So I’d thought I take some time to sum up my motorcycle trip I had Colombia from the end of May till the end of June. At the time of writing I’m currently sitting in Quito, Ecuador where I’ve been a week. I had to leave Colombia pretty hastily after my trip due to my tourist permission expiring.
I wanted to write a post reflecting back on my trip as a whole and share some of the experiences I’ve had along the way.
First off I just want to say that I think this was the best decision I ever made in my life. The amount of joy I got from this experience was unparalleled. It’s impossible to describe how it feels to realise ones dream and this was one of mine. I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of traveling on two wheels, and for years I dreamed of getting a motorcycle. I didn’t have a specific objective in mind but when I realised I could take my license in Colombia (I hadn’t taken it in Norway because it’s very expensive. 10x the price in CO) and get a new bike for a reasonable price, the plan just came together by itself really.
Colombia is one of the most diverse country in the world. It amazes me that a one country can have, mountains and valleys, beaches and islands, jungles and deserts. One thing I was really excited for was desert of La Guajira.
I think the most memorable part of my trip was the riding experience in itself. More so than the destinations. I was never as happy as when I packed up my bike in the morning and headed out for a new destination. With unknown roads and scenery. If you’re like me and you like your freedom, a solo trip on a motorbike was exhilarating.
The sheer freedom of deciding where and when I wanted to go was very so liberating and meaningful. Forced to take complete responsibility for my own life and my actions, both on the road and while traveling in general is very rewarding. Being completely alone and foreign is uncomfortable and scary at times, but you learn how to find the help and service you need.
They say fortune favours the bold, and I have really been lucky throughout my travels. I think there exists a type of luck that you create for yourself as you go along and gain experiences. In that with more experience you make fewer stupid mistakes, you prepare better, and have more realistic expectations.
You’re always going to raise some eyebrows when you say you’re going to Colombia. People always wonder ‘is it safe?’ Colombia gets a bad rep from the whole world. Even from Colombians themselves. The bloody history here runs deep and the memories of a state in crisis lies not too far in the past, so it is understandable. Sure you they still have problems with guerrilla groups, (there still are red zones where you can’t enter) instability in the government and dangerous city’s.
But it is, and was very manageable and enjoyable. Life goes on here as anywhere else. I didn’t have any problems or difficulties due to these ‘problems’. It’s just something to be aware of, and knowing where you can and can’t go. I just acted cautious, as I would anywhere in the world when traveling. In the cities I stuck to the main streets, and made sure I had people around me. I felt quite safe knowing that people hate thieves and will chase them down the street. I once witnessed this in Cali, where a thief was caught stealing and a crowd of 20-30 people were shouting and running after him. 5 minutes later he was caught and I could see he was beaten up. Nevertheless I only had positive experiences in Colombia. (Minus one incident on a bus in Cali, where a person threw rocks at our bus after not getting any coins from the passengers).
The people here are so friendly, welcoming and helpful that it made traveling around quite easy. I didn’t encounter anything remotely scary of sorts, except for on the road. (The drivers here are really bad).
Like it is with anything, it’s hard to translate the experience of a country through pictures and words, leaving out the smells, tastes, sounds, weather, and energy. The feeling of being in a place. It has to be experienced first hand. I would honestly recommend Colombia to anyone. It’s an amazing country that has a lot to offer. For families, elders, youngsters, extreme sports, you name it.
You’ll find it in Colombia.