The taxi ride to Jose Maria Cordova International Airport outside Medellin was just as stunning as the bus ride which first took me to the city in late January. Blue skies, warm sun, green mountains. But instead of feeling the exhilaration and anticipation of arriving somewhere new, I was trying to let go of not just my new friends and experiences in the city, but the entire way in which I’d lived my life for a year and eight months.
Once out of the valley, there was a noticeably cooler air temperature due to the higher elevation. The airport seemed smaller than I remembered. The 25-minute Avianca flight to Bogota was over familiar territory as I’d flown the same route twice from the opposite direction.
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In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …
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