Day three in Colombia and things are progressing beautifully. Besides that fact that my wardrobe selection was a bit off, (packed all summer dresses and have so far purchased gloves, thermal tights, a sweater, and a scarf) I have already settled into a beautiful routine- morning run at my neighborhood gym, setting up my mobile office at the local coffee shop, stocking up on my usual snacks at the grocery store down the street while singing along to the Spanish music I know so well….it feels like I have always been here.
I found the perfect little spot on AirBnB, located just outside “La Candaleria”, a beautiful historic district that is home to some of Bogota’s oldest buildings in the Spanish Colonial style. It made a lasting impression on me when I visited 7 years ago- the thin streets lined with old brick and stone sidewalks that seem to barely separate the brightly-colored stucco buildings topped with traditional terra cotta tiles. Most buildings are no more than two stories, housing small apartments and shops, each with its own ornate, iron or wood-carved balcony. But what I loved most was the Bohemian feel that still distinguishes the neighborhood, teasing the gypsy in me and making me slightly envious of the young and old artists who spend their days mastering their craft and embracing a life of expression in a city that boasts a rich, vibrant artistic community. A bit of a romantic take on it, I suppose, but each time I walk down the old brick streets, the smell of Nag Champa lures me into their quaint little shops, carrying hand-made treasures- crocheted hats, hand-knitted sweaters, beaded jewelry, home-made desserts and, of course, the famous traditional bags made by the Indigenous Wayuu tribes of the North….which, my friends, is exactly why we are here.