I’ve traveled. A lot. As somebody who has traveled a lot, I tend to do a little bit of research into trips, figuring out some basic local customs, how to get to and from the airport, should I tip and how much… You know, important things. Being a person of limited time (also known as “a person”), and a person of limited means (still known as a “person”), I try to make the best of the time I have in a place. As such, there’s one type of line on travel blogs and the interwebs that really aggravates me. It can take the following forms.
“Oh, that’s not nearly enough time! You need to quadruple your time there to REALLY get to know the city.”
“TOO RUSHED! Slow down and really enjoy (insert name here) instead of going to all those other places.”
“This trip is so touristy! You need to stay away from (insert name of famous place or district).”
Basically, Backpacker Snobs. Hipsterpackers.
Now, I’ll admit. Part of me is a wee bit envious. I would love to be in a situation where I could drop everything, spend five or six months in a place, REALLY get to know it, etc. However, there are a lot of places I want to see, and a limited life to see them in. Plus, I kind of also like my life back home. I kind of like my own stuff every once in a while. I am Jack’s sense of attachment.
Still, I don’t feel bad about that. I’m sure the that bar hidden down the road in a suburb of London with a description that sounds like it’s being read by Stephan from SNL is wonderful, but I do want to see Tower Bridge and the British Museum, and F-me if my schedule won’t give me the chance to do that over a series of days.
So the upcoming trip won’t be the epic that was Turkey, nor will it be the Central American sampler of the year before, or living in a major Asian city. It’s going to be one city, one experience. Maybe a beach at the end. Then back to the everyday to show off some bug bites and gain a bit more knowledge of the world, as limited as my time in that part of it may have been.
With a family trip out west happening this summer, D and I won’t be able to swing the usual adventure. Fortunately, I do have March Break, so I can have a mini-adventure of my own. Also fortunately, I have a friend living in a city that is warmer than Toronto by a somewhat considerable amount. So, rather than deal with the cold, I’ll be dealing with some altitude and some heat.
Basic plan is a few days sightseeing in Bogota and a trek to Ciudad Perdida, which I will strangely find more relaxing and rewarding than actually relaxing on one of Colombia’s beaches, which I may end up doing after the hike, anyway. Having read up on the many places I’m not able to visit in Colombia, which also sound awesome, I’m still pretty jacked about this itinerary, plus the fact that I get to show my Yellow Fever certificate off for the first time since Kenya.
Anyway, I’m excited and feeling moderately prepared. Will I see as much of Colombia as I want? No. The funny thing about travel, though, is I don’t think you ever do. You do come back seeing what you have seen and, if it’s neat enough, it makes the impact, and that’s all you can really ask from the world.