Burned Out in Colombia: Rethinking Long Term Living

Burned Out in Colombia

Burned Out in Colombia


I’ve been trying to write this post for a while now.  While each iteration helped to solidify my thoughts, it’s only after a month of writing I was able to really put these thoughts on paper (or in pixels).

Years ago, I used to backpack and I loved it.  However, recently as I got older (and hopefully wiser) I started searching for opportunities to actually live in a place.

So instead of constant shuttling between different cities at breakneck speeds, I decided that I’d be cool to actually settle down and stay in a place for a while.

The difference is that unlike when you spend a day or two in the city — when you live, you engage and give your one hundred percent.  You learn the language, understand the culture, build a social circle, etc.  It’s not easy but forces you to grow out of your comfort zone and learn more about yourself.

I have no problem opening myself up and diving into new cultures, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few years.  First it was Argentina, then Mexico and just recently Brazil.

However interesting things started to happen as I became a local in many countries.

During my stay in Brazil, as a consequence of learning the culture and language, I started to appreciate my culture (Russian) and hometown (New York City) more and more.

I noted many similarities between Brazilians and Russians.  Things such as strong emphasis on family values, defined male/female roles in relationships, etc.  The longer I lived, and the more I assimilated, the more proud of my own culture I became.

Brazil was to be only the beginning, a year later in Colombia I finally understood how it all tied together.


Many people rave about the friendly locals, or how safe the city, or myriad of other factors that puts a new city about their former hometown.

Sometimes I question such statements because such people always paint a rosy picture with absolutely nothing negative to say (don’t trust anyone who has absolutely nothing negative about anything).

I love exploring foreign lands as much as the next guy, but I also think it’s important to realize where you come from and who you are and never let you current “traveling indefinitely” or “global citizen” label take precedence of your true nationality.  If you lived 25 years in America and have been traveling “indefinitely” for about 2, 3 or 5 years, surely you’re still American, no matter how much “enlightened” you might have been by few years of traveling.

My stay in Colombia was mediocre.  I settled into an overhyped city that, as an added bonus, had the biggest ego in whole country.  I failed to make lasting connections and generally found the society rather inward looking and difficult to integrate to.

For instance most of the people I met have never left the country.  Thus they viewed their country and especially their city as the most civilized and technologically advanced place in the world.  Maybe as a result of foreigner fatigue, most locals viewed foreigners with indifference rarely caring where they are from or what their purpose in the country were.

And for someone who understands the culture, the history and even speaks fluent Spanish with Latin American accent, this indifference proved to be a hurdle difficult to overcome.


Thus I began doubting my efforts.

“Why am I living in some third world shit hole when my home and family is in the capital of the world (New York City)?”

“Why am I trying to understand their culture when they haven’t the slightest idea where my birth place is located on the map (Hint: it’s a big country in Europe)?”

“Why am I studying their language (and slang, accent) so thoroughly when as soon as I open my mouth they’ll know I’m a foreigner and will be discriminated against one way or another”

“Why am I chasing their women, when they’re the biggest gold-diggers I’ve ever encountered in Latin America?” (Medellin)

“Why am I spending money in their country when I know I’ll have to fight with a taxi driver over a bullshit “recargo” charge at the end of the night?” (Cali)

“Why am I feeding their ego by saying how beautiful the city is when it’s biggest cookie-cutter, concrete, soul-less jungle with the ego to go with it and no redeeming qualities I’ve ever been to?” (Medellin)


As more time passed, the more questions like the above forced me to contemplate my existence in this country and the more my appreciation of my own culture grew.


It was only on this recent trip back to New York that I finally began to appreciate all that the city has to offer.

I felt comfortable in New York in a way that I’ve never felt before.  It’s truly a dynamic, cosmopolitan city where everyone has an opportunity to come in and prove themselves.

It’s a city that doesn’t discriminate.  A city that doesn’t care what language you speak or what accent you have (although I do love my NY accent).

Unlike Colombia, you’ll never be called a gringo (which I consider slightly derogatory) here and even after a year you can start calling yourself a New Yorker, something that can rarely be done anywhere outside the US.


I’m not saying that I’m closing the door on future long term travel plans, but what I’m saying that my future long term travel plans will have specific goals in mind.

