I feel like at least once a month I start a blog post with the statement, “I’m a mix of emotions lately” — or at least something along those lines. I can’t help it, I’m a nonstop thinking emotional type, you know? I recently wrote about my confused and complicating relationship with Colombia— but now, for whatever reason, I’m feeling a big mix of complicated emotions here in Guatemala too. But different emotions for different reasons of course. Gosh, I love it here, but there are emotions aplenty… and sometimes challenging too.

I’m doing my best to enjoy every second of my time here like I do when in Colombia— or anywhere in the world really. Taking in every good moment and letting the good feelings run through me, despite my sea of emotions, guilt, the climate, the altitude, or whatever other things could be picking at me.

I get asked a lot of questions about safety in other countries– especially in regards to central America + Colombia. And I’m never too sure about what to answer. I never feel unsafe here in Guatemala. And honestly, in Colombia, I’m not sure if I do or not either. I think I feel okay– it’s just the voice of my family that gets in my head– that stirs up feelings of safety or danger. Danger is everywhere in the world. Even (or sometimes especially) at home. Colombia is no different. Though, I guess, out of all the places we’ve been too, Colombia might have been the most dangerous? But I’m really not sure.

But my family is there… so we visit.

By the way… The best way to handle possible dangers in other countries? Stay aware, be kind, and be smart. You know? It’s a good rule when you’re anywhere in the world.

My mom grew up in Bogota. It wasn’t until much later that my grandmother moved to the neighboring town of Chia. Before this last trip, I can’t tell you the last time I visited Bogota. Never as an adult, that’s for sure. And if I did as a child, well then I was younger than Marlowe.

—Can I just stop here to say that the TV is currently on in our Airbnb in Guatemala and there was some ad for a Colombian chip on…. weird how that works?—-

Anyway, as an adult, I’ve never visited Bogota.

Not until this trip. We were content exploring Chia and smaller, quaint towns of Boyoca on our last visit to that region of Colombia. But this trip? Well, I had my aunt Claudia with me. And for her, small towns are boring (she currently lives in one)— so while in Colombia, she wants city life.

And so… we ventured into Bogota… a few times actually. So she could get her city kick in and I could visit a place that was very much part of my family for a very long time.

Also, if you can’t tell, my aunt Claudia is obviously as ridiculous as me. We’re very similar— and very unlike my mother. Not sure how that worked out…
The church my great grandmother was baptized in…

Standard alpaca in the city photo.

I quickly made friends with thousands of palomas in the Plaza of Boliviar. My grandma went to college around the corner. Or maybe it was my mom…. no, it wasn’t my mom. Maybe it was one of my aunts? I don’t remember. I was given the grand tour of all the places…

Either way: pigeons.

Paloma with her palomas.

The Candelaria neighborhood is probably one of the most visited ones in Bogota. My aunt was determined to take me there. It was crowded but cute.

Cute things.

This bird was not my friend. He was cute anyway. Hispanic people love their birds don’t they?

We were in and out of Bogota a few times on this trip. Sometimes we took the bus into the city, sometimes an uber. Fun fact: uber is actually illegal in Colombia– but still heavily used. Weird, right? We stayed a few nights in the city too. Each visit was a bit different. We explored the busy streets– and the quieter ones too. The Candelaria neighborhood was cute and I can see why it would be a preferred tourist neighborhood in the city. We north and south and all around. To the newer part of the city. And the old part too.

The elevation really got to me here. And I know I’m a broken record, but food can be quite tricky as a vegan with food allergies. But I’m really happy to say that I’ve finally explored Bogota as an adult. And while I’m sure it can be dangerous — just like most cities in the world– the only thing that attacked me was my family with love and pigeons with their dirty little feet and bodies 😉

We have too many mass shootings in Florida– ya know? And Colombia definetely has it problems. And there are problems here in Guatemala too. No where is perfect… but that doesnt mean you shouldnt make the very best of it.. and enjoy it (while doing your best to be aware and safe). Or you could sit at home and hope nothing bad ever happens there too 😉 Either /or.

Alright friends… it’s about to turn 9pm on the dot and I think I’m off to bed. We have a fun day planned tomorrow with Marlowe’s friends on the lake. And I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep being about 1,500 feet lower in elevation than last night. Happy Monday friends! I hope this week is a good one for you!

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