Colombia, I’ve purchased my ticket.

I’m not exactly sure where my love affair with Latin America began. In high school and college, I was a deplorable Spanish student, begrudgingly dragging myself to class, doing the absolute minimum to receive credit for the foreign language class I was forced to take. Oh, you idiot!

My mind instantly cuts to the real-life scene of being on a remote roadside, knowing exactly what I want to ask, and having no idea how to ask it. The benevolent floating head of my high school Spanish teacher, Mr. Taliercio, somewhere on the horizon, sullenly shaking his head at me. Despite my lack of Spanish skills, my desire to return outweighs the anxiety of roadside abandonment.

billy-reed-peru-lake-titicaca-2

Lake Titicaca, Peru.

I visited South America for the first time in 2012. I spent three weeks in the Southeastern corner of Peru, stomping along the well traveled Gringo Trail. It was an experience that stuck with me, and only increased my curiosity for what the rest of the continent has to offer. I knew upon leaving, that I would one day return.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a wall map of the United States. I would look at that map before I had ever traveled, and day dream about what visiting these different places might be like. 8 years of touring later, I can look at that same wall map and recall memories from these once unknown places. (49 states so far!)

The same mentality inspired me to purchased a wall map of South America. I can’t tell you the countless nights I’ve stayed up, simply looking at the map, running my finger over routes and mispronouncing town names. It’s an itch that has steadily grown with the inability to scratch. Finally, I scratch.

Earlier this week, I purchased my ticket to Bogotá, Colombia. It’s a first step towards refining some ideas that have been boiling their way to the top. I will be in the country August 15th – September 6th. Only a month away, it will be here before I know it.

Do you have friends or family in Colombia? Experience there? Resources worth reaching out to? I’m happy to follow up on any and all. I’m very much in the planning stages right now, and any lead is a good lead. I’m excited to share in this process. You can contact me at needforreed@gmail.com.

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