Why I Am Going To Colombia… Again

Well hello, Colombia, it’s nice to see you again.

I recently returned to the city of Medellin, Colombia for what I expect to be a stellar multi-month stay in the country.

Medellin, to me, is such a cool place. It’s what I call super-liveable, a place that can easily begin to feel like home.

Initially, I came to Colombia because I was curious about traveling in South America, and I had some contacts in Bogotá. I then returned to Colombia for a variety of reasons, most of which I still hold true.

But nowadays, I am asking myself the deeper questions about whether I can really make a home here.

The short answer is yes, I could just stay here in Medellin. Here’s why:

1. The people are super nice.

I am not sure whether ‘gringo’ gives you a certain status or not, but the people in Medellin are generally really friendly. They will help you find something if you need it and seem very amicable and interested when they talk to you.

I would say customer service is partly a matter of the attitude of the one serving, and I think that there is widespread good attitude across Medellin. It makes it really pleasant to be around (despite the delays in the actual execution of the service.)

I wrote earlier about how the people of Colombia in general seem more warm, more sociable, more open to strangers than in America. I like this, and want it to rub off onto me. :)

2. The weather is perfect practically every day.

Some days I ask myself whether there could be another place on the planet with as preferable weather as Medellin.

Temperature in the mid-high 70s during the day, mid 70s at night. Clean, fresh Andean air. Occasional rain, but only brief showers.

Perhaps there are a few places like it, but there is just something really great about living in a city where you can expect to walk outside in t-shirt and shorts each day, and breathe in the fresh, clean air coming off the mountainside.

3. The prices of things are still medium-low.

Medellin is not the cheapest place on the planet, but it is nevertheless far cheaper than what I was paying in the US. My lower living expenses mean that I recover the cost of the plane flight to Colombia within the first month.

If you cook at home, you can obviously save more money. And, if you don’t go out at night you can save even more. But even a night out usually won’t set you back more than $30-$40. This makes going out at night that much more fun.

Things will stay like this for ever. Medellin is on its way up and is not slowing down. In 5 or 10 years, Medellin will be considered ‘expensive’ or at least, ‘not cheap.’

4. The girls are (still) beautiful.

Thankfully, here in Medellin, I can re-enter the halls of the glorious side of the Medellin effect. I can get back on the complete high of having gorgeous women everywhere I look.

Malls, universities, street corners, gyms, you name it… ridiculously beautiful girls just might pop around the corner.

You have no idea the effect this can have on a man.

5. I’ve figured out a really good location to live.

The place where I live now is within 1 block of a supermarket and my gym, within 2 blocks of a major shopping mall, within 3 blocks of a university, and 3 minute bus ride straight to the metro. Anywhere I need to go is really convenient to get to, and I hardly need to take even a cab except at night.

Part of lifestyle design involves picking your spots really well. I think this time around in Medellin, I picked a really super location.

This makes life a lot simpler. And, I think you can do this only after you get to know a city… which takes some time. So I think this adds major value to my life here.

6. I can continue to work on my internet businesses.

The high-speed internet here is fairly reliable, minus a few hiccups, and you can find WiFi in many coffee shops and cafes. Right now, I feel the only thing separating me from major success is sweat equity.

I feel better here in this regard than in Ecuador… I just don’t know what it is about Ecuador, but I never felt comfortable working there, and the internet was not as reliable. I was also under the bad side of the Medellin effect, but I already told you that.

Now, honestly, I have been thinking about something, in light of all these things… Can I find a place that I enjoy more than Medellin?

If so, in what way will I enjoy it more?

Let’s see…

  • It’s unlikely impossible that there be better looking women. (For real, I am open to suggestions…)
  • It’s unlikely the weather would be significantly better.
  • It’s unlikely the people would be more friendly.
  • It’s unlikely to be a quick $250 flight from Florida.
  • It’s unlikely to result in a significantly lower budget for me.

So the million dollar question…

Why would I leave Medellin to go some place else?

Why would I spend my time getting jipped in Ecuador, or being kidnapped in Venezuela? Why would I double or triple my expenses to live in Brazil? Or endure the cold winters of Europe?

These are the kinds of thoughts I am considering today.

I admit I have a certain amount of wanderlust, a thirst for new things and new adventures… but what am I looking for, really?

I don’t know, but I think I’ve found a lot of it here.




Published February 23, 2012

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  • Philip

    Medellin is a wonderful city and I really enjoed my stay there last year.  I’m pretty sure I would be happy living there and will definitely return.  

    • http://ryangoesabroad.com Ryan

      It’s a great city. I talk about it in such glowing terms, the Colombia tourism board should hire me. ;)

  • Pingback: Why I am Going to Colombia | Ryan Goes Abroad

  • Moriquendu

    I am reconsidering the impression I got of Medellín after watching La Virgen de los Sicarios… 

    • http://ryangoesabroad.com Ryan

      sounds like a good impulse…

  • Kirkscott913

    Yes I love Medellin also but its still very dangerous, I have been here for 5 years and have seen 4 people murdered in the daytime, one at a coffee shop, I know numerous gringos who have been drugged and robbed, another gringo who dated a girl and her dad as mafia so he was murdered at a intersection in broad daylight, 10 gunmen just held up a juan valdez in cali and robbed everyone, and every single person I know also knows someone who has been murdered recently. Just the other day I was in traffic and a motorbike pulled up to the car in front of me and tapped his gun on the window and robbed the lady in the car, it is very dangerous here so just be careful. 

    • http://ryangoesabroad.com Ryan

      Wow. Always good to have perspective, but sorry you have been privy to so much violence… Have you really seen 4 people murdered? As in, been standing there when it happened?