Our fifth month of Remote Year was spent in Bogota, Colombia. Upon arrival here, you could tell that this city was entirely different than Medellin. We had quickly gone from the rainforest-like climate to a cooler, mountainous atmosphere in just an hour flight. Bogota sits at 8,600 feet and you could definitely feel the altitude as well.
While many people in our group didn’t really love the month in Bogota because of the cooler weather (typically in the 60s most days), I actually really enjoyed this month. Being a lover of large metro cities, this place was definitely for me. I also took Spanish classes for three hours a day for two weeks at the Whee Institute further downtown which really helped me adapt to a daily routine here. I also had an amazing spin studio about three blocks from my apartment that was almost harder than the ones at home!
We went on two amazing track events outside the city that really influenced my month and pushed me out of my comfort zone (in a good way!). The first event was a water rafting excursion. We drove about 2 hours outside the city into the hills where the climate changed again to much warmer temps. We then split off into groups of six, donned our rafting gear and after a few minutes of instruction, took off down the river! While we rode on level 2/3 waves (white water rafting can get to a level 5), it was still very exhilarating and we had a blast chasing each other down the river. It was my first time rafting like this and definitely something I would do again.
The second track event was caving or spelunking, as some call it. After the recent international event of the group of boys getting trapped in a Thai cave, I’m not sure this is something that many people would willingly volunteer to do right now. However, I’m very grateful I had the chance to do it on this trip because it was NOT easy. We had about an hour hike through some beautiful (and steep) terrain before we arrived at the cave entrance. While I’m not claustrophobic, it is definitely unnerving to be climbing through tight spaces and at some points sitting in complete darkness. There were three challenging points in the cave where we have to free climb over some flat vertical rocks in an attempt to avoid the waist-deep, ice-cold water below. Unfortunately, I only made it over 2 of the 3 challenges and needless to say was a little damp the rest of the day. Regardless of the fall, I had a blast and was both mentally and physically challenged during the entire experience.
I also highly recommend visiting the top of Monserrate which I did on my last day in Bogota. You climb a very steep incline in a cable car to a beautiful view of the city where you can see everything!
After watching the AMAZING movie, Call Me By Your Name, I fell equally in love with this song by Sufjan Stevens: