Many people ask me, “Why do you live in Colombia? What’s so great about Colombia? Aren’t there better places to live?” And, maybe there are better places to live. However, there are many things about Colombia that have kept me here in this beautiful South American country, and today I am going to tell you ten reasons I stay, 10 reasons I like Colombia, 10 things that make me love this beautiful South American country, 10 things that have convinced me to stay a little longer in this magical nation…
The first reason I’ll give you is diversity. Colombia is packed to the brim with diversity—in flora and fauna, in cuisine, in regional cultures, in national music genres, in climates, in landscapes and everything in between. A uniform monotone country Colombia is not, and for that I am oh so thankful.
I will never stop being astonished by the incredible amount of beyond-beautiful flowers I encounter in Colombia.
Colombia is home to so many unique animals. And, even though I may not come into contact with them on a daily basis, being constantly surrounded by diverse and interesting creatures will never get old. I mean, how many people can say they walk to work with iguanas?
4. No seasons
Not having seasons means I can go to the beach any day of the week, any month of the year and always find the sun shining, the water inviting, and the coconut cocktails ready to be served.
My taste buds have never been as stimulated and excited as they are in Colombia. The plethora of fruits (some found nowhere else in the world) is mind-blowing.
While there are many beautiful languages spoken around the world, I fear none will sound as melodic as the Colombian Spanish that will forever make my heart beat in ways no other language can.
7. Festivos (Public Holidays)
Who wouldn’t want to work in a country that has 17 national and paid holidays? And, this doesn’t include all the impromptu festivos that are declared due to soccer victories or because of regional celebrations, such as Barranquilla’s 4-day Carnaval. It’s no wonder Colombia was declared the happiest country in the world!
8. Culture and traditions
Colombian culture and Colombian traditions are very much alive and well in Colombia. Colombians are very Colombian and very proud of their Colombian-ness. In Colombia, there are more Colombian chain restaurants than foreign ones, more Colombian brands in supermarkets than foreign brands, and more Colombian soap operas (novellas) on TV than soap operas from other Spanish-speaking countries. Even Coca-Cola couldn’t get Colombians to trade in their national soft drink—Colombiana!
9. Ability to change as a country
Colombia was once known around the world as a violent, drug lord and narcotrafficker lead country stuck in one of the longest civil wars the world has ever seen. However, over time, Colombians have begun showing the world that there is much more to Colombia than cocaine and civil war. That war torn and cocaine ridden Colombia has faded away and a new, vibrant Colombia has been ushered in. The incredible face-lift Colombia has over gone and the struggles Colombia has overcome to get where she is today inspires me in a powerful way—it gives me hope for other countries in similar struggles.
I love history, I really love Latin American history, and I am in love with Colombian history. The historical figures that dominate Colombian history are soul touching, heart-breaking, and history-changing. Policarpa Salavarrieta, the revolutionary heroine who helped liberate Colombia from the Spaniards, has stolen my heart; Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the promising presidential candidate whose assassination sparked the infamous Bogotazo, has broken my heart, and the dreams of liberator Simón Bolívar inspire me to hope for a better South America, independent of colonial powers and influences.
Until next time.
Paige M. Poole
About the author:
“Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige’s traveling experiences in her personal blog www.trotamunda.wordpress.com
- Why Colombia? (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Uncover Colombia with us (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Should I travel to Colombia? (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- 10 Ways to Describe Colombians (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Colombia Is Music (iwilltravelblog.com)