Those goals might be to learn a language, or maybe to open a business, or a similar purpose that will somehow help me achieve a goal.

I will view it a fixed-time aim (1, 3 or 6 months) instead of some hazily defined indefinite stint with no concrete aim in sight.

This is the end of aimless wondering in places that I after I leave I still scratch my head and question how I ended up wasting my time for so long.

This is the end of self-searching and the beginning of something more substantial.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out:


Dave July 20, 2011 - 1:58 am

Man, you’ve said some harsh things about Medellin before, and I’m trying not to respond defensively, but I disagree in so many ways! I can’t help but think your experience in the city is clouded by something else….maybe related to these bigger personal themes you speak of in this post.  

You have a right to your feelings, but seriously, Medellin is a place I’ve been proud to call home for 18 of the last 36 months, and I’m taken aback to hear you think of it as “some third world shit hole” and honestly believe “it’s biggest cookie-cutter, concrete, soul-less jungle with the ego to go with it and no redeeming qualities I’ve ever been to?”  
Seriously?  I love NYC too.  I’m a New Yorker by birth, and in my heart, and always will be, but I can think of a hell of a lot worse places than Medellin and Colombia to pass 3 months. 

In fact, I think it’s awesome when people take pride in their city and country.  I appreciate that about paisas.  They’re a proud people, just like New Yorkers.  And your busting their balls for it?  

There are a ton of reasons why few Colombians have been outside the country, from poverty to decadeds of war, to red tape and pain in the ass processes for getting visas.  And you want to piss on their parade?  Give me a break man.  And give the paisas and Medellin a break while you’re at it.  

Maverick Traveler July 20, 2011 - 4:30 am

Dave, I understand where you’re coming from.  Let me see if I can clarify my point of view further.

The comment about,  “some third world shit hole” was aimed at the whole Colombia instead of just Medellin when I travelled around and dealt with a lot of unscrupulous individuals, and just bullshit.  Travelling in Latin America for a long time, I was used to it, but at times it struck a cord that made Colombia seem less “special” and more on pace with its other Latin American neighbors instead of some amazing country everyone gives it credit for.Second, every city always has two sides, but we rarely talk/read about the other, not so savory side.  For example, I might like Rio, but I’m well aware that the city has one of the largest inequality and poverty in the world.  Furthermore one can say that It’s a shallow city dominated by arrogant residents who think their city is end of it all.  So if you take this point of view, I can totally understand and accept your position.

I agree that paisas are very proud of their city but there’s generally a dash of arrogance that overshadows that.  They really couldn’t care less about the rest of the world.  There was no curiosity about your background. 

Take the city I’m in now – Copenhagen, the residents are very proud of their city but also love hearing about New York, a city they admire and look with awe.  I had the same impression with people I met in Berlin and also people in London.  

And I do believe the city has no soul.  I’ve been to most Latin American capitals and Medellin is the only city that I felt was clearly missing something.  Other foreigners I met also mentioned that it’s a “myth” and “overhyped”

To each is own.

Dan January 17, 2016 - 1:53 pm

Situation is a little different but I feel exactly the same way.

Passing through and living here are completely different things. You def experience more negatives (some on a daily basis) living here which grinds on you day after day.

I won’t get into specifics of what bothers me the most- I don’t think it’s productive.

You should consider yourself extremely lucky in that you if you don’t like it you can just pick up and go.

I can’t. I was living here in a serious relationship. I knew it wasn’t going to work out. The differences between our cultural backgrounds was too much.

