So, here I am. Finally doing it. The cztravels.com domain has been sitting in cyberspace for two and a half years patiently waiting for me to gather courage to fill out its empty pages. I’ve always loved writing and reading; it was my way of escaping as a socially awkward and introvert kid; it didn’t come natural to me to approach another human. So, up until I was 18 writing was the best way to express myself and not care about anyone else besides the characters that were coming to life in my pages. I wrote little poems that sometimes turned into songs, I wrote shorts stories and long stories too. Many of these talked about love, because I’m in love with love and I am cheesy and emo like that. So, this is how writing has been a part of me. Writing also helped develop my addiction to journals, little books and notebooks. I love writing quotes or phrases that other people say that catch my attention.
Now, why is this a traveling blog you might ask? Well, all these characters living in my pages had the privilege of visiting foreign lands that I dreamed of visiting. My family, specially my mom, really liked to travel around Colombia, so we were in a different city most weekends. I have
amazing memories of long road trips (Bogota- La Guajira is a 15 to 18 hour-long trip, and my dad is a rockstar and always did them in one go), searching for hotels on New Years Eve in Cartagena; going horseback riding in Paipa, Boyacá; not having a place to stay in Quindio (the Coffee Zone) and ending up in a brand new hotel (literally brand new, they have opened that morning) where we were the only guests and ending up getting 5-stars treatment for a really good price; going to ‘Tierra Caliente’ (Hot Lands), which is what us people from Bogotá (or The Fridge as it is known) call anything above 20C and that is hopefully 2 to 3 hours away; rock climbing in Suesca; and so many more that I hope I can share with you in the future. Most of these travels don’t include luxurious hotels or fancy restaurants, they were all about what the locals do. “Blending with the locals” they say. A task that is nearly imposible for us Bogotanos wearing socks with sandals on the beach and our cachaco accents. We tried regardless and always asked for the best restaurant in the city, which didn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, it was usually the one where the locals lined up for lunch or where lots of cars were parked. The beauty about my road trip experiences in Colombia relies on the life on the roads: more than the destination itself, the trip is about eating in the restaurant that had beans, rice and fried egg (calentao con huevo) or buying a dessert in the ‘Laughing Cow’ (la Vaca que Ríe). Man, I miss Colombia! Anyways, I wanted to explain this so you understand a little bit more how I like to travel and the type of traveling experiences I intend to discuss in this blog.
As some of you might know, in South America we have a tradition were we celebrate the transition of a girl into womanhood (I find it funny and weird to write that sentence) and it’s called “Fiesta de Quince Años” or “Quinceañera” and I am referring you to Wikipedia for lack of better and more reliable sources on the topic, I apologise to all my university professors. The tradition involves a party with all you friends and family and you in your princess-like dress or ‘dressed like a cake’ like I like to call it. For my 15th birthday I was too socially awkward to ask my friends to come to my party, so I decided to go on a trip instead of paying for people to eat and criticise my food, my party and my princess-y dress. I went to Aruba for a week. I arrived to Aruba on the 25th of June, 2008 according to the stamp on my passport and came back a new person. I loved listening all the new languages, seeing so many different people including the locals and the tourists, and the fun currency, which started my new currency collection. After this trip I told myself, “myself, this is it! This is what I want to do the rest of my life”. The same year I graduated from high-school with an honour called “life project and professional projection”, which I think it meant they thought I was going to be successful or something. Cool award never the less. However, little did they know that I was one of the few who hadn’t applied to any universities; how likely to succeed do you think I am now, huh?
Well, my calling wasn’t Colombia. I always loved languages and I’m fairly good at them, so I wanted to learn english in London. The economic situation at the moment wouldn’t allow it, so I had to search for other means. At the time I was practicing tennis (far from being Sharapova I must warn you), and my coach’s daughter had a scholarship in the U.S. My coach started to tell me that I could get a scholarship too, that she would train me twice a day, but I thought I was too old to do it so I said no to trying for a sports scholarship, but kept looking into going to the U.S. I came across the LAC (Latin American Caribbean Scholarship), which I plan to discuss in another post, and applied for it and GOT IT! I moved to the U.S and today I am writing from London, UK. I will talk about both experiences in the U.S and the UK in detail on other posts to maybe help someone who is interested in studying in either country. If you have specific questions, feel free to message me and would be happy to help you as much as I can 🙂
I’ve been told my writing is “pretty” (sounds better in Spanish), but I never thought it was good enough to make it available to the public. However, after reading many blogs (Aniko’s is my favourite today, although it’s in Spanish) I realised my information could be useful. So, after this blog NOVEL, I just wanted to introduce the reasoning behind cztravels.com, welcome!