The Weekend in Paris 



Paris. Paris was difficult for me… It was beautiful and romantic and full of everything I wanted it to give me. But it was also overwhelming, far from our flat (the airBnb description was a bit misleading), and harder to navigate than I expected (on account of everything I wanted to see in just 3 days was spread across the entire city).
Also, I noticed, after traveling 3 out of 5 days, one’s cooperation and patience stores are depleted. 
Perhaps my real problem was that I went in with too many expectations and too many siblings (like I said, there’s a serious lack of communal cooperation after 3 days of exhausting travel..) 

The things I did see, however, were beautiful. Everywhere I turned the architecture amazed me. Giant, ornate buildings. Romantic Windows above narrow streets. Locals and tourists intertwining like the streets in front of us. 


I took myself to the Pompidou one morning while my brothers explored Notre Dame and spent hours zig zagging through the exhibits and admiring the view from the top. Another day we spent a few hours in the Picasso which was beautiful and a great collection. I admit, we missed the Louvre but the crowds were massive and we didn’t have much time. Next time. 


Basically we just walked and walked, crossing bridges and sometimes getting lost until we stumbled upon sites and cafes. Delicious croissants, croque monsieurs, picnics of baguettes and cheese near Shakespeare and Co. We drank wine under the Eiffel Tower and watched it sparkle before meeting a friend of mine to drink by the Canal Saint Martin with the locals. We read our books in the shade of the parks, while we sipped champagne and rode bikes through the Paris Zoo park. 


Our flat was just outside of Paris proper (Saint Mandé is right on the edge of the 12th arrondissement). I was looking forward to living in the hustle and bustle of Paris, but in the end, we were able to experience the true Parisian lifestyle without English or tourist traps and significantly cheaper. 

On Sunday morning we were lucky enough to catch a local marche en plein aire and picked up a few snacks. 

So yeah, France was difficult for me. I regret not taking more initiative in planning and a day by myself to explore without my (very slow walking) brothers. But I guess that’s more reason to go back. I still loved what I saw. And we still had a lot of fun. 


The Weekend in Paris 

30-Something Hours in London. 

Our time in London came and went and I fell in love with the chilly city just as quickly.



Here’s how we did London in 24 hours: 
First and foremost, we didn’t sleep. The battle was difficult but we fought the jetlag until 11pm. Go out for dinner, grab a pint, walk around. Do whatever you need to do but don’t fall asleep before a normal sleeping hour. 



When you finally sleep for the night, plan for an early morning and take advantage of the long ass summer days. (Seriously! It gets dark around 10pm!)

In the morning, we walked around our new hood (we stayed in Soho off Oxford Street). At 830 we were out the door, exploring, watching the locals, zig zagging through parks and streets toward Covent Gardens. 

We had a light breakfast at Paul’s (decent cappuccino and bread) and met with one of my best friends, Djon! (He happened to be in London the same week!) 

We walked off our breakfast in the direction of Trafalgar’s Square and got down to business. 


In the square, enjoy the free museums. We popped into the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery (great for British Monarchy buffs!). From the stairs of the NG, you can catch some epic views of London’s greatest landmarks. 


After a few Lion snaps, we started walking toward Buckingham Palace along the Mall and were lucky enough to catch the changing of the guard AND a procession of ambassadors visiting the queen. 

After checking out BP, we headed toward Westminster to check out Parliament and Downing Street. During lunch, we decided to split up for a while: Mateo meeting up with a friend from university and the rest of us heading across the River Thames. 


Aaron, Djon and I decided to grab a few bikes from the Cycles station (much cheaper than the tube) and cross the Thames to check out the Shakespeare Globe Theater and the Tate Modern. 

 


Before dinner we decided to continue exploring by bike back towards Camden and finished off with a plate of fish and chips before climbing into bed. 


My favorite thing we ate was a trendy Indian-tapas style joint called Dishoom in Soho. A little expensive for our backpacker lifestyle but worth the splurge. 


The Tate was interesting but lacked something in terms of intrigue for me. 


London was such a bright and diverse city! The energy was inspiring and exciting. I loved everything about (except for maybe riding my bike amongst the double decker buses). There was so much style, so much history! 


I wish I could have spent more time in neighborhoods like Chelsea, Shoreditch, and Notting Hill, but now I just have another reason to go back. :) 

30-Something Hours in London. 

Bon Voyage

So here I am again. Bags packed and ready for another brothership adventure. I’m currently on my way to London via Madrid to meet up with my brothers for 2 weeks of Europeanness (museums, landmarks, cafes, cheese, wine, pastries, walking…. Yaaaass). 

I’m literally so tired and jet lagged I think my eyes are going to fall out. But I’m almost there. And it’s already Day 1. Damn, time flies when you’re having fun. 

Oh yeah, here’s a pic with my dog before I left ❤️. We call him Black Fox now. 



Bon Voyage

Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

I’ve been sitting on this lot of photos for over six months and decided to finally share with all you foodie adventurists… Last July I took a day trip to Paloquemao, an indoor food market-bazaar in Bogota. From the wee hours of the morning to the afternoon people are hollering and haggling over piled of every kind of food product you could imagine.

