Soft Black Girl
Black in Cartagena
"Colombia is NOT what we are told. I never felt so safe and cherish as I did in my time in Colombia"
Cartagena colombia
Staying Open
Why are you going to Colombia?
My cousin seems to be my only bridge to international travel at this time. This was her bachelorette party trip. I was surprised how organized they were. It looked like a tour trip vs a party week for a bachelorette party.
Watch for the Bad Chicks
My old self would have gotten a shitload of liquor, sit on the beach and just stumble around where I live.

But new me really wants to know the culture and the places I travel. I spent all this money to go there. I should really invest in getting the most out of the trip with new experiences and knowledge.

Was I a little hesitant ? Yes, but not more than my wanderlust's need to explore. Of course, I got all the why the fuck are you going to Colombia you are going to get shot. There are drug dealers everywhere. Don’t believe the fucking hype, it was magical and very relaxing. Let me tell you my adventure.

So when booking my flight its only a 2 - 3 hour flight to Columbia from Miami. They had the cheapest flights at the time. Flying out of Orlando (where I was staying at the time) was cray cray. But with Miami I was able to book a first class ticket for around $700. Pretty cool. At the time I was debating flying down to Miami or taking the Bus from Orlando to Miami) So thank god I did not book a flight. Because I was living in DC by the time the trip came around. So I flew into Miami the night before, because all the morning flights were cutting it too close for me to catch my Colombian flight. The biggest fuck up was that it was spring season and everything was sold out. Including all the shitty hotels by the airport that are usually cheap. I ended up pay over $300 for one night in a Hilton brand that charged for everything, super bare bones and not staffed properly. They sent me to the wrong occupied room when I checked in. Lucky nobody was there or I could have been shot.

Of course I complained about it, but shitty Hilton did not do anything. I am a rewards member and I don’t think I will be so loyal to them in the future.

It is necessary to choose a visual aid that is appropriate for the topic and audience.

Anyway the first class ticket came in handy because I could that the hotel shuttle early to get to the airport and hang out in the lounge until I linked up with my cousin and her wife to be.

It was awesome I had espressos and avocado toast 2xs.

On my way back the airport VIP lounge was booked with people hanging out the door and my flight back to DC was economy so I didn’t feel like waiting in a long line just to get rejected.

At the gate to leave I meet up with my exhausted cousin. They got in late the night before and were chilling at the gate.

Some random lady came up to us and was so happy that we were going to Cartengena, for the first time. She was hispanic, but could pass for white in the USA. So I was introduced to how cool and chill everyone was in Colombia.
Got My Tour On
I normally just bum out on vacation, but I have opened my eyes now.

Even in the crazy traffic in the lux bus that picked us up I was surprised at how insane the driving was but nobody was pulling out guns or screaming and yelling.

We met up with the bride to be's sister and she was definitely the life of the party. We were dropped off at our AirBnb. It looked like a terrace filled small street you would see somewhere in Europe, there was a wooden door with a small door inside it. I was like how am I going to fit my big ass through that door but I went through it.

Inside was awesome. It had a lap pool in with an open roof and four bedrooms off to the side that when you walk out the room and the pool is right in front of you. So cool. The kitchen was right off the the right then a staircase that went up two levels with another bedroom at each level. The stairs were steep and nobody wanted to climb up there with heavy luggage. That is everyone, except me. I went to the very top and the room had another door with a Juliet Balcony that looked outside and down on the lap pool.

Don't let fear and opinions of people with no real knowledge... Derail your growth and progress....
The Age of Covid
Colombia's Covid Protocols are better than the USA
The only thing that bruised the trip was my covid test drama to get out of the country. The lady came to our house and took the test but two of three of us tested positive. The fucking night before our flight. Talk about could not did not sleep. So Temika, my cuz had an idea to go to the 24hr Medical Clinic and take another test. We did at midnight. Her finance got her results around 2 am. I did not. Turns out that my work email was the issue, my personal gmail email got the negative result around 7am and I was good. Although no sleep and I fucking broke down, because I had no trip insurance and looking at the prices to stay in Colombia were fucking high as hell. Lessons learn get fucking travel insurance.