Found out she was pregnant. Seeing as I’m not about to abandon my unborn child, I’m going to be ‘stuck’ here for the foreseeable future trying to make things work (she wants to stay in Colombia)

James Maverick January 17, 2016 - 2:20 pm

Good info. Please feel free to share more of your situation.

jorge torres May 6, 2016 - 2:27 pm

In order to enjoy living in Colombia you have to understand the culture and have the right expectations.
Colombia is socially divided by “Estratos” in English it means Stratus.
The Municipalities divide the Colombian Cities by Estratos in order to bill for the utilities and public services. The Stratus divisions go from one to six.
A “estrato” one is a the poorest part of a City and “estrato” six is the wealthiest, best area of a city.
This explanation leads me to a long discussion about the defined social conditions in Colombia based on Estratos.
Most people who live in Stratus five and six and some from stratus four may be the wealthiest, most educated, attend private universities, may have travelled abroad and may have knowledge of English.
Colombia has 44 million people and I suspect that only 8-10 million people may occupy stratus 5 and 6 and some higher four.
Stratus one and two are very poor and stratus 3 and some stratus four are just hanging in there.
10 million Colombians live in poverty; 15 million are a notch above poverty and barely making it; 15 million may be middle class and may be 4 million are above middle class.
I am also talking by Colombian standards. A middle class in Colombia is much poorer than a middle class American. A poor person in Colombia is really poor; it is much poorer than a person rated poor in America.

Arm with that knowledge you may start thinking about life in Colombia and the social interaction and the social and safety problems you will encounter:

For example, you decide to live in Medellin then what happens?

Let’s think about the stratus situation. If you rent and live in a stratus 5 or 6 area then you will see nicer looking people, mostly, white and affluent. However, most people live with their families. That is, the woman you may like to take home with you lives with her parents, it may be part of a tight knit family and she may even go to bars with a group of friends and , yes, it may include the brothers. If you are from a financially comfortable household you are not going to be impressed by the unknown ‘gringo” who thinks he can get laid in no time. If you succeed you have to work hard and have a long courtship. It is not like in America, where you can get laid by a relatively cute girl after having a few drinks and dropping a few funny lines.

It is unfortunate but you can get laid easily in Colombia when you drop to the lower stratus where you will find more girls looking for action and they could be more easily impressed by your car and your wallet. However, your interaction will be with someone very un-sophisticated, uncultured women.

The other big issue about Colombia is safety. Think about the 25 million plus leaving in poverty. You cannot trust anyone you do not know well. Even people who look as nice as ‘estrato 5 and 6 “ may be part of a group who wants to rob you. Have you heard of Escopolamina? Google it and you can see all the details. It is basically an Andean drug that when you come in contact with it, spray or put on a drink turns you into a Zumbie. You do what you are told.
Let’s say you meet that great looking gal at a bar, she is into you, so you think. However, that may be the last thing you remember because when you “wake up” you realize that you are in your apartment and everything is gone and your ATM card was used. And you thought you were that great looking guy she was falling for.
There are thieves in Colombia, everywhere. Have you heard of Cambiaso? Basically you are at an ATM and some nice looking people are behind you. They manage to see your pin. Then, they converge to you and take your ATM card telling you that you left the transaction open and that they are helping. They give you another ATM in return. In minutes they withdraw the max the ATM can give them and have people ready at near by Supermarkets with carts full of merchandise ready to be charge to your debit atm. It happens daily and in the nicest part of Medellin- El Poblado.

Colombia is beautiful and yes there are hundreds of wonderful people. However, it takes time and effort to meet the right people. You have to be introduced by someone who has a nice network for you to maximize and enjoy your stay.
Colombia can be a hassle because when you are trying to meet new people you will run into many, unreliable individuals. If you cannot break into a nice network then you will experience what the New Yorker describes. Poor and many low-end middle class Americans are as unsophisticated and ignorant as poor Colombians.
Your social and economic situation in any society dictates your level of education.
True in America too.
“Birds of a feather flocked together”;
If you want to enjoy Medellin, I suggest that you do your homework, try to be sincere and meet people you can have a friendship with. Try to be in a stratus four and above place. But still be careful. “No de Papaya,” it means do not drop your guard because you can be robbed at any time. Da papaya and your Cell phone, Computer, ATM, packages, wallet will be gone. It can be a hassle to be so alert at all times. You cannot drop your guard anywhere. IT is life in Colombia. It is like being in a subway in NY. You do not know who is a thief.
Finally, strive to develop a network of friends. Once you meet some people, I guarantee you they will invite you to their “finca”. Most affluent people in Medellin own a property outside of town, coffee or cattle ranch. Stratus 5 and 6 people usually have nice properties where they invite friends. Then you can meet very beautiful, educated women who may want to hang out with.
A smile, drink and ola soy Americano will not cut it. You need to do your homework if you want to meet the right Colombian. You may be lucky and get laid operating the American style, but also you may wake up in a park nude wondering what happened the night before. Do not go to Colombia looking for sex, if it happens hopefully it can come naturally from a person you have known and not by a the stranger who is leading you to believe you are awesome.
Prostitution is legal in Colombia and you may find and meet up with “prepagos”. A prepago is a prepaid hooker. Do not try to stiff them. Like the US secret service guys did in Cartagena. They stiffed the hookers, ignorantly thinking that they cannot call the cops. They will call the police and you will be booked for failure to pay. That happened to the US secret service in Colombia.

