Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
– Jack Kerouac
I’ve always loved that quote, there’s some sort of magical accuracy to it.
Today’s the day. My bags are packed, the apartment is clean(ish), and empty and I get to have one last look at the lush green mountains that I’ve gotten so acustom to over the last 11 months.
I feel as though I’m leaving very abruptly. I didn’t particularly get to say goodbye to my students or friends since they’re up to their necks in re-sits and end-of-term exams and life in general. But maybe it’s for the best, I’ve not gotten any better at saying them.
We’re making one last stop in Colombia before crossing the border, to explore Pasto and Ipiales at the very south of the country. I have to say I’ve never been this ready to leave. I’ve realized that a year is sufficient for me to stay in one place without constantly moving. My kids kept asking me why I’m not extending my contract to teach them next year. I have thought about it. But at the end of the day, as I’m dozing off in my bed I read and think about all the unexplored, unseen places in the world that are waiting for me and it lights a fire inside. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with this country. It’s beautiful, weird, colourful, loud, rhythmic, welcoming, exotic, crazy, dodgy, hot, cold, windy, smelly, it’s… well, it’s Colombia. You have to see it to understand what I’m talking about. But traveling is what makes me feel alive, it’s essencially me at my happiest and best, and I will never sacrifice that for anything. I’m leaving with some of the most fun, amazing, hilarious, fuzzy memories that I will treasure forever. I’ll admit, there were times when I felt as if I made a mistake dropping everything I had going on for me in England and flying half way across the world to be here. But today, when the sadness and reality of leaving are finally hitting me, I, without hesitation, can say that I would do it all over again in an instant.
Colombia, you will always be a place I call home. Te amo y voy a extrañarte xxx
See you in Ecuador, world!