Back on the map

But where exactly?

A few months ago during a conversation about ambition and happiness, a friend mentioned that she feared “falling off the map.”  In other words, she feared disappearing off into some corner of the world and becoming irrelevant, however quietly happy that little corner might be.  It’s the “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it…” conundrum for the internet age.

In the past few weeks, I have most definitely been off the map, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.

After two months of self-expansion and (sometimes draining) reflection in Russia, I was ready for a break from writing, logging in, and photographing.  I put the internet to sleep and checked out for a while, and I feel all the more sane for doing so.

So now I find myself once again in the Western hemisphere, in a familiar place full of love and magic, beside someone from whom I could no longer bear to be apart.  Can anyone guess where that might be?

I’m beginning a new leg of my journey, one that was unexpected and unplanned, in a place that feels like home and with a belly full of butterflies and arequipe.  So much uncertainty would have sent me into paralysis a year ago; now it fills me with endless ideas and the courage to pursue them.  Let’s hope that, as Pico Iyer said, “the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”

As nice as it is to be back on the radar, I’ll be stepping off once again for four days of beach-camping bliss at Parque Tayrona.  Expect a lot of photos of hammocks, palm trees, and piña coladas coming your way soon!

35 comments

  1. Jennifer Vidal, an unedited writer

    Hey, you are in my country 🙂 Few dare to go there. I’m glad you dare and share 🙂 that Colombia is a lot more than… you know what. If you have any time, please visit my city, Cali. If you do go to Cali, please take many picture and share them with me. If you do go and take pictures and write about my city, with all my heart, I will reblog y your post andfeel proud of my humble but pretty city. Keep enjoying life. All the best to you.

    • Jennifer, your country is so much more than it is perceived to be elsewhere (at least in the United States). I have had nothing but positive experiences in Colombia. I fell in love there, learned Spanish (or rather Costeñol) there, learned to dance merengue (but not yet salsa) there. It’s a place where love is put on a pedestal, where there is value in dancing and laughing and spending time with loved ones. Its warmth is contagious. I hope to spend a good portion of my life in Colombia.

      As for Cali, I am really hoping to make a visit there some time soon. Among the major cities, I’ve only been to Bogota so far (though I hear from virtually everyone that Medellin and Cali are the places to be). If I do visit Cali I’ll be sure to let you know.

      Thanks so much for reading! Un abrazo desde Cartagena. 🙂

  2. Good for you! Enjoy the beach — can’t wait to see beautiful sunset photos.

    I saw this quote and have to share “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I think it’s perfect for your journey. 🙂

  3. Meghan, I struggled with this for a while, and am not sure it was the right thing to do, but I alerted another blogging acquaintance of mine (http://summersolsticemusings.wordpress.com/) to your site. It only occurs to me now that I maybe should have asked you first, so I apologize for my lack of manners. In a nutshell, her son is experiencing some of the worst that Colombia has to offer in his work, and she’s terrified. I don’t know if there’s anything of use to having the two of you connect, but on the off chance that there is I suggested she pay your blog a visit. I hope I haven’t overstepped bounds too critically.

    I wish you enjoyable and fruitful travels, and look forward to reading about them, as I always do.

    • Sid, that’s perfectly fine! Hopefully reading a bit about my positive experiences in her home country will make your friend feel a little bit better. I’d also be happy to chat with her, if she’d like.

  4. You’re in Colombia?? Freaking awesome! I can’t wait to hear more. Come and stop up in D.F. for a few days and we can meet up, go for lunch and all that stuff! 😀 Haha

  5. Hi Meghan,

    I really enjoy your blog and I recall vividly your wonderful description of Cartagena. It made me want to go there. And I will.

    Could that be where you will start your unplanned adventure? I hope so.

    Happy trails!

    Terri

    • Thanks so much Terri! And yes, you got is spot on. 🙂

      I can’t recommend Cartagena enough. Colombia is full of magical cities and rain forest paradises, but this place is extra special. I really hope you visit some day!

  6. writingisl0ve

    Ah, this is great! You’re great for just trusting and believing and basically jumping head first into the unknown! 🙂

    • I’ve gotten pretty good at that whole “jumping into the unknown” thing this past year, for the first time in my life. I hope it continues turning out as well as it has so far. Thanks Natalie!

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