Special shot out to homegirl for staying up with me when my cousin was passed out and helping me get through the drama. I came out on the other side grateful and learning some important life lessons.

So back to the beginning it was just the four of us for the first day. We took it easy the host was there to brief us and put us up on scams. The place came with a security guard that was supposed to be with us all night starting at 6pm. Some days I did see him not all. But I felt safe no matter what and I was not really checking for him like that.

The biggest scam was people knocking pretending to look for someone, when they are really casing the place to rob later. It was really common shit stuff for me. Do count your money in public, do get to so fucked up you don’t know your surroundings, don’t let strangers into your living space. Basic shit

Although no lie it felt good to know someone is outside watching the place. My first night was magical. I left the door open and you could hear people playing music sounded live and singing. It felt like home or how you think one fill in a tiny italian village at night. I was fucking exhausted from the trip and the day. We had a chef cook at the place we stayed. It was nice to have a cook. I did the same thing for my husband in Rincon and they loved it. The food both time were just okay for me.

My favorite cook was the Maid can’t fucking remember her name now I this it was Sandra. Yep Sandra. She came every day at 7am to cook breakfast and clean. She even wash and folded our clothes. Holy shit I did not want to leave. That lady made something different everyday and it was soooo good. I am not even a breakfast person like that. But I had some serious withdrawal when I got back home. You expect me to cook and clean everyday. Sandra,,,,,Sandra….oops I forgot.

Just walking around the wall city was so fire.
I tried the beef patties which seem to be made with cornmeal mushie dough instead of a pastry type dough that the Jamaicans use.

It was okay. My favorite discover is Lulo… A fruit that looks sort of like a passion fruit inside, but taste like a cross between a grape, orange and lemon. My husband says it is like a creamy lemon.

Sandra made fresh juices each day for lunch. God I miss that woman and service level.

Next day we chartered a boat to go to three islands. It was so fucking pimp to just lounge while our tour guide son to a Black man that owns a travel guide business catering to show Colombia’s History from the black view point. It was first class service with the satisfaction that you are supporting a black man and his family all of which are actively involved.

First we went to someplace and it was you just hang in the water. I was not ready to get wet and honestly if my feet can feel the bottom I am just not a happy camper. But a old black guy in a canoe pulled up and made the absolute worst pina colada in a pineapple cup. But just watching him making while water was coming in his book was fascinating. I film the entire thing.

Next we when to this place that has a small island with a stalls cooking food with huts and seating in the water. The water was up to my waist sitting down they had masseuse around rubbing your back mine was very good.

The first time trying octopus here and it was fucking delicious omg. I could have ate the entire thing. People were just hanging at tables or on their boats partying and dancing. So cool. The next place was a traditional beach with ‘real’ restaurant. We rented a beach bed lounge spot so all four of us could just chill. The beach was so blue and calm. You will have a parade of locals coming up to you to buy rando stuff.

But the food was so good. Always go for seafood near the beach. I loved the fish no matter way we go. I had the Seafood tower at the restaurant that night. It would have cost me 300 in DC but super cheap in Colombia.

When we got home the 5th person of the party was there and we all went out to dinner that night at a local place. Just walking around the wall city was so fire.

I would get up in the morning to go get a cup of coffee and just walk around because I was so hot and tired that first day.

We I walked out of the door I felt home and at ease the street just was beautiful. I just walked around looking for coffee. If I had gone in the opposite direction I would have tripped over at least 3 places with the block we lived on. Live and Learn.

This day we were going to the Mud Volcano. Holy shit I saw something about this on a travel show. But it was cray cray. We were on a bus and we took photos at the top of the hill to get the attraction in the shot.

