Who hasn't got their heartbroken? If you haven't; consider yourself lucky. But I have and it was a long journey, especially the first time.
I was only 24 years old at the time and after almost 4 years my boyfriend of the time came one day and said he couldn't live anymore with someone he did not love.
I must confess it was pretty straight forward, but that did not avoid me from getting my heartbroken.
My first reaction was massive sadness, followed by a rage of anger and not caring about anything, ending by feeling relief and grateful for him breaking up with me. I can't say he was the best boyfriend in the world, but he did teach me a lot.
So, it was 2010 by then, I was living alone for the first time, my best friend had moved in with me. It was a small apartment; we even shared the room. Kinda like when you share your room with your siblings. Each one had her bed, and good communication was a MUST.
A few years before, at a job I had as a waitress, I met a really good friend of mine. She was from Colombia. And that was the beginning of it all.
So, a few months went by, and I decided to travel again.
It was July, my friend had gone back to her home country and we were chatting by skype or something (technology has gone a long way since then). At some point in our conversation, she invited me to go to Colombia for the holidays and spend New Year's at her house with her mother and sisters. I said: "Sure, why not?"
I found a cheap flight, and 6 months later I was arriving at Bogota, Colombia.
The trip started in Bogota, with my friend and 2 more people picking me up at the airport. We went back to her place, had a couple of beers and chilled. I think I lasted an hour and passed out. I was really tired from the flight and everything.
I stayed in Bogota with her, she showed me around, main sites, made me try local homemade food and drinks. We even arranged a small trip to Villa de Leyva where I met more people and they taught me everything there was of Colombia's Culture.
I learned about their food, drinks, customs, and I even got lucky enough to have learned all about everything just in time before catching their famous "Cuenta Cuentos" at the main plaza in Villa de Leyva. There was no way I could have understood any of the jokes without the previous lecture.
After a few days in Bogota, Villa de Leyva and other small towns; it was time to get on the road and that´s exactly what I did. I went to the bus station, got the first ticket out to Cartagena and off I went. All alone, with my pack and soul.
This one my first trip backpacking alone, in a whole new country and I was recommended NOT to travel by land, but I needed to take the risks.
I got on the bus, and that´s when the true adventure started. This was supposed to be a 24hr trip, direct trip from Bogota to Cartagena. It lasted 48hr and 4 buses to get me there. It was the rainy season, floods everywhere, roads where interrupted and the bus broke like 3 times.
Silver lining: I got to really connect with locals, see their farms, eat their food and even got some perspective of real life.
I also saw the bad side of it, I saw people's houses destroyed by the flood and them just waiting for it to stop to rain. This was heartbreaking. I even remember thinking, if something had to happen to me now, no one will ever know.
So after a lot of traveling, sightseeing, meeting new people, sharing meals and stories; I got to Cartagena. I must confess that I slept for the first 8 hours I got there. But after this, I was able to enjoy the city, fish market and some cultural activities such as a wedding and Music Concert.
But I needed more contact with nature and decided to leave after 2 days to Santa Marta. Got on a bus, and 4 hr later there I was. I decided to go to Taganga; which is a small fishermen town. A lot of locals, very little tourism.
Getting a place to sleep was challenging since nobody rented a single bed in shared rooms (this was even weird for a rookie like myself). I asked a group of people if they let me rent my bed with them, but they said no. Fortunately for me, I came across three people, from Bogota, who were having the same difficulty as me. Somehow we got to talking and they invited me to stay with them at a small house they had found for rent. In an act of trust, I said Yes.
And there we were, sharing a house all 4 of us. The guys were very caring and honest with me. We stayed 2 nights, found 2 scorpions in the house (they always come in pair), we went to the beach, walked through the village and went for drinks. After this I had planned to go to Tayrona; to my surprise, they decided to join me.
Tayrona: The Adventure Continues!
This was a whole other adventure within the current one. Let me tell you what this place is about for your better understanding.
This is a famous National Park where you can find camps and B&B for you to stay. This is walking distance from the entrance, but you do have the possibility to ride a horse or have someone take your luggage for you.
However; when we went we were carrying our own packs, water and don´t forget it was the rainy season. The path was muddy and night came upon us. I was literally walking through the jungle with 3 strangers and no idea what was going to happen.
After a 2hrs walk through mud, horse manure, and sand; we finally arrived at our camping spot. This place had the particularity of renting a hammock for you to spend the night. Consequently, that´s what we did. It was late to use the showers. Hence; we ate dinner, had a few beers and off to "bed".
This was my first time sleeping out in nature in a hammock. At one point it started to pour rain, and with the sound of the ocean and all I woke up. Everything was so dark that I thought I had gone blind. This feeling would be remembered forever.
So we are at Tayona, amazing first rainy night in a hammock and I wake up to the hot, bright sun and the sound of the waves crashing into the shore. I remember waking up feeling enormously grateful for being where I was at that precise place, day, hour and seconds.
I spent the most incredible 3 days, sleeping in a hammock at night, staying late on the beach, listening to the ocean and connecting with nature like I never had before.
Time was passing through without me even noticing. But that day came, and I had to start going back home.
My first thing was to go back to civilization outside Tayrona. Since the path we had chosen when we came was all muddy, we decided to try to go following the coast side. This got even more interesting. I felt like Tarzan with a backpack. At one point we even slide through rocks and crossed over rivers using lianas. This had been so far my craziest adventure at that moment.
We got to ground safety, got my bus and back I went to Bogota.
The return was more of an introspective trip, I traveled alone, with my music, silence and in constant remembering.
This was feeling like a huge-never-ending hug. I was able to take perspective over things and appreciate today, whatever that meant.
So back to Bogota, where I spent my last days with my friend and slowly back to Buenos Aires.
My dad went to pick me up at the airport; I recall being in a hurry because I had to go back to work in like 3 hours. He was one of those who asked me not to travel through Colombia by land. When I told him about my adventures, he said I was demented. We still have a great laugh about it.
This trip guided me into putting things into perspective and allowing myself to process my feeling the best way possible. I will admit that this is a never-ending journey, but this trip did change me completely; a new door had open.
This life is yours to live and enjoy, and it´s happening TODAY.
Live, Love & Laugh
A True Nomad's Story - Sol Acevedo