Travelling to different countries is an extremely life-changing event that everyone should do at some point in their lives. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Colombia in the summer of 2007. Both my parents were born in Colombia, but I had never had the chance to go there before. I was enthralled to see where my parents had grown up and where my roots were. When I first arrived in Bogota, the capital, I was welcomed with open arms by extended family. One thing that everyone knows about Colombians is how welcoming they are. It was a rainy day, as it usually is in that city, so the bus we rode on to get to the house we were staying in felt like it was going the speed of light. After that little adventure, my family and I rested for the remainder of the day to have enough energy to see the great city tomorrow.
The next morning was chilly, yet I still felt the same excitement as the day before. We went outside and got into the first taxi that stopped, and asked the driver to take us to the famous mountain of Monserrate. Later we would find out that it is not recommended that a tourist get into a random taxi because there is a much greater chance that they are assaulted and robbed. When we arrived at the base of the mountain, we rode a cable car to the top, seeing the view of the entire city. The picture included is of me at the top of this mountain. Another significant place we went was the place where the president lived, like the White house. This place was very large, and though no one is allowed inside, the outside seemed very ornate and beautiful. There are many security guards surrounding the house because of its high risk of attack by rebels.
Colombia is very well known for its many guerillas and the danger they pose for the tourists that want to visit it. When I was first told of my trip, I thought I would be in great danger. Thankfully, I was able to make it back home safely because we knew where the safer places were and how to lower the chances that we would be kidnapped. Everywhere I went in Colombia I heard horrible stories of how everyone had been assaulted at one point in there lives, which scared me, but never stopped me from having a good time. Throughout the three weeks I spent there I saw much poverty. I saw children who played in the streets without shoes, because their families do not have enough to buy them any shoes. I would try to help by buying the goods they sold, such as candy or delicious pastries. Food is something that is readily found in Colombia. It does not matter how poor a family is, they will never go hungry.
Though Colombia does not seem like a good place to go on vacation, there is never a dull moment. It has beautiful beaches, not to mention beautiful people. I had never met nicer people in my entire life, until I went to Colombia. I made friends very quickly because the family we were staying with introduced us. The Colombian culture is quite interesting and there is a great sense of love. I would recommend this trip to everyone, as long as they know a local. Colombia is definitely dangerous, but to people who know where to go, it is paradise. I hope to return to Colombia very soon.
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