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Colombia, through the eyes of a non-partier

A word from WST Traveler: Every traveler molds and reacts differently to the ambience of a foreign destination. Traveling is about getting out of your comfort zone and getting to know yourself better, like what kind of lifestyle you enjoy the most. Here’s a different, personal and honest recap of Colombia through the eyes of Evgeny Tantsurin:

I don’t really like partying. I am not a big fan of getting drunk either. But at the same time I feel like I am not missing anything at all. For some unknown reason people (mostly, young guys) forgot that having fun is not about getting wasted, but more about experiencing something new. Like… personally I’ve never felt like doing all that crazy things while traveling, but the very first week in South America changed everything.

I’ve traveled enough to realize that there are a lot of ways to entertain yourself while visiting a new country. You can simply stay in nice cafe in downtown and meet people there, or go around and see what people usually do at night. But during my very first day in Bogota, Colombia I realized that things work differently here. As usual, I had checked in the nice hostel in the morning, but I took me 5 minutes to notice that safety was a big deal for everybody there. No need to tell all those stories, because the main idea remained pretty much the same: DON’T GO ANYWHERE ALONE! DON’T GO THERE. THERE. THERE. AND THERE. Besides that, they said, Bogota is a great place to live and party in.

At first I was scared to death, even though life wasn’t that safe back home, in Russia. At daytime Bogota looks like any other big city in the world: whole bunch of beggars, tons of cheap fast food and street performances every now and then. I have to admit, I got really tired of that already, also I never have enough money to do any shopping. So the first day I was wandering around the center of Bogota, trying some local food. The next day… I did the same. And again. And again. By the end of the week the rhythm of life in Bogota had become very clear for me: if you are a tourist, you just go out and drink at night, meet new people and get And you repeat it every single night.

I was frustrated. Of course, I’ve seen it many times before, but, I guess, Colombia is the first country (or the first country I’ve traveled to), that doesn’t give you any other choice. Either you party or go home. I wish I could have gave you some non-partying ways/ideas to spend your night, but I believe there are none. At night Bogota turns into something else, filled with music, cheap alcohol and drugs, and anybody who cannot cope with it are forced to stay in their hostels or rooms.

Now I am sitting on the hammock, while others are leaving somewhere to party all night long. Soon I will get some hot chocolate and finish a book I’ve started few days ago. No, Colombia is definitely a wrong place for me; not only for me, but for everybody who doesn’t like partying, spending nights out with random people and watching your back wherever you go. Gracias, Colombia, but I think it’s time to move on.

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