Many people ask me why I’ve decided to live in Medellín, Colombia, when I can choose to live wherever I want. After few years of travelling around the world I started feeling tired and with desire to find a perfect place for me and make my base there. I made a list of things what my base should have and look like. It turned out that Medellín is that place, here it goes:
From my travelling experience, some place could be a paradise and have it all, but if people are not nice it’s not worth it. At the end of the day you will spend your time and life with those people, so that was my top priority – to be surrounded with positive, happy and nice people. Person from Medellín is called paisa. Paisas are easy-going, relaxed, opened and very easy to communicate with. They smile, they are always ready to help and make fun. They are very curious and will ask you many things about you, they want to learn and know who you are and what you are doing. Extremely easy to make contacts and friends, in taxi, on the street, in supermarket, when you go out, you name it. Paisas are very traditional and family oriented. Although very promiscuous on the other hand. They are passionate. You can be sure that paisa will tell you what’s on his/her mind. Provoke one second and you will get it. They take care of themselves, they are clean and dress very nice. Party animals and will use any opportunity and excuse to drink and party. When you come in Medellín, you can immediately feel that positive vibe that will make you feel good from the very beginning. Oh, btw, those two guys on the picture are not paisas, that’s my brother and me, but somewhat dressed like traditional paisas with sombrero and poncho 🙂
At the very top of the list – climate! I am fun of when weather is good, I feel good. The city’s average annual temperature is 22 °C (72 °F), and because of its proximity to the equator, its temperature is constant year round, with minimal temperature variations. Temperatures range from 15 to 30 °C (59 to 86 °F). Practically, you don’t need different clothes for different seasons, you don’t need to warm your living place and you can always enjoy sun and good weather. Nice thing is that at night, temperature drops, so it’s really pleasant for sleeping. You can see more details here.
I wanted developed place with everything, but heavily surrounded with nature. Wherever you look in Medellín, you will see green. Incredible amount and diversity of trees, grass, flowers and birds. Nature in the city will keep your soul calm and you will feel the peace.
Everybody needs vitamin sea, that’s why this was on my list – to have beautiful beaches. Although Medellín doesn’t have them, with one hour / $50 flight you can get to the Colombian Caribbean coast and other islands – San Andres, Providencia, Capurgana, Santa Marta, Cartagena, etc. Basically, you can go every weekend to relax and charge your batteries 😉
Book can be written about this topic (and I plan to do something like that), so I will keep it short: beautiful, sex bombs, passionate, open, smart, dangerous and crazy. Drama queens. With lot of energy and proactive. Very easy to communicate and connect. You will never get bored with female paisas and generally with Colombian women. Salud!
Some people first think of the jungle when you say Medellín / Colombia, but they are very surprised once they come here. It’s developed and has everything one might need in a city. Medellín stands for one of the most innovative cities in Colombia and it develops very quickly.
I was very strict about living in a place without many, as I called them, dirty tourist. I am referring to something like Thailand, where there is incredible amount of tourists who are basically changing the local culture and are there only for drinking / drugs and sex tourism. There are many tourists in Medellín, and of course, some of them are dirty, but generally it attracts different kind of tourists who want to see and feel the culture, place and many things that it offers.
Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the department of Antioquia. It is located in the Aburrá Valley, a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America. One hour from Medellín and you can experience totally different climate and nature. Hot, cold, mountains, beaches, jungle, Caribbean side, Pacific side, Amazon, villages, cities. Also, there are other interesting countries around and you can travel quickly and cheaply – Perú, Venezuela, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Cuba, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, etc. Good time zone if you work with US.
Things To Do
There are many different things and activities to do in the city itself and in Antioquia as well. You will never get bored. Just take a quick look at: Medellin Tripadvisor, Medellin City Guide and Medellin Living and you will get an idea 😉 Btw, that’s me on the picture, scared obviously 😀
Colombians like to party hard and go out. There are many restaurants, bars and clubs where you can eat, drink, dance and have fun. Also, it’s very common to see parks fully loaded with people chilling, drinking beers and enjoying.
Food is very heavy, but delicious. Amazing amount of fruits, vegetables and dishes. You don’t drink juice from cans here. You take the fruit and make it yourself. Very natural and organic. On the picture you can see bandeja paisa, cazuela de frijoles, aguacate, arepa and mondongo. Many different things to try and personally I like it a lot. Also, there are many different restaurants like Peruvian, Argentinian, Japanese, so you will never get hungry here, I promise! It’s challenging to maintain your physical shape here, though, especially having in mind that there are also many good beers to try 😀
Medellín was once known as the most dangerous city in the world, a result of an urban war set off by the drug cartels at the end of the 1980s. As the home of the Medellín Cartel funded by Pablo Escobar, the city was victim of the terror caused by the war between the organization headed by Escobar, and competing organizations such as “El Cartel del Valle”. However, after the death of Escobar, crime rates in the city have decreased significantly. Personally, after 2 years of living here I didn’t have any problems whatsoever. Truth being told, shit happens from time to time, somebody gets killed, robbed, etc. Once I was walking in the very safe area with many people and saw a dead guy on the street shot in the head. But, generally, this can happen anywhere in the world and my personal feeling is that it is very safe if you are smart – spending time with local people you trust, speaking Spanish and living in the safe area. There are many police, military and security guys on the street.
- Everything is very slow here. Example: you want to open new SIM card – you will wait 2 hours.
- They drive like crazy and, trust me, if you try to cross pedestrian crossing thinking they will stop, you can get killed easily.
This city is paradise on earth and has some magic. One will understand and feel it once here, it’s very hard to explain it with words 😉