Great way to break the ice with everybody on the trip. We all got to know each other on that tour.
We were told to only take one camera and only what you need because we are going to get muddy and everything we take will be covered in mud and clay. So Temika volunteered her phone and gave it to a local that would be our tour guide. A Bunch of locals converged on us and since she knew the drill. First you basically have a local guy take your shoes, phone etc and hold it for you while you enjoy the mud. Then after you are done you give them a tip. Then after the attraction you are guided to a lake where the local women wash you off. They are aggressive and quick they get a tip so they are fast and trying to get you done to get the next chick. So do not expect a spa experience. More like being bathed by a busy mother trying to get her six 3yos clean and to bed as fast as hell. And don’t be shy, they will take off your top or get the mud out with bowls of water any and everywhere.

Great way to break the ice with everybody on the trip. We all got to know each other on that tour. There were several more people besides our groups. It was a lot of fun.

We went to a cool restaurant with the famous mural of 3 black women. HOLY SHIT !!!!! Colombia really worships and honors the Black Woman.
There are murals of mostly black women on every building. They were so much the welcome sign I never knew I needed. It filled my heart to walk around and feel in place no strange stares or overt racism. Fuck America….I have given you so much, but you still act like a shady bitch.

I loved everything at this place, my cousin had taken a cooking class while she was there on a solo trip. I am like that is the way to do it !

I was outside dining when I saw this white girl by herself ask for lessons on how to play a street performer's guitar. I was only partly being nosey, so I did not hear the entire conversation. I did get the sense that she knew spanish … but fast forward a few minutes and she was sitting there getting a one on one guitar lesson. I love the youth. It was so chill and looked like something in a movie. I fucking love it. People watching is one of my favorite activities.

Only Black Town that keeps it's African Traditions
a Colombian settlement that is only made up of blacks, who want to live like thier ancestors in Africa
We had a tour to Palenque, a Colombian settlement that is only made up of blacks who want to live like thier ancestors is Africa. When we toured it was hot as hell in March and there was a death. We were told that they have groups you are belonged to and each group is responsible for each other and you are in it for life. On of the rituals is that your group stays with the grieving family sitting outside for nine days. Each day representing a month in the womb. We drove by the house and you saw a lot of men sitting outside in the shade across for the house. I assume they keep the women and men separate or they were cooking on the inside. Not sure. But is was a sight to see.

Along the way we travel we saw a lot more of the area outside the walled city. There are 6 zones. 1-2 no running water, 3-4 some amenities may or may not have hot water , 5-6 top class of living with all US modern amenities.

We saw all levels. You really appreciate your life and what you have when I visit other places and see that its a caste system most of these people are locked into. And the ones who accept they lot seem content and just trying to make a living. Part of me is impressed at their outlook I don’t know if I would be content, but one never knows if I was born into that mindset how I would fare.

We stop at a village that use to be a plant of a salt factory. It is now abandoned and you can see the remnants of what once was. There were pigs on the beach, the skinnest I have ever seen. Even the pigs were chill in Colombia.

The town of Palenque gets 500 visitors a day or week not sure. And you can tell they are leaning into it a school but on a dance presentation with the option to donate afterwards. Ladies were preparing rice the traditional way knocking off the shells and you could try it yourself. Then there was an elder that made traditional candies from coconut and palm sugar. She did a presentation on her back porch that had a open fire with a cauldron on top. We got a history lesson and got to try homemade alcohol and some treats. My favorite was something take taste like coconut bread pudding or custard. I was told that it was cake, but it was good to me.

It was hot as hell. I am not sure what the temps do in Columbia but I felt every ray of the sun that day.

My favorite part of the trip was late night at the pool with our feet in the water and just talking with all the other ladies and getting to know each other. It wasn’t the usually basic banter, we all got real about our trauma and our current journeys to heal ourselves. Listening to all these women who were mothers I was really impressed and motivated about how they all are raising their kids regardless of the obstacles they face all while doing the work on themselves.

All I have is a dog.

I am working on getting my game and life up a level or sixty.

I really started to miss my hubby and really could wait to get home while waiting for my dc flight in Miami.

If you are going to stay in Colombia I strongly recommend staying in the walled city.

It is huge and has everything. Don’t be basic!!!! … book a tour or two. I plan on going back for my anniversary… God willing.

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