Im a 25 -year-old man who has been living in Medelln, Colombia for the past six months.
Yes, the same Medelln, Colombia that has been lately popularise by the reach Netflix series, “Narcos.”
Even if you havent watched the series yet, Im sure youve heard about it from one of your friends or through some media outlet.
Almost 22 years after drug kingpin Pablo Escobars death, his narrative is more popular than ever.
Despite the proves popularity, there has been quite a bit of pushback regarding the ethos of producing a show that illustrates Colombia in such a negative light.
There are a number of articles circling the web protesting the indicate, principally because the indicate plays up the negative stereotypes many people around the world already hold about Colombia.
I understand that perspective, but on the other hand, the show is telling a narrative that is set over 30 years ago , not in present-day Colombia.
But, Im not here to debate with anyone about whether you should watch the indicate or not.
Instead, I would rather give you a first-hand look at what life is like in Medelln, Colombia and why you should visit 😛 TAGEND
1. Its f* cking beautiful here.
If Colombia should be known for one thing, it should not be the cocaine.
It should be the gorgeous biodiversity of the country.
Ive done a decent quantity of hiking and investigating here, and I still feel I’ve barely tapped into the adventure opportunities.
Like I mentioned earlier, I live in Medelln, Colombia, and the 360 -degree opinions here are like something out of a magazine.
2. This country is a backpacker’s dream with nearly every terrain imaginable.
Even if you are a city person who doesnt like to explore, youll change promptly whenyou’rein a city that is so lush with nature that it sometimes feels like a jungle.
3. The girls are drop-dead gorgeous.
Its no accident this past years Miss Universe was from Colombia.
I remember moving here and telling my buddies there was no chance I was getting into a relationship. Six months later, here I am with a Colombian girlfriend.
In addition totheir physical beauty, what makes the women here even more attractive is their swagger.
Colombian girls have a confidence about them that is unmatched to any culture Ive considered elsewhere.
An example of this trust is when you walk down the street or youre in a bar and build eye contact with a women.
Here, if a woman is attracted to you, she will hold eye contact for as long as youre willing to( or until you just go up and say something ).
In the US, it seems to be the opposite. Most girls look away when eye contact is made as if the experience is only a little too intimate for them to handle.
4. The dating culture is backwards.
In my experience of dating women in the US and in the UK, girls there are often unreceptive to dudes approaching them, and they don’t usually give a guy their number unless the objective is sincerely interested.
But if you do happen to get their number, it usually entails enough rapport has been built for the two of you to go on a date in the near future.
Here in Colombia, these interactions go much differently.
In my experience, as well as the experience of many of my friends, girls here are extremely friendly and receptive to talking to you and giving you their number from the get-go.
But that by no means connotes you will be hanging out in the future.
Once you get a number, there needs to be a ton of rapport constructed over an extended period of time via texting or talking on the phone before that first hangout sesh goes down.
5. Student life here is much like student life in the US, except…
Once a week, I go to the nation university and take part in an acro-yoga class.
At the same university, you can find students slacklining, playing football, putting on culture events, working out and other things you would find at a university in the US.
The only thing Ive found to be a bit different is the police are usually not allowed on the schools’ premises.
Also, somehow marijuana gets a free pass at the university, where students can be found anywhere casually smoking and hanging out with friends.
This is often a before the acro-yoga class activity.
6. Americans dont have the best reputation.
Most Americans are known for being interested in two things: having sexuality with “prepagos”( prostitutes) and doing cocaine.
This reputation is one all American dudes have to transcend when they first get down here, and for good reason.
A ton of dudes do come down here for those two things, and they give the rest of us a bad rap.
If you do come to visit, expect to have that stereotype pinned on you, but if you act like a decent human being, the locals will see youre one of the good ones pretty quickly.
7. Its unbelievably affordable to live an upscale lifestyle.
At the time of writing this article, the USD is almost three times stronger than the COP( Colombian Peso ).
