Made it to Medellin, Colombia!

After getting  2 hours of sleep my last night in ‘Mericah, I headed to the airport at the ungodly hour of 3am.  It was smooth sailing with Spirit Airlines.  Everything was on time, and the only ridiculous charge I had to pay was the $33 to check a bag, which I had already known about in advance.  PS – Spirit charges for carry-on bags, and if you forget to pay at check-in, they charge you $100 when you try to board the plane.

There were absolutely no problems at immigration.  My two major concerns were that they would ask to see an onward ticket, proving that I was going to leave the country, but they never asked for it.  The second fear was that I’d somehow screw up while talking to them in Spanish, and accidentally say something I couldn’t take back like “I’m coming here to work!”.

Neither of these fears actually came true, however nobody in the airport seemed to speak English.  I was immediately grateful that I had spent the last 6 months studying Spanish when the customs guy told me “No hablo ingles”.

It was a long cab ride to my new apartment, but I was relieved when we finally arrived and found my friend from Australia, Almog, excitedly greeting me at the door.  I’m living in a flat with several other young entrepreneures, all from Canada, UK, Australia or South Africa.  While it isn’t exactly the most authentic Latin experience, it is a great working environment and I’m having tons of fun with these like-minded individuals.

We are in El Poblado, which is arguably the nicest part of Medellin.  Its a very short walk to the center of town, and I’ve never felt unsafe at any point.  People are super friendly, but rarely speak English, and their Spanish is often difficult to understand.  All my roommates speak better Spanish than I, so I’ve never been more inspired to learn even more.  I’m in the process of finding a good tutor, but I’m also looking for some opportunities to volunteer as an English teacher or some other means of getting out of our Gringo apartment and immersing myself in the language.

The absolutely terrible view from my gym…

And the horrible view from the jacuzzi…

PS – I started working on my Travel Gear Post on the plane ride.  It’s coming soon I promise.  I’ve been a little bit bummed out that I spent so much time engineering my travel gear and now I’m going to be living in a luxury apartment for the next 6 months with a maid that comes 3x per week to do laundry.  I suppose that when I do some backpacking around South America, it will be worth all the work.

 

Road Trip Part II

I’ll give the ending away first.  I made it back.  Now I’m just waiting around and getting ready to go to Medellin, Colombia.  I’m finalizing my packing list, which is way more involved than it really needs to be.  I’ll obviously have everything finalized before I leave, then do a travel gear post when I get down there.

Here is me “relaxing” in Nashville.  I think I was literally writing the previous post when this picture was taken.

Birmingham, AL

We met our friend Mike from college and his wife at their house in a quaint suburb of Birmingham.  It was refreshing to relax, eat some home-cooking and catch up with our friends, but it was a sharp contrast to the last week of the trip.  John and I were on our best behavior.  We had to kick the maturity up several notches and try our hardest not to make fart jokes the entire time.

View of the city of Birmingham

Gun shootery.  We got in trouble for taking pics inside…

Getting excited after pumping a few 9mm rounds into zombie Hitler…

Loading up the M16… This thing is no joke.  Not sure exactly why it exists.

All ready to shoot zombie Osama

Like a pro…

Mississippi

We didn’t really stop here other than for Waffle House and beers, so I don’t even remember which cities we went to.  Not that it matters anyway.  Mississippi was exactly as I expected.  Also, along with having no open container laws, Mississippi is the only state which allows the driver to drink while driving, as long as they remain under the legal limit.  Of course we had to take full advantage for this truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The moment that we crossed the border…

Everyone had to get a turn…

New Orleans, LA

This is an interesting city.  Very diverse, lots of culture, history, good food, and of course, partying.  What a way to top off the trip.

A Rabbi, Priest and a Nun walk into a bar…

Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street were absolutely insane on Halloween.  Sadly, we only saw one pair of boobs on a balcony far away and they weren’t even that great.

We went on a self-guided Katrina-damage car-tour.

I don’t think I’m doing it right.

Swamp Tour!

His name is Larry.  He is one year old.

Loading the car up for the last time!