I know I’ve been quiet for the past month or so but hadn’t got around to setting up a blog when I did my big trip back in the summer so I’ve been busy beavering away writing it all up, day by day, and thought I’d share now …
16th July 2015
Having got to know a variety of very beautiful Colombian women over the past few years, I was privileged to be asked to one of their weddings. Knowing how warm, genuine, intelligent and entrepreneurial they are, I was fascinated to see what the country of their birth was like.
Colombia – the land of drug cartels, cocaine, guerillas and coffee.
Did the stigma of the 80s still exist? How far had it moved on and would I be safe?
This was my first trip away, purely by myself, for 15 years and I was sh*tting myself.
I was worried because I’d been told by so many people I was mad to go on my own. The very sweet, sheltered Colombian girls told me I needed to watch out for danger. Not get a taxi off the street – only order one from a restaurant or shop that the owners knew were reputable. Shouldn’t walk around alone. Don’t get public transport. Etc etc.
Would the joy and freedom I feel wandering around, getting lost, discovering weird and wonderful things that are so different from my life in England, be thwarted?
How was I going to overcome my own feelings of trepidation and anxiety when I had everyone else’s fears mixed in?
The only person who wasn’t fearful for me and the fact I was travelling on my own was the bride.
As an ‘international’ Colombian she understands the sense of adventure us modern day Western Europeans feel; how we haven’t been cosseted because of civil conflict; how we want to try new things and go to new places. She’s incredibly intuitive and knows me well enough to know that I would be as careful as possible.
With all this going through my mind I dragged my huge suitcase (which was almost as big as me) to work in the morning. My god it was heavy but I needed clothes for 17 to 40 degrees as well as parties, wedding, beach and sight seeing. And I was carrying 3 bottles of champagne for the wedding too!
And yes! I was that girl on the train who annoyed all the other commuters by getting in their way.
Hauling my way to Heathrow after work via the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines, I checked in managing to nab the Exit window seat and got on with my airport tradition – shopping and a drink.
New Dior mascara and lip gloss bought and the yearly purchase of Eau de Parfum ticked off the list, I celebrated with my first pint of the holiday from the local brewery!