When people ask me, "Of all the countries you've been to, which was your favorite?" Without hesitation, I say Colombia. You can't help but appreciate a country as complex as this.
There remains the tragic dichotomy where places exist to drink tropical cocktails on a beach resort, while simultaneously, villages are being destroyed and terrorized by both the ideological left and right, as this country currently remains in civil war. The drug trafficking continues to run rampant, political bombings still occur and there is probably the widest disparity of wealth of all the countries I've been to. But Colombia is special.
Through all of this, it is the most geographically beautiful terrain I've ever had the pleasure of traveling. I've had the inspiration of innovative artists instilled in me, tasted a delicious variety of cuisine, heard creative melodies tantalize my eardrums, and witnessed the most profound perseverance of the human spirit. Colombia is beautiful.
In some ways it is reflective of my own personal transformation. I don't love Colombia because I enjoyed every second. On the contrary. There were times where I felt absolutely miserable, considered giving up and going home, but by sticking through those tough times, I've been able to become a better person. I place Colombia in my heart because of the very fact that it put me through every possible human emotion. Here I've experienced happiness, depression, love, hate, anger, joy, guilt, redemption, and most importantly, forgiveness.
For all the smiles and cries, how could I not love it?