Julian April 17, 2016 - 8:53 pm

I agree with David.
I’m colombian, I don’t like certain things of my culture but to use such hard words to describe an experience is very selfish of you.
I’ve been in the States and I certainly found a lot of things of your country that are not very welcoming to see.
like how dumb is people in the south, racism in Memphis, crime in other cities, the fact that some Americans think that there’s nothing but the United States in the whole world. All of that is surprisingly sad to see and to hear. Now, if you go back in history you will know why a third word shit hole it is what is in this days. People who came to immigrated in the south of the American continent were definitely not the best shit of Europe and if Colombia is not the best place to live in, in terms of modernization, culture behaviors and an open mind personality with the foreigner “sometimes” is because many of them don’t have the chance to live overseas and appreciate the different. But to just not generalize, a 90% percent of the population is very warming and eager to know something different, hospitality exists in my country. Unfortunately there are many things Colombians cannot take in their hands right now, corruption is silently killing us, people have become more indifferent to problems because they cannot take the power in their hands without seeing dirty politics around like Ravens trying to get advantage of things. If we would have the enough financial resources to do stuff we will be better than the States, people is brilliant there, charming, always smiling, creative, musically talented, landscapes are astonishing and we have enough natural resources to become an independent potency. And I’m sure you saw all of that, you maybe had a not very pleasant experience. I’m living in another country now trying to be outside of that comfortable zone that my Colombia gives me, just because I’m trying to understand this world, and I’m not certainly deciding to stay abroad for ever, is hard to be overseas but no matter if is Haiti the place you have chosen to stay in. I’m sure you can become a better man challenging yourself with taking the decision of be flexible and open mind choosing a different culture to live in.

Brian September 5, 2016 - 4:07 pm

“It is not like in America, where you can get laid by a relatively cute girl after having a few drinks and dropping a few funny lines.”

That’s a misconception (pardon the pun). Most American girls are very conservative, too.

Hollywood, on the other hand, likes to make movies about sex because it sells.

ernesto September 8, 2016 - 8:53 am

Hi Maverick
I really enjoyed your post. I am colombian but i can not avoid to agree with you about the lack of soul of our cities. Indeed after so long violence and the discrimination of Colombian elites our cities lack of soul. Poor people live in despair and anger… However, as in any other place in the world you can find friendship and hope. You felt something real.I would suggest now to make an effort and read the history of the country, then you will make of that experience a more intellectual and fruitful outcome.
Chomsky wrote some good articles. https://chomsky.info/roguestates08/

Maverick Traveler July 20, 2011 - 8:32 am

Dave, I understand where you’re coming from.  Let me see if I can clarify my point of view further.

The comment about,  “some third world shit hole” was aimed at the whole Colombia instead of just Medellin when I travelled around and dealt with a lot of unscrupulous individuals, and just bullshit.  Travelling in Latin America for a long time, I was used to it, but at times it struck a cord that made Colombia seem less “special” and more on pace with its other Latin American neighbors instead of some amazing country everyone gives it credit for.

Second, every city always has two sides, but we rarely talk/read about the other, not so savory side.  For example, I might like Rio, but I’m well aware that the city has one of the largest inequality and poverty in the world.  Furthermore one can say that It’s a shallow city dominated by arrogant residents who think their city is end of it all.  So if you take this point of view, I can totally understand and accept your position.

I agree that paisas are very proud of their city but there’s generally a dash of arrogance that overshadows that.  They really couldn’t care less about the rest of the world.  There was no curiosity about your background. 

