When 2017 rang in, I was dancing salsa in the local streets of Medellin, with someone's grandfather. Street meat wafted through the air mixing with the music vibrating through the streets while young couples danced, and fire crackers were be set off dangerously close to our feet. The moment was surreal and I was trying to take it in.
After booking a redeye at the last minute, I landed in Colombia to meet a couple of friends to start my resolution:
Travel the World.
I rallied and got one more dance in before the jetlag of being awake for 28 hours set in. It hit me a little harder than expected, and I passed out in a plastic chair next to someone's auntie for all of 15 mins. Not a shining moment.
This is how I brought in my 2017, which set the tone for rest of the year. Often in a new country, functioning on the least amount of sleep possible, around locals and realizing how fortunate I am.
I spent my New Years Eve in Medellin and then jetted over to the beach town of Cartagena. I did everything from boating to secluded islands, haggling in broken Spanish, $20 massages at sunset on a rooftops and exploring the local graffiti of Getsamani. This trip set the guide for all of my other trips to come.
1. Enjoy the locals
2. Research the country and culture
3. Try the local cuisine
4. Do an excursion
5. Get lost
6. Speak the language, or at least try.
My friends headed back a day before I did, and I discovered something else. I actually enjoyed my time alone in a foreign country. So...