As I sat there on the beach, crisping to lobster redness, drinking my sixth drink in the past hour…I realized I had never taken a vacation. Like an actual vacation. When I leave the country, I *travel*. I go from place to place, barely breathing, soaking up every experience possible. Sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation. Not this time. This time…I wanted to relax.
First, let me say that Brianna was an amazing travel partner. She didn’t need me to babysit her or give her attention 24/7. We spent a lot of time together, but also, she would go out on her own while I relaxed in our Airbnb. It was glorious. On top of that, she trusted me to be her spirit guide, since it was her first international trip. I picked all of the restaurants, nailing it each time. I had organized all of the tours, nailing all of them except that volcano mud tour. Ugh. So many strange men staring at us. haha! Here are some things we learned about Cartagena:
1. EVERYONE IS SO NICE. I spoke Spanish for the both of us (a necessity in a small little town where tourism has only just begun) and didn’t realize for two days, TWO DAYS, I was confusing the verbs Tomar (to take) and Beber (to drink). So drunkenly, I was telling people, “Me Gusta Tomar.” They just smiled, not telling me I was basically telling everyone I liked to steal. Whoops. I need to work on my Spanish apparently.
2. THE FOOD IS AMAZING. No seriously. We didn’t eat anything bad. Brianna learned what perfectly cooked chicken tasted like, because every bit of chicken we got was cooked to perfection. I mean, soft and juicy. Not a dry piece of meat to be had.
3. It’s SO safe. Poor Brianna had her phone stolen in the Bogota airport but to be fair, she walked away from it. LOL Otherwise, when keeping to safe traveler rules, we were very safe.
4. I wish we had stayed more by the beach honestly. Goddess, I miss the ocean. I am so so so burned right now but I don’t even care. We did the jetski at Playa Blanca, my first time as an adult and then couldn’t walk for two days because I was so sore.
5. A LOT of chauvinism. We literally stopped traffic one day in our bikinis, the men unable to drive away without honking, giving us the thumbs up, trying to talk to us. I was irritated at first and then realized, in 15 years I’ll never stop traffic again. So instead, I swaggered around the streets, enjoying the attention only youth experiences.
I am so happy to have gone to Colombia. While I’m sure that there are different experiences to be had in the bigger cities, Cartagena was delightfully sleep and provided plenty to do or not do for the six days we were there. I can’t wait to plan another adventure with Brianna!!!