Take the city I’m in now – Copenhagen, the residents are very proud of their city but also love hearing about New York, a city they admire and look with awe.  I had the same impression with people I met in Berlin and also people in London.  

And I do believe the city has no soul.  I’ve been to most Latin American capitals and Medellin is the only city that I felt was clearly missing something.  Other foreigners I met also mentioned that it’s a “myth” and “overhyped”

To each is own.

Dave July 22, 2011 - 10:21 pm

The only reason I think it’s overhyped is that it’s been closed off to the rest of the world and tourism for so long (due to conflict, Escobar, etc). When people arrive with old stereotypes still in the back of their minds, and then see how *relatively* peaceful and pretty the country is….well they load on the superlatives.  

When I started my blog in 2009, it was to help get the word out. After TONS of negative press, and Medellin formerly being the murder capital of the world, some degree of hype is necessary to break through all the stereotypes.Does that lead some people to visit the city, like you, only to be disappointed?  I’m sure it does.  But overall, I’ve heard far more positive impressions of the city and country than negative. Once I see the rest of South America later this year, I’ll be better able to put Medellin and Colombia, in perspective.  I’ll keep you posted.

Bogar Vallejo July 23, 2017 - 5:57 pm

Hi Dave, I´ve been reading several of your posts. I have a job opporunity in Bogota and I definitely need some insight and recommendations. I would appreciate if you could add me to facebook so we can get in touch (bogar.vallejo).
I appreciate it.

Eva September 8, 2013 - 7:55 am

I agree with you and I know exactly what you mean. I have been here two long ass years and it feels like an eternity. Unfornately my fiance is from Colombia and we are going through this visa process that takes forever. My options are to marry him and go back to America while this process completes itself so I can get a job, but the problem is leaving him here with all the fake injected and silicone women who are big openly flirts. I miss home and to be honest the flat land, big stars, snow, hot summer, fall just about everything. The only thing besides my fiance that I love are the mountains and the nice nature they have here. My fiance family is nice, but the pretentious type. I actually believe the majority are that way just to be curtious. A lot of people are blind to the fact that women here are like most California women, plastic barbies. They can say all they wany about beautiful women here in Colombia, but I know the truth and I went out to seek it. Surgeons told me that teens at 15 years of age ask their parents for breast implant, how sad is that. My fiance’s brothers wives told me they had their boobs done and one them said she also had her butt done, and lipo. Well guess which one was having marriage problems. His third brother cheated on his wife with the ex who was seeking him out. The poor thing told us and my fiance could not believe his brother did that. My fiance being Colombian has said many times how he prefers to go to America where people keep to themselves and he wants to make his home there. His family is always trying to decide his future for him. From my experience on my fiances side of the family they act like whining babies if you don’t go where they invite you. They will bring it up afterwards to make my fiance feel bad. Well all this and other stuff that have happened just make me want to leave fast, but i think of my fiance and everything that could happen.

Anna October 13, 2013 - 11:31 am

Eva I agree to some of what you are saying about some Colombians. I was seeing a guy from Cali for about 6 months. He was charming and younger than me.Most of the time very happy go lucky. But there was things that were very annoying that would piss the crap right out of me. I am also latina from the Caribbean.
What he would do is on a constant basis talk about the “Monas” from the United States, which were white women. We would go out and he constantly had to stare and make comments about women in front of me. Then he would say if I was with her I would take her to Cali and put some boobs and butt on her. This I found annoying and very pathetic on his part. I guess he felt if he stared long enough like he wanted to devour them they would find it appealing and come and introduce themselves to him.
I would ignore his BS at first but after about a month of this I told him how I felt and did not like it. I also told him I don’t know how Colombian women are but American women do not like to be stared at like a piece of meat. It feels creepy and makes a woman feel uncomfortable.
He constantly had to show me pictures of Colombian women. He would tell me how many women that had their first baby and some that hadn’t would go have plastic surgery. This surgery was to make their boobs and butt bigger. Some would have lined abs put in. That’s when I realized that that is why most of the women he knew all looked the same body wise. The only thing different was their faces, but body wise they all looked the same. From the pictures they are very vain because most of the pictures were of themselves taking from their cell phones, Some of the butts were enormous and looked fake and horrible. Like I said I am Latina and have a big (not huge), normal butt which I like, but their’s were gross.
Another thing which I know is not just with guys from other countries is that he felt he would think he was always right. I am a very independent woman and in a very civilized way would tell him how I felt. If I was right I was not going to back down.
The final straw was when he asked me to marry him (not for love) for papers that I realized he was here to get what he wanted. I told him “NO” I would not degrade or disrespect marriage vows for his own needs.
He went back to Colombian and we are still friends. He constantly tells me he loves and misses me, but I know he would never be faithful. I loved him, but was not in love with him because of the age difference. I do not look my age and look 20 yrs younger, but I knew that being with this young man eventually he would stray for someone younger especially a “Mona”.

