Happy November!

Hello, I am here with a little update!…

As you might have noticed, I took a little break from social media. I needed to unplug in order to recharge, as ironic as that sounds. Stepping back from social media has freed up space for me to write, read, connect with people privately and enjoy the silence. (Well, I never get to enjoy complete silence because Colombia is never silent, but you know what I mean.) Whenever I do come back to social media, which I imagine will be soon, I will stand even stronger in my convictions and continue to share my passions.

My last Instagram post, before my social media hiatus, was about Michael and I moving out of the the apartment we’d spent 4 months of self-isolation in. It was bittersweet. I was sooooo ready to get out of that place but I was also a bit sad to say goodbye to a place that I had made my home. During those 4 months, I had spent nearly every minute of my life in that apartment! Plus, 4 months is the longest I have consecutively lived anywhere in 3 years! Regardless, the time had come to move on.

Between moving out of that apartment, in the San Diego neighborhood of Medellin, on October 4th, and flying to Santa Marta on October 13th, we stayed in a couple of different spots around Medellin, including the well known expat area called Poblado, and a slowly gentrifying downtown neighborhood called Boston. We acted like tourists as much as we reasonably could. It was nice to feel somewhat a part of this city as I’ve mostly experienced it through a window!

As I boarded the flight to Santa Marta, I said bye to Medellin, not sure if I’d ever come back again.

It had been over 8 months since I’d been on a plane, 8 months since I’d been anywhere other than Medellin. I hadn’t gone 8 months without getting on a plane in nearly a decade!

Flying was weird, but not as crazy as I thought it would be. The flight was full, which I was not expecting. I found it funny that they strictly enforced 1 meter of distance between everyone in line for security (including Michael and I), but sat us 1 inch away from strangers in an enclosed metal tube. By funny, I mean stupid. But we wore our masks throughout the entire trip and washed our hands constantly, minimizing our exposure to the best of our abilities.

Santa Marta, a beach town on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, was a nice change of scenery. The actual city center is a bit gritty and loud, and of course it’s unfathomably hot and humid there, but watching the sunset from the pier, Scuba diving for the first time and making new friends who invited me out for vegan food and to Afro-Caribbean dance classes was EXACTLY what I needed!

For the the last month or so, as international flights started to become available, we were being told that we had no choice but to leave Colombia before October 31st.  (Which is why we took the trip to Santa Marta- we wanted to see another part of Colombia before we had to leave).  We were planning to head to Mexico (one of the only countries allowing Americans and Canadians in at the moment) to continue to wait things out… But two weeks ago, the immigration “rules” changed and, for $30, we were given permission to stay in Colombia for 3 more months! So…

We are back in Medellin!

I didn’t think I’d want to come back to Medellin after being “stuck” here for so long. But, leaving for just a few weeks made me realize how good I have it here! The cool mountain air, the drinkable tap water, the AMAZING public transit, the city views and the oh so many delicious vegan restaurants, ahhhh, it feels so good to be HOME!

Melissa

Being a tourist in Medellin- Comune 13.

Michael and I post Scuba diving.