That entails life here is incredibly affordable, and you can essentially tripe your lifestyle from the US.
An example of this is going to a nice upscale restaurant ordering a pizza, bottle of wine and dessert for you and your date, and walking out of there expending less than $25.
Depending on where you live in the US, this can usually cost you closer to $70 to $100.
Want to grab a quick lunch? The menu of the working day will operate you around $3.
Want to hop in an Uber? An median 15 -minute ride will cost you around $3.
You get the point.
8. Paisas( people from Medelln and the surrounding area) are super friendly.
The kindness and warmth of people here has been one of the best parts of living in this city.
My buddy and I operate an online fitness company, and we spend a lot of time outside in parks shooting workout videos.
On multiple occasions, locals have come up to offer us free water, and they take a genuine those who are interested in what were doing.
Overall, there just seems to be a very warm culture here.
Whenever I go to my usual coffee shops, eateries or gyms, I am always greeted with a huge smile and a fist pump or hug from those who work there.
In addition to being friendly, people seem genuinely interested in devoting back to their community.
Ive volunteered with a couple organizations that are dedicated to both helping out the homeless and the youth living on the outskirts of the city.
9. Its not as dangerous as its made out to be.
I remember telling my aunt from NYC I was moving to Medelln, and Im pretty sure she thought those were going to be the final words I ever spoke to her.
I will acknowledge I have had my run-ins before.
After a few months of living here, a Colombian girl I was find and I were about to walk through a local park around 2:30 am.
She mentioned strolling through the park this time a night likely wasnt the smartest idea.
With a few cases drinks under my belt, I told her to relax, and in the park we went.
Seconds afterward, we were held up at knife point by three dudes who stole my phone and her purse.
My story is not uncommon, but its also never very surprising when you hear about an incident down here.
You have to use common sense, just like you would in any other big city.
There was a narrative that ran global lately about a New Yorker who was shot and killed in a botched theft, but you have to look at narratives like that from a rational perspective.
This guy was being robbed by guys with firearms, and he tried to physically resist the robbery.
No matter what city in the world you live in, thats not going to end well.
Many other narratives down here build you roll your eyes as well.
There are some Facebook groups for foreigners here, and every time someone tells a narrative about being robbed its like, “Yes, of course that happened.”
Often, you hear from grimy 60 -year-old humen theywere medication and robbed by19-year-old womenthey brought back to their places.
Come on, man.
If you are that old, and youre bringing back a womanthat young, what do you expect to happen?
10. There are a ridiculous quantity of holidays.
There are 18 public holidays a year here.
This is the second most vacations in the world.
To give you some perspective, we have 10 a year in the US.This country knows how to have a good time.
11. They have quality health care for a fraction of the price.
Medelln is renowned for having eight of the top 42 hospitals in all of Latin America .
The doctors are highly qualified, and the cost of health examinations and procedures is a fraction of the price.
For example, Im going to the dentist the coming week for a clean, X-rays, etc ., and its going to cost me about $30 USD.
12. The coffee cannot be beaten.
For less than$ 1, you can get the best Americano youve ever savoured in your life.
Colombian coffee lives up to the hype 100 percent.
13. The WiFi is on point( for the most proportion ).
Medelln is a dream destination for freelancers and entrepreneurs because of the plethora of cafs and coworking spaces.
As long as youre in the most developed areas of the city, most places have Internet that rivals any connection you will find in the US.
14. The graffiti here is unreal.
Im a nerd for graffiti, and I make it well known on my Instagram account.
There is awesome graffiti to check out around every corner, so I literally never run out of material to share.
Medelln is also home to the biggest piece of graffiti art in South America.
In closing, keep in mind this has been my experience, and I do live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Medelln.
Colombia is still a developing country, but its a far cry from what you might find on the media or on the indicate “Narcos.”
Im pretty sure my friends here are going to give me some flack for letting the cat out of the container regarding what an incredible place this is, but I thought the rest of the world needed to know the truth.