Rafael April 17, 2016 - 9:11 pm

What kind of Colombians have you met?
People is not plastic like that, there are a lot of people there who are such hardworkers, educated and with many values. If you people are taking your horrible experiences in Colombia to the United States I will recommend you to keep it in a bag and throw it away. Learn Spanish, be flexible and open mind and take you the time to go around with different eyes. Go to Bogotá, Cartagena, Villa de leyva and try to don’t compare that culture with the United States. Nobody says a shit of all of that fake people who have never been out of their towns and consider “Mexican” to all foreigners of South America.
I will recommend you to open your eyes and realize there’s more outside of your backyards to see.

jorge torres January 15, 2016 - 12:48 pm

Colombia has close to 44 million people. Bogota metro 7 plus million and Medellin metro 3 + million. Like in any place in Latin America you must know where to stay and who to deal with.
Colombia can offer you a wonderful experience if you meet the right people and hang out in the best parts of town.
One does not go to New York or San Francisco to visit the seedy, unsafe places where the homeless crap and pee on the streets. I have witness day time, middle of the sidewalks blow jobs in San francisco and people relieving themselves in the middle of parks in both cities. I have dealt with uninterested rude New Yorkers and Americans who can not even place their own Country on the map. In San francisco, I jumped over a homeless guy in the middle of the street only to find out the guy was dead.
If you go to Bogota and Medellin on the cheap you will see the worse, low quality food, very uneducated people and perhaps stay in crime ridden areas. If you stay in Harlem New York or the tenderloin in San Francisco you will be fearing for your life and most likely meet the worse America has to offer.

Latin American is an adventure if you do it on the cheap. Hostels are in really bad areas and cheap food may be unsanitary and tasteless. In Latin America you have to watch every step, you are always arguing about charges and it appears that you may get rip off at any turn. As a Colombian living in the US , Latin America is not in my top list of places to travel because, I do not want to be so alert. I want to relax an drop my defenses.
However, I visited Colombia with my kids two years ago. Bogota, Medellin and the Coffee Growing areas. My American kids loved it and they can not wait to get back. The people everywhere were warm, interested in us and honest. The Food was excellent. The restaurants and the locations we visited were amazing, Once again, I did not go to Colombia to visit the slums, or to find out about Pablo Escobar whereabouts. If you go to Colombia, bring some money, stay in nice parts of towns, pay for taxis that are registered. If you go to nice areas you will find very educated people who will want to know you. If you are an American, backpacking and smelly you may not meet that many people. You will look like a tourist and middle class Colombians will not give you the time of the date. Would you go out of your way in America to befriend, a smelly, backpacker from any Country? Probably you are too busy to try.
Is all socio-economics around the world. Poverty and slums are not where one may want to go.
Colombia has excellent, hotels, restaurants and locations where you can meet great people. However, you may not find those attributes in Downtown Bogota or the slums of Medellin.
As for Gold diggers, you will find them everywhere. It may be difficult to meet the solid, lady with some brains. That is the case any where in the world.
In short, I may conclude that the writer of this article was traveling on the cheap, stay in the wrong locations and met the wrong people.
The People in Colombia with money can be very pretensions and judgmental but again isn’y that the case every where in America.
Fake and full of silicon? You can find them everywhere. It does not matter where you are you have to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I am sure the writer may be a nurd who thought that Colombian will fall over him because he is an American.

