Colombia: 3 Reasons Why I Went to Medellín! (incl. VLOG)
TOP 3 POST INSIGHTS
1. IF YOU ALWAYS TRAVEL TO THE SAME 'TYPE' OF PLACES, HOW WILL YOU EVER GROW?
2. JOINING A DIGITAL NOMAD COMMUNITY.
3. FINDING 'HOME' IN MEDELLÍN.
COLOMBIA? THAT'S SO RANDOM. IS IT SAFE? WHY ARE YOU GOING THERE?
That's legit the response I got from most of my family and friends lol.
Over the last two years, I've been lucky to have been to some awesome places like Siargao, Tel Aviv, Hawaii. I've always leveraged this work lifestyle to choose cities with beaches (although Sydney has some of the best beaches in the world 😜). However, I got quite lonely. I'd make friends in these places but then they would go home. Or they would be there on holiday and I would still have to work. I had a confused mindset; was I on holidays or just in another country with a laptop? I also never joined a co-working space, which I then discovered was pivotal to getting the most out of each city. So this trip, I decided to join a digital nomad group called Hacker Paradise.
Hacker Paradise is a group of travelling digital nomads. They spend 6 weeks in each city and the company organises your accomodation, co-working space, social activities and little important things like sim cards!
I saw on FB that HP would be in both Bali and Medellín come January- February 2018. Logically, it would've been cheaper for me to go Bali. Only 8 hours away from Sydney, it would have the beach and cost of living is ridic cheap. But I'd spent most of last year living an island rugrat life (lol which I do love) and this time I wanted a new challenge. I read up about Medellín and digital nomads kept raving about it. So boom, I booked it and in January I was heading to Colombia!
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
Hacker Paradise is about $500 per week. It includes your accom and co-working space spot. My flight from Sydney - Medellín was around $3, 700. So in total the 6 weeks would cost me around $6, 000. Ahhhh.... yeah, let's just say I'd do things A LOT more differently next time.
Later on in the trip, I met local expats and digital nomads who said I could find my own 1 bedroom apartment for $500 a month!!! With HP, we had to share with another person and pay extra if we wanted an en suite. Anyways, this is all in hindsight right? lol.
3 REASONS WHY I BOOKED IT ANYWAY...
1. SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Digital nomad life can be really lonely. Sometimes you feel like you've traded freedom for social stimulation and weekday banter. But this has been my fault, because I never really committed to joining a co-working space or other similar communities in Sydney. I guess I was just used to working from cafes, libraries or at home.
I joined HP because I wanted to be around other digital nomads. I'd sporadically meet digital nomads along my travels, but never really a community of them. What did everyone do? How are they finding a balance of work, travel and play? How are they sustaining this lifestyle? Where are they travelling to next? These were some questions I wanted to ask them. I also wanted to integrate work and social friends. I forgot what it was like to work with someone, then go for a drink after a long day. My life in Sydney seemed so separate. So hopefully this trip would meld my two worlds.
2. NEW CHALLENGE
I'm a water baby. Growing up in Sydney you can't help but love the beach. My background is also Filipino and one of my favourite islands in the world is Siargao. So anyways, when I shifted to 'part-time digital nomad life' I defaulted to beach destinations. But if you keep travelling to the same types of places, how will you ever grow?
If you've watched Narcos or read up on Pablo Escobar, maybe that's the extent of your knowledge about Colombia... or maybe that was just me lol. But I remember reading about Medellín on Nomad List. Digital nomads were raving about it. The weather, cost of living, culture, nightlife, coffee etc. Medellín sounded like an awesome 'random' nomad destination for me. Plus there was another challenge... learning Spanish!
3. LIVING NOT HOLIDAYING
There's a difference between going on holidays and living in a city. If I was looking for a holiday, I would've gone to Santa Marta or Cartagena in Colombia. As a part-time digital nomad, I often crave this notion of 'home.' So this trip, I wanted to make Medellín my home. Make friends with local baristas, find my favourite 'local cafe,' say hello to locals I walk past everyday, these were the things that would make me feel 'at home'. I wanted to be focused too, focus on work and my blog... and without the beach a stone throw away from me, Medellín seemed like the perfect mountain getaway to knuckle down and work (oh and play!).
So there are my three reasons why I chose Medellín! Spoiler alert... BEST RANDOM TRAVEL DECISION EVER. I can't wait to share with you guys all the other fun shit I got up to!
Have you ever considered going to Colombia? DO IT. Trust me, it will be an adventure you won't forget 😜.
Chat soon! xx