Last week, I quit my corporate medical sales job in the fertility industry and made the decision to travel full time while simultaneously building my own travel blog and business.
Since making the official announcement, many have asked where I am going and what city I will start in. I am spending the first 12 weeks of my travels in beautiful Medellin (pronounced Med-a-gene), Colombia - a stunning, picturesque city set in the Andes mountains of South America.
So many people have asked me - how did you choose Medellin? Of all the cities in the world - why there?
Here are the 5 reasons I'm starting my journey in Medellin, Colombia.
1. City of Eternal Spring
Medellin is known as the “City of Eternal Spring.” Having been born and raised in Chicago, Illinois - I was simply excited if the temperature hit above freezing by March. Medellin sits in the Andes mountains at an altitude of 5,000 feet, lower than the capital city Bogota, but higher than Colombia’s famous Caribbean beach town, Cartagena. And once I learned that the average temperature is 72 degrees’ year round, Medellin quickly climbed to the top of my short list.
2. City Environment
I love the beach and the mountains but I’m a city girl at heart. I love everything cities have to offer - public transportation, unique restaurants, parks, and diverse groups of people. It’s important to me to be in a place that I could find access to additional work if needed, but also easily meet new friends and build my network. Medellin is home to over 2.5 million people and neighborhoods like Poblado, Laureles and Envigado have a consistently growing expat community and tourist population.
3. Budding A Digital Nomad Community
A digital nomad is defined as people who are location-independent and use technology to perform their job. There are certain cities that are more conducive to the digital nomad lifestyle - and Medellin is high on that list. A city that is an ideal spot for digital nomads have a low cost of living, plenty of cafes and co-working spaces, solid wi-fi, and reliable infrastructure. In fact, Forbes recently named Medellin as one of their, “8 places so cheap you might not need to work.”
4. Short and Easy Trip Back to the States
Colombia is located in the northwest corner of South America, just south of Panama in Central America. South America is a *huge* continent and although it could take 12+ hours to get countries like Argentina, Colombia is a quick 6 ½ hour flight from Chicago and only 3 hours from Miami. Shorter flights also mean cheaper flights. I booked my one-way flight to Medellin for $220 and you can catch roundtrip flights for less than $500 from Chicago.
I’ve always had a tough time with traveling and adjusting to the time zone differences; it can often take me a week to feel like normal again! Colombia is also on the same time zone as Chicago (central time zone), making it easy to continue my freelance work with companies in the states and to catch up with family and friends.
The Latin culture makes me so incredibly happy. Dancing is one of my favorite hobbies and there are endless amounts of salsa lessons, dance clubs, and music blaring in the streets. I adore the Spanish language and find it incredibly beautiful. In addition, Medellin’s spring-like weather encourages its people to be healthy. The countless hiking trails, parks, and gyms make it easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This year, a personal goal of mine was to make health and fitness a priority so it was important to pick a city that made that priority easy to maintain.
The people of Medellin (referred to as paisas) are incredibly warm and hospitable - it reminded me a lot of the people in the Midwest! It was important to me to be around a culture that was warm, friendly and welcoming.
I truly hope that by sharing my personal stories, I can offer a unique view of Colombia that breaks down the negative stereotypes of its past.
I hope you will follow my travels and get “Lost in Linderland” with me.