Keeping up with tradition. today we bring you another edition of our monthly interview.
We would like to thank Clare and Glen for taking to time to answer our questions following their recent trip to Colombia to attend a friend’s wedding. We hope you find their comments interesting and we hope to see them back in Colombia in the near future.
The Uncover Colombia team
Tell us something about yourselves (Where are you from? who you are and/or what you do?)
Clare: I’m Clare, 33, from Dublin Ireland. I speak Spanish and German and love travelling, especially to Latin America when I can. I have recently finished a Masters in translation and am currently setting up my own business.
Glen: I run a small nonprofit in London bringing the power of technology to bear on social problems
Why did you decide to visit Colombia?
Clare: I have always wanted to visit Colombia and two friends were getting married there recently (a Colombian and a German) so I was given the perfect opportunity!
Glen: I’d wanted to come for some time – my partner and I wanted to come to South America for a long holiday, and a friend was getting married, so it was decided!
What sort of things did you like?
Clare: The people, the food, the music, the landscape.
Glen: The people. The food. The architecture. The way things work. The public transport systems. The food. The fresh, clean air. The sights & sounds & everything.
What didn’t you like?
Glen: Not much – there were a few dodgy moments late at night, and I didn’t like what looks like a growing separation between rich and poor – I’m afraid that it will make what makes Colombia unique and special go away.
What was your favorite experience?
Clare: It was all wonderful but visiting the volcano outside Manizales was particularly special.
Glen: Probably the cable car in Medellín going to Parque Arvi. That, or every Bandeja Paísa…
Did you have any problems, finding accommodation, transport, food, etc?
Clare: No, it all worked really well. And everyone was really helpful.
Glen: Not really. We did stay in one local hotel in Cartagena that was a bit dodgy, but they were really nice when we moved. Would have liked to spend more time travelling between cities overland — so better roads in general would be a good thing…
Which other countries did you visit besides Colombia and How does Colombia compare with these countries?
Clare: This trip was just Colombia but I’ve visited many countries in Latin America before and found the people in Colombia very open, warm and friendly. I felt very comfortable and safe there.
Glen: I’ve been to about 30 countries worldwide, but Colombia is my only South American country. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Mexico. Colombia was refreshing in the way that men and women interacted. It’s also lush and beautiful, with the best features of developing world and developed world.
Which image did you have about Colombia before going there?
Clare: A vibrant Latin American country full of culture and a long history that has sadly suffered a great deal in the recent past. Because of all the negative press, I was a little concerned about feeling safe.
Glen: I’d already had any dodgy images removed from my 8 Colombian friends on my Master’s course. I knew that the food would be good and the land would be very green.
Did this image change after your trip?
Clare: Not the first part of what I said but the second part, yes, I generally felt very safe.
Glen: Not a whole lot – I have several Colombian friends.
Would you like to come back?
Clare: Yes, definitely.
Glen: I would so much like to come back! It was a lovely country to visit and a fabulous destination.
What would you recommend to someone considering Colombia as a destination?
Clare: That they’ll have a great time! Give it time as there’s lots to see and do.
Glen: Probably to start of in Medellín. A bit smaller & not so high as Bogotá. Research!
Any final thoughts?
Clare: You’ll find it difficult to leave. The attitude to life Colombians have and the love for their country is infectious!
- Why Colombia? (uncovercolombia.wordpress.com)
- Uncover Colombia Interview: Paige, a life as an Expat in Colombia (uncovercolombia.wordpress.com)
- Colombia: The fallacy and The reality (uncovercolombia.wordpress.com)
- Uncover Colombia Interview: A 180 degree change in perception(uncovercolombia.wordpress.com)