was starting at a pile of work and a to do list a mile long, Tim reminded me of that too.

"Don't worry," he said reassuringly, "Soon enough we'll be going home again."

Up until that moment I had been so lost in our day-to-day life that not only had I not had much time to think about going to Colombia, but I had forgotten we'd be returning to our home on the road. Just hearing Tim say that made it so even the rain clouds that had been outside for the past several weeks couldn't dampen my spirits anymore.

Packing our bags on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for our flight later that day, everything started to come together. I know my bag as well as I know anything else: the way the zipper will stick just a touch on the right side, the familiar feel of the strap across my shoulder, the exact place of everything I always carefully pack inside. Just by packing my bag, I already felt at home.

'The Plaza de Bolivar in Bogota, ColombiaGoing through customs in Colombia, exploring the Bogota airport, getting cash out of the ATM machine, and hopping on the local bus all seemed familiar too, despite the fact we had never visited Colombia before. Navigating our way through the streets, with that heady feeling you get after an overnight flight and very little sleep, reminded me of the hundreds of other travel days we've had before. Ringing the doorbells of unfamiliar hostels, taking a peak at possible rooms, and inquiring about prices per night felt like seeing old friends again. Unpacking our bags in our room, grabbing some food from a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and sitting on the steps of Plaza de Bolívar to people watch felt as comfortable as taking a nap on our couch in Cape Cod.

Everything about traveling – the unfamiliar, the routine, and the unexpected – feels like home. And although we were only able to spend three full days (and part of a fourth day) in Bogota, the city quickly felt like home too.

We're looking forward to sharing stories from our time in Bogota: everything from eating ajiaco and bandeja paisa, to fútbol matches and jump rope competitions in the street, to a cityscape from the mountaintop and landscapes painted by a native son, and to seeing dear friends from faraway lands. Bogota was more than we ever hoped for and certainly not what most people think it to be. It is a city brimming with bright colors, deep culture, and fabulous cuisine and above all it is home to friendly, caring people.

And for those three full days (and part of a fourth day) we felt lucky to call it our home too.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like these ones:

Nine Photos from Bogota, Colombia

Nine Photos from Bogota, Colombia

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Janet
June 30, 2009 at 3:54am
My line to my honey is… I guess we're not in Kansas anymore…

While you're out there in the big wide world, hit the American west. My next stop is South Dakota and Wyoming.
Funny how the people we meet with whom we have the nicest conversations are usually visitors from other countries.

Deb
June 30, 2009 at 8:31am
Yay, I'm glad you loved Bogota and had a great time! I'm looking forward to your stories and more photos. I feel totally at home on the road too, and love living vicariously through other people when I can't 'go home' myself. :)
Tim the hedgehog
July 1, 2009 at 2:01pm

While you're out there in the big wide world, hit the American west. My next stop is South Dakota and Wyoming.

Oooh, we absolutely want to take a trip or three out west! We've been daydreaming about a 2– or 3-week cross-country road trip for a couple of years now!

Funny how the people we meet with whom we have the nicest conversations are usually visitors from other countries.

It definitely seems like it sometimes, doesn't it? :)

Tim the hedgehog
July 1, 2009 at 2:11pm

Yay, I'm glad you loved Bogota and had a great time! I'm looking forward to your stories and more photos.

Thanks, Deb! We're really looking forward to sharing them! :)

I feel totally at home on the road too, and love living vicariously through other people when I can't 'go home' myself. :)

Yeah, exactly! I love reading about other people's travels when I'm not on the road… although it usually makes me ache that much more to strap on my backpack again! :)

October 19, 2009 at 11:44pm
Oh! Somehow I managed to entirely miss that you visited Colombia this summer. Beautiful pictures and stories, as always. I hope to make it there by the end of my trip; our reports are inspiring!

In a way this entry is bittersweet, though – those long-term trips where the feeling of exploration and uncertainty becomes the norm do have to end… even mine, although I'm putting it off as long as I can :)

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