I felt like I was going to puke. My travel nerves were at full force that day – something I hadn’t really experienced since Mexico. I was a pro at this. Why was I feeling so shitty?
“You’re already missing them.” Shaun’s replied.
And you know what? He was right.
Our travels have taken a completely different direction. As we are on our last leg of our budget, we have practically spent the entire past month in care of Couchsurfers. The dynamics have changed. It is no longer the locations that make the place, but the people we have come across and taken us into their home.
After our recent experiences, I just can’t imagine going back to hosteling alone.
We arrived to Cristina’s house exhausted after a night bus through the windy roads of the Andes. A little scared (this was only really our 3 or 4th actual time Couchsurfing), we were invited in with love and care. A full meal was set in front of us at lunch time and famished, we destroyed it.
OH GOD IT FELT GOOD TO HAVE A HOMECOOKED MEAL.
Over the next few days we were taken under her wing along with her little girl and older sister, Laura.
We had a night tour of Botero park and parts of downtown our first night. Laura should have been a tour guide. Good lord. We got the skinny on some of the major buildings around downtown and the history of the parks. We could feel the love for the city’s architecture from Cristina. The ladies were in love with Medellin and their excitement to show us around was contagious. I was already loving it as well. It is not the most glamorous place in the world but the charm was thick.
Did I mention that people who live in the state of Antioquia are like Texans? They tend to relate themselves to their state before their country.
Oh yes, I love it here.
Laura and Cristina joined us as we took the tram to sight see the massive city. Coming from a smaller city, it takes my breath away when I see urban sprawl. It is indescribable. HUGE. WOW.
One night we were invited out to a friend’s bar (The Creed Bar) to get a few drinks with friends. This is when it hit me. We were no longer just visitors to them. We were officially long lost friends or family. Conversations were free flowing (as was the booze) and for the first time since Guadalajara, I felt like I belonged. Hugs were genuine. Our new friends were not treating us as a commodity. They wanted us to be part of their lives.
It still pangs my heart when I receive messages from Cristina and Laura. I so want to be part of their community. I have to force myself to move on. We have a major traveler’s dilemma. We have the rest of the continent to see and not that much time to do it in. Do you sacrifice not seeing things to stay put? We will eventually have to leave. Will forging stronger relationships be detrimental in the long run?
And this is why I felt like hell leaving Medellin. So many thoughts in my mind. So many emotions filling my heart.
Our travels have already changed so much.