It’s off the beaten path if you’re in Bogota for a visit, but worth it if you’re a foodie looking for the real deal. Be prepared to walk a lot and the butcher room is not for the weak at heart. (Gory and awesome and definitely disturbing!) Be sure to stop and have breakfast or lunch at a local food stand. Caldo de costilla hits the spot after a long morning of haggling.

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Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

Back Again

Yeah, I did it again. I took a three month hiatus and left this blog by the wayside. All it’s thoughts and adventure put away for a another day, nearly forgotten. In fairness, the last few months have been a wild and busy blur; feeling like both yesterday and years ago. Isn’t that weird how that happens? Thanksgiving feels like ages ago, but it was really only 2 months back.

Anyway, a lot has happened to me since I last wrote.

In October, I was on the cusp of packing everything up again and ending this journey to head back someplace I wasn’t absolutely sure I wanted to be. I found my self tangled with “what-ifs”and “I don’t knows”, like any good 20-something should experience. I also felt defeated by the thought of “giving up” before anything got started. Then I met some pretty amazing people who (whether they know it or not) convinced me to take this wild adventure I created for myself and grab it by the horns.

I began to see my new home in a different way (as reflected in my essay Change In My Pocket) and wanted to take advantage of all the opportunity it could give me.

So here I am. Colombian Passport in hand (I became a citizen in October. Funny how two weeks before I was granted dual citizenship, I had a flight outta this joint scheduled!) and ready to continue exploring and loving in Colombia!

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So here’s to writing more. And being more consistent. And sharing these adventures with you so that you might be inspired to go explore life too!

Back Again

Museums: Bogota, DC.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a good museum exhibit. In the states, I would try to get out as often as possible to my favorite museums and lose myself in my thoughts for the day.

There are some great museums in Bogota, but for whatever reason, I haven’t spent much time exploring them. Luckily, my fabulous and amazing friend Collin ventured across the sea to come see me for two weeks! 

Both in need of a heavy dose of culture (especially after more than a few days of consistent partying) we trekked into El Centro (remember when I wrote about it here?) and escaped from the bustling city for a bit.

Our first stop: Museo Del Oro. Honestly, I’ve been to this museum a few too many times but it does hold the largest collection of gold in the world and if you’re visiting Bogota for the first time, it’s absolutely a must-see. It’s only $3.000COP to get in (About a dollar) and is rich in pre-Columbian history. Go get your knowledge on people.

After a great photo op, we schlepped a few blocks and headed for a bite at my fave-not-so-secret-spot La Puerta Falsa (remember my post!?). It was filled with gringos. I guess between my blog post and Anthony Bourdain’s Bogota episode, that shit blew up. You’re welcome Puerta.

After splitting some Ajiaco and a tamale, we headed over to the Museo de Botero. If you’re a fan of Colombia’s most famous artist, head there asap! If you like Picasso and other amazing works also head there! It’s located in a beautiful old house, rich in— you guessed it!–Colombian history and art!

Next door is the Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica. We rolled over to peruse and ended up stumbling on one of the greatest exhibits I’ve seen since Pierre Huyghe at the LACMA last year… (remember the post!?😉 )

The exhibit was one by Argentine artist Graciela Sacco. It was an amazing installation exhibit reflecting on social issues and movements, particularly migration and finding your place in the world.

The best part was a room made to feel like you were crossing a foot bridge over deep water. Talk about a psychological thrill! I was afraid to look down!

After that, there was more fun to be had exploring all the modern and contemporary art rooms. You know I’m a huge fan of Kinetic art and was more than delighted to play with some of the pieces that I found!

The Sacco exhibit has since closed but stay tuned for more fun art adventures! 

Museums: Bogota, DC.

Lunch: H{ }ME Burgers.

Wanna eat a delicious burger in Bogota without paying $30.000 pesos or sacrificing gourmet-goodness? Than you need to get to H{ }ME Burgers, asap!

If you’re in Bog, you probably have heard of them! The brand new burger joint opened up on Cr.9 with 81st. Tucked away in the perfect garden patio, H{ }ME is making burgers cheap and fast, without sacrificing any of the freshness you expect from a quality burger.

The menu is simple: Sencillo o Double (single or double)? Queso, Tocienta, Veggies, Home Sauce? (Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Onion, or Home Sauce?). I said yes to everything and picked a seat on the patio.

Our burgers came out shortly after that and I was in HEAVEN!  H{ }ME. 

They were everything I could ask for in a burger (juicy, fresh, satisfying, cheesy, bacony, perfectly cooked, etc etc), without being overwhelming or requiring an immediate nap.

Look at that beauty! Go on, lick the screen… no one’s looking!

And be sure to order fries and a coke with it. You really can’t get a more classic burger combo in Bogota than H{ }ME.

The vibe is super cool and laid back, so I know it’s going to become your new favorite lunch spot. Pick a spot inside or out and enjoy the best burger in town right now! And did I mention it costs less than $20.000 pesos for a loaded burger, fries, and coke?? ((For the gringos: That’s like $6 at the moment)).

Yeah, so you’re welcome. I just changed your life.😉

Lunch: H{ }ME Burgers.