race/culture/identity

Candid Discussions on Race and Travel in Salento

race/culture/identity

There must have been consciousness floating around in Salento’s misty air and truthfulness emanating from the mountains. I’m not sure what it was, but something about that little town seemed to fuel incredibly honest and thoughtful conversation among travelers. It started on the day I arrived in Salento. After my travel partner and I found […]

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Real City Walking Tours in Medellin: A Review

Colombia
Real City Tours 1

“What did your friends and family say when you said you were coming here?” Pablo, our tour guide, is asking the group a question he already knows the answers to. He knows that people thought we were crazy to go to Colombia and even crazier to go to Medellin. He knows that people were worried […]

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The Things I Loved About Medellin

Colombia
Cable cars in Medellin, Colombia

Medellin has an enticing energy that extends beyond its city limits. Before I even reached the edge of the city, I was already being pulled in by the strength of its magnetism. There’s a unique kind of aliveness in Medellin; a spirit that you find in a cities that have come out of a struggle […]

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The Untold Afro-Colombian Stories of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast

Colombia
City dreams

Walled City. Heroic City. Gold. Pirates of the Caribbean. Fortress. Battles. Victory. This is essentially the summary of Cartagena’s history you receive as a tourist; not just when you’re there, but in guidebooks, articles, and blogs. The large presence and contributions of Afro-Colombians — if they are even mentioned at all — are only vaguely […]

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On Not Liking Cartagena and Not Finding Afro-Colombia

Colombia
"Prisma Afro" mural by Vertigo Graffiti crew in Cartagena, Colombia

When I saw this mural, I loved it, but the irony in it did not escape me — this exalted image of a black woman with an afro and an air of pride was the antithesis to what I’d actually experienced in Cartagena thus far.

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Photo Essay: A Bogota Street Art Tour, Part 2

captured on memory card
DSCN8179

“Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for truth.” – Barbra Streisand – Bogota’s street art makes you pay attention. It may be a piece of art as simple yet powerful as the enlarged face of an everyday person; […]

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Photo Essay: A Bogota Street Art Tour, Part 1

captured on memory card
DSCN8148

Our starting point in the nondescript Parque de los Periodistas did not give away any secrets about what we were about to see. Within minutes of beginning the tour, however, we saw that we were surrounded by a dynamic open air art show where spray paint was the medium of choice. Around each corner, concrete […]

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Letting Go in the Mist and Crossing a Border Into the Sun

Laos
SE Asia 748

In a struggle between curiosity and exhaustion, my desire to know where I am wins. I lift my heavy eyelids to see land that is saturated with the brilliant greens of flooded rice paddies and perfect rows of tea bushes that curve and climb up the mountainsides. Gray mist hugs the limestone karsts that jut […]

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