travel

Photo Essay: Architecture and Public Art in Medellin

captured on memory card

On my last evening in Medellin, I take the cable car to the Santo Domingo neighborhood at sunset. Colombian hip hop drifts out of a nearby house, the volume turned up so that everyone can enjoy the wonderful sounds that are created when hip hop beats conjoin with the inherent musicality of the Spanish language. […]

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Real City Walking Tours in Medellin: A Review

Colombia

“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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Reflections on Unexpectedly Seeing the Same Cuban Farmer Twice

captured on memory card

In the summer of 2010, my group had just begun a hike through the gorgeous mogotes and tropical farms of Cuba’s Viñales Valley when we saw a farmer in the distance, tending to his tobacco crop. A little while later, we met him as he walked along the path with two bulls. His mouth was […]

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Photo Essay: An Afternoon at Medellin’s Botanical Garden

captured on memory card

As I walk into the Jardin Botanico de Medellin, it feels less like a botanical garden and more like a lively public park. Some people are checking out the plants, but mostly it feels like a place where people come to have a picnic and enjoy the company of good friends or a good book […]

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And Then You Realize Why

Colombia

This cab I’m in sounds like it’s about three putt-putts away from breaking down in the outskirts of Cartagena. It’s dark, I’m by myself, and I have all my luggage with me. I’m freaking out. The driver assures me we’ll make it to my destination as even the slowest buses zoom by us, leaving us […]

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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: The Beauty and Quirks of San Gil, Colombia

captured on memory card

“This town is much more charming than I thought it would be!” my Austrian travel buddy proclaimed as we reunited in the San Gil town square. She’d arrived in San Gil after a couple nights in Barichara and we were meeting up for dinner before she caught a night bus to Santa Marta. I nodded […]

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Riding the Wind: Paragliding Over the Countryside Near San Gil, Colombia

Colombia

One day, I knew I wanted to fly. Not for the practical sake of getting from one location to another, but to experience the sensation of soaring over the Earth with the wind blowing against my skin. While I have this in mind as I go to Colombia, I’m not sure if I’ll actually take […]

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