January 12, 2016


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These past few weeks in Colombia just FLEW by! It started with a very, very, very early flight to Madrid on December 22. Ok, so the flight was at 8:30am but I always need to be at the airport early. I get anxiety over there being traffic or something. Plus I always sleep horribly the night before a morning flight. Like, what if I don't hear one of the 5 alarms I set? What if my mom forgets to call me? (6th alarm) What if my iphone stops working? So I have nightmares over missing flights, and wake up every half hour. I made it to the airport after a 70 euro taxi ride (GULP. WTF) and I was obviously one of the first to arrive. I walked around the small area where my gate was. I ate half of the bagel breakfast sandwich I made. I read. I listened to podcasts. I yearned to do some squats and planks, something physical, but I couldn't bring myself to do it, fearing the weird looks I would get. I made it to Madrid where I walked 10000 steps (hell yeah, 10000 steps of the day, man) during my 5 hour layover. I looked for something to buy for lunch. I looked for something that was high in protein and low in carbs and cheap-ish (because 70 euro taxi ride) but everything was expensive and had bread. So smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers on focaccia was my final choice. It was a good one. I was really hungry.

After some more long walks, two water bottle refills (still in love with my Smith College water bottle), three trips to the bathroom, four episodes of This American Life, RadioLab, Reply All and Here's the Thing, I'm finally on board to Cali... After some movies and really bad airplane food, hello Colombiaaaa. 

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Most of these instagram pictures are rather old. Some from September in Paris and Ireland, some from October in Colombia, some from November in Dublin and Barcelona, some from the past week. I've definitely had the most amazingly adventurous time these past few months. 

Christmas in Colombia is family time. Everyone gets together at my grandmother's house and we open our secret santa gifts (the little kids open all the presents) on December 24, in the evening. One or two people are in charge of handing out presents, one by one, each family member getting three chances to guess their secret santa. It's always a mess. I was that person last year and it was a stressful job to say the least. This year, I had another stressful job – I did all the cooking – but once we were all together, I was able to relax. 

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This year, my cousin Luisfer was my secret santa and he got me just what I asked for... a giftcard to the most amazing japanese restaurant in Cali (and one of the best I've ever tried), Sansai! We finally went on Saturday evening. I originally imagined just two or three of us going for a quiet meal, but we ended up calling up my other cousins and we were eight! My giftcard did not cover all of us haha. 
My mom got me a lovely present too (as moms usually do) even though she's given me more than enough. She gave me a beautiful emerald necklace. It's so beautiful! She knows me well, I love emeralds. 
Christmas in Colombia is strange. I always imagine Christmas as ho-ho-ho Santa, snow, eggnog and mulled wine. Warm nights by the fire. Heavy meals. Leggings and coats and boots. But not in Cali! You don't wake up on December 25 to unwrap the presents santa left you. You don't wear anything furry or drink anything warm. It's hot in Cali. And lately it's been getting even hotter. So it's like a summer Christmas, and it feels weird. But I like being with the fam. 

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Now I'm in Madrid again. And I walked over 11000 steps this time because of the (stupid) 5 hour layover. The flight from Cali to Madrid was pretty bumpy at times and I was more anxious than usual. At one point I fell asleep while watching a movie and then I suddenly heard a fire alarm. Loud. Obnoxious. Like the ones at Smith whenever there was a drill. I jumped in my seat and my heart starting pounding SO FAST. I took my earphones out and realized the alarm was in the movie. JESUS CHRIST. I didn't recover from the scare for an hour. Then I had dreams about landing after some rough turbulence. And then in the dream, I "woke up" and realized I was still on the plane, so I was disappointed. But then we landed again. And then I actually woke up and there were 4 hours left. So yeah, that felt cruel. 

But tonight I'll be back in Paris. Starting a new adventure... See you soon on the other side. 

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