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Posted by Jessica on Jun 1, 2009
Upcoming Travels to Colombia

A few months ago we received an email from our dear friend Klaus asking if we wanted to meet up with him in Colombia for a few days in June. Never one to turn down the possibility of meeting friends on the road (not to mention seeing a new country), we told him to count us in. After emailing a few other friends about our Colombia plans, we soon discovered another dear friend is going to be in the area around the same time. Small world, eh? So now Secret Agent X (who some readers may remember from Tim's post about urban exploration in Lima) hopes to meet up with us in Colombia too.

Needless to say we're super excited that we'll get to see not one, but two good friends. And in just a few weeks, we'll be headed to Colombia for a long weekend. We purchased our tickets a week or so ago, scoring a good deal at $350 each for round-trip tickets. We'll be taking a red eye down there so we can arrive bright and early. We've both gotten pretty good at sleeping on planes (though I'll confess Tim is a bit better at it than I am) and the excitement of seeing some place new (not to mention good friends) will certainly keep us going.

Although Tim receives a great amount of vacation days from work (particularly by American standards), we'll only have three days to explore Bogota. Given we plan to visit India later this year, we have to save as many vacation days as possible for that mammoth-sized country. Three days in Bogota might not sound like much – particularly when we remember how long we'd often spend in places during our adventure around the world – but we think it'll be a great amount of time to get a glimpse of that exciting city.

(I wonder what the border guards will think when two hedgehogs show up, no luggage in tow, with plans to be in the country for only a few days. I suppose not that many people hop down to Colombia to meet friends for lunch, do they?)

Between our work and the usual hedgehog activities throughout the week, we often forget that we're headed to Colombia soon. We don't have a guidebook yet (actually, we'll only be buying the Bogota chapter from Lonely Planet rather than an entire guidebook – no need to overpack!). We haven't researched "must sees" or things to do. And we've barely glanced at possible hostels, though we do have a good lead thanks to our traveler friend Deb. (Although we don't book ahead when we travel, we enjoy peeking around online sometimes to see what's available.)

In sum: we're not prepared in the slightest. But you know what? Other than our plane tickets and our passports, there's not that much preparation that has to be done. Sure, a bit of reading ahead is good. Actually, it's downright enjoyable. But at the end of the day, as long as we step on the plane with our passports in hand, that's all we need.

Well, that and the name of the cafe where we'll first meet up with Klaus and Secret Agent X.

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Jessica the hedgehog
June 2, 2009 at 11:20am
I wanted to mention two books about Colombia's most famous native son, Gabriel García Márquez, that might be of interest to folks:

1) Márquez's autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale (http://www.amazon.com/Living-Tell-Gabriel-Garcia-Marquez/dp/140003454X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243959195&sr=8-1), is a really enjoyable book. I had the pleasure of reading it when we were in Ecuador (though I can't remember how I got my hands on it) and would spend hours reading passages to Tim.

2) The recently published biography about Márquez written by an English author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life ("http://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Garc%C3%ADa-M%C3%A1rquez-Gerald-Martin/dp/0307271773/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243959159&sr=8-1). I just picked this up from the library and am only a few pages into it, but I'm already enjoying it tremendously.

(Of course, these recommendations are in addition to Gabriel García Márquez's works of fiction, like One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. All good stuff!)

June 3, 2009 at 2:02pm
did you get a new passport? an article in the newspaper shows that the blue ones have expired but we live ohio so who knows. i forgot to have mom ask. love always daddy, mommy, meow, woof and woof ps they say hi to their cousins
Jessica the hedgehog
June 3, 2009 at 2:13pm
I looked online and found the article I think you guys might have seen. And no worries: I think everything is fine. The article uses a black passport and a blue passport in an illustration, and they mention how the black passport (in the picture) is expired (and as such has a hole punched in it). I'll double-check in a few more places, but I think we'll be okay. (Our particular passports indicate expiration dates in 2012 or something like that, I think.) Thank you for checking though! :)

Belly and China send the appropriate woofs and meows to their cousins too! We miss you! :)

June 6, 2009 at 12:09pm
I am excited! We have to discuss about that India trip… maybe we can meet again later in the year… I am saving two more weeks of vacation :D
June 14, 2009 at 11:48am
You guys make me feel so stodgy and old. I never micromanage vacations or plan each day to the hour, but I wouldn't travel to a major city even in the United States without at least a hotel reservation.
Jessica the hedgehog
June 15, 2009 at 2:37pm

You guys make me feel so stodgy and old.

Well those are two things that you will never be, my friend. Though technically, I guess decades from now we'll all be considered old, but it will be in age only. Certainly not in spirit! :)

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