One of the most thrilling discoveries of my life occurred when I finally faced my fears and quit my job to board what was to become the first of many international flights I’ve taken in the past twelve plus years.
I can tell you how thrilling it all was, to leave behind everything familiar for all that was strange and peculiar, but the words don’t do it justice. Like a photograph can never fully capture the beauty of being in a place, nothing you can see here, or watch on a video can supplant the experience of having been there.
I hope what you’re about to read below will be the catalyst to inspire you to finally book your flight and travel to a place like South America. My arrival to this amazing continent was what led me to finding my true home, here in Medellin. Being from Australia, you can imagine how incredibly happy I am to live here in Medellin, and feel like travel gave me the greatest gift of all: my home.
My hope is that you can experience what I mean, when I say nothing in my life has given me more joy than traveling has.
And when (and if) you finally return home to tell your stories, to show your friends the photos of where you went, the people who touched your life, random experiences that melted your heart with their kindness… I expect you’ll see: even the tough times, like the missed flights and the bad mattress you might have to endure, getting lost, all are lined with experiences that ultimately leave a positive mark on your psyche. As a former “travel-fearer” I can honestly say, the bravery it took to launch out on my first great adventure might be a little bigger than I’d care to admit today.
But having it behind me made everything that followed possible.
If you’re into what I’ve said thus far, I hope you’ll read and imbue the priceless advice I’m about to drop on this page. The essence of which is, drop whatever you’re doing, and see Medellin, Colombia.
If this reads like a love letter for this incredible Spanish city that truly has it all, so be it.
There really is nothing more important than to express our love. As humans, I don’t believe we were designed to live in some small corner of the world, without looking at the rest.
And with technology, and these amazing metal contraptions that actually catapult us all the way around the world… why wouldn’t you want to do this? I marvel, every time I board a plane, and I think: a few generations ago, and the furthest humans could go was as far as a horse could carry them. Now, all that’s changed. Have you?
Aren’t you a little curious to see what is out here? There’s got to be some part of you which feels, even knows, a place which strikes such a deep chord in me that I’ve created this entire website around Medellin, is a place you want to see.
Of course, right now, your big mission is to get out the door. To shut everything off, and book your ticket.
It has been written of extensively, this first step, the challenge you now face: the decision. I’ve read thrilling accounts of people, braver and more skillful than myself, who skirted (and continue to roam) the globe with little snot-filled creatures who bawl on the airplane and give near-heart attacks to well-stamped passport holders (otherwise known as parents) when they get irreconcilably sick in some foreign corner of the globe where medical treatment is on a par with the fax machine.
Those are men and women more brave than I, yet more rare than anything you’re likely to cross paths with while holding that silly remote control.
Yes, there are still these dangerous places of lack and medical treatments, but they’re exceedingly difficult to find and stay in. The world is becoming more developed and more interconnected with every iPhone update. And soon, we might not even need doctors, with the right App for healing a sick child. Yes, our world is practically screaming at you to get out there and see it. For instance, in Medellin, the health care is on par with any well-developed western city you might know, and a whole lot less expensive, to boot.
With each passing year it will become decidedly more challenging to NOT find a McDonalds or a Starbucks or a hospital that does breast enhancements and hip replacements in whatever country your dart is stuck in. For this reason too, it’s increasingly urgent that you pack your backpack and strike out: one day in the future, it will be tough to tell, just from the landmarks, what country you’re in. But the ones with clearly defined lines, like the striking valley Medellin lies in… there can be no pretenders to this beauty.
It will become less and less likely that whatever your concerns about being away from the supple comforts you hold dear today, won’t be present (even prevalent) in the faraway destination your deepest inner self screams for you to take it to. That is a double-edged sword, but right now it doesn’t cut, much.
Take Medellin, Colombia for instance…
Looking at vacation homes here, I discovered a happy truth. The luxury and style of these Medellin apartments regularly have me looking, “oohing” and “ahhhing” with the distinct level of excitement that comes before seriously considering another upgrade.
There’s a very good chance I’m going to do this, soon…
But frankly, I don’t care which house I live in. You see, I’ve already overcome the inertia that most of my countrymen and women, back in Australia will never overcome. It’s almost normal to have little or no international experience. This is typical of most people these days.
And border-hopping doesn’t count. I have friends in America who tell me they’ve been to Canada or Mexico, when I ask about travel. I just shake my head, because they don’t know what they’re missing.
With a potential retreat to America (or wherever you’re from) so close behind, it’s of little purpose that you travel at all. I believe there is value in feeling deeply, the sensation that getting home isn’t just a matter of making one backward step. This represents a more full commitment, a cosmopolitan entrance to the jetstream, if you will, of people who do what I did, for those 12 years. Rubbing elbows with these nomads, these brave souls, will do something indescribably valuable to your essence, your being. Coming here, speaking Spanish, however badly, will do that.
Ultimately that’s what I’m trying to do for you, to get you to alter your soul, in a permanent and lasting way. Engaging in travel, to grow you, to stretch you and irrevocably change you.
Like seeing those photos. You’ve got to come here yourself… Again, you’ve got to go, yourself.
I will issue you two warnings, if you’re even remotely considering visiting Medellin:
- You will be forever changed, if you accept this challenge. My worldview has been inexplicably altered and forever expanded on. Think Neo, eating the pill that allowed him to see the Matrix for all that it truly was. If you’re ready to go down the rabbit hole, put yourself in this jetsteam, aware that this second point will probably follow:
- You may decide not to stick to your original plan. This is my greatest joy for a once-land-bound non-traveler, to send me a message, absent the sheepishness which they had so openly displayed upon taking the first step. This one’s different. Short, to the point, and it says: “I’m down here in MEDELLIN. We’ve decided to stay.” Ha! This is true joy, for me… to know, the virus has spread. The infection, or lust for life and the proper excitement and need for adventure has caught fire!
These people are truly free, and they’re feeling the permanent emotion that tells them to let nothing stop them. This is the same vitality that digital nomads harness, the values which give wings to the bloggers and virtual workers inside cafes around the world this very minute, earning their living, their next tales from the highways of the world.
There truly is no better place than Medellin to do this.
You could be one of them. There truly is only one way to find out, and if it’s a “NO,” that’s ok. Your country will hold you, along with the other 70% of your population who never explores this amazing world we live on. (But you will always regret not having taken the risk.)
Just think… a few generations ago, before the proliferation of air travel, when our locomotion was horribly restricted to riding a horse… or sailing on an unreliable vessel… All those would-have-been explorers went to their graves wondering what India looked like. You have at your fingertips the power and ability to see it with your own eyes.
Our human minds have solved these quandaries in brilliant fashion, and I feel in my bones it’s a great sin not to capitalize and find the discoveries sitting, just out of view, that your life was meant to see.
The words I just wrote were meant for your inspiration, to see you to a new frontier. The last thing you might be doubting is that coming to Medellin without knowing someone is daunting. I get that. But now you know me. I’m here. I’m pulling for you to get up, get out and come visit!
I’ll see you out here, I hope.
PS: You’ve got some friends down here in Medellin, Colombia who can help get you set up with a great landing pad while you’re here. There are reasons galore to use a vacation rental, but just know this one now: it’s about 35% cheaper and 300% more awesome.