KELVIN D LANIER February 18, 2018 - 3:16 am

You are wrong Colombia is a shot hole

KELVIN D LANIER February 18, 2018 - 12:23 am

He Is right about Colombia it’s a shit hole.

douleur July 20, 2011 - 4:54 am

Maybe you got a bit tired of the efforts of being a citizen of the world. If you were in Medellin in another moment, you could have a different view of it. It’s not easy to “adapt” ourselves everytime, sometimes we need a break. Go take it. 😉

Maverick Traveler July 20, 2011 - 8:35 am

Agreed.  It’s time to retire Latin Amera for a while.

Eva September 8, 2013 - 8:01 am

I agree

Chromailbox-cr July 20, 2011 - 9:57 pm

“This is the end of aimless wondering in places that I after I leave I still scratch my head and question how I ended up wasting my time for so long.”

Exactly what I felt after 4 months in Medellin and Cali… Very empty. You can’t rely on people there. Appointments mean shit.

Maverick Traveler July 20, 2011 - 10:01 pm

Can’t speak for Cali too much since I didn’t spend as much time there but
Medellin was the most unreliable (for meeting people) city I’ve ever been to
in my life.

It was absolutely impossible to make any kind of concrete plans with any

Mariosernaz July 27, 2012 - 6:35 am

I understand now, you had to wank all of the time 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
that’s why you hate colombia lol, not as plenty of whores as you thought. LLLLLsr

Freddie April 28, 2016 - 11:23 am

Your problem is you expect it to be like the USA.
It does not work like that in Colombia. Why go to a place that has a different culture and then constantly complain about it.
I have been in Colombia for a year and I have had nothing but help and kindness from everyone here.
But then again it might be because I do not have a shit attitude towards other countries and people.
I knew and expected it to be different here ( that’s one of the attractions )
By the way, I’m from ???????? and the Colombians absolutely adore the English. ( which might be because of our attitude towards the Colombians )
Viva ????????

KELVIN LANIER February 18, 2018 - 12:25 am

I completely agree with you. I am currently experiencing the same.

Antonio47 June 8, 2013 - 11:51 am

Hello..I’m Italian and I ‘ve been living in Bogota’ for long time now. I agree in so many things explained by Maverick about his own experience in Colombia-Well, I’ll try to explain my own experience in this country. Firstly, I ‘m here just for a woman which is Colombian and my wife, for the rest I can say that I’m not really satisfied for what the majority of the Colombians, for example, they are very selfish and you can’t rely on them for so many things e.g.-from business to simple relationshipand furthermore one of the things that I really hate and I can’t stand is that they never are in time with dates or appointments:too many people say one thing and do another. All these things are really bothering me..I work in my own as Italian private teacher and I ‘ll tell you that it’s not easy to deal with many people for what they do-they even disappear,sometimes, without pay the money due to me for the classes given..It’s very hard to live in this country and I’m planning with my wife, to get out from here the soonest as possible. Maybe I’ll choose the USA even I’ve never been there before. I’m 47 years old but I have still energies and “balls” to restart a new better life in better place than this…Ciao

KELVIN D LANIER February 18, 2018 - 12:27 am

You are right I am sharing the same experience with a girl I am dating. She seems to plan her on schedule.

Joker July 21, 2011 - 12:41 pm

Awesome post!  Fuck those fucking fuckers!  Advanced cultures ftw!

Better than Joker April 17, 2016 - 9:21 pm

Go fuck yourself you fucker

Chromailbox-cr July 21, 2011 - 3:11 pm

Also, After a month in Medellin, I was bored to death with their Paisa arrogance:

– “Medellin is the best city in the world!” “Medellin is the best city in the world!”
– So what else do you know outside Medellin?
– “nothing”…

Cali is not as arrogant but women are totally unreliable as well. They make an appointment, then they don’t come (and don’t reply their phone) and then they call you the next day to meet up.

Be prepared for a lot of this BS in Colombia… ten times more than other Latin countries I know.

Sam July 23, 2011 - 7:12 am

I would have researched the destination more before going there for many months.  I assume you went there because you probably heard some encouraging things from Roosh and some other guys.  It seems a lot of dudes do this.  What I mean is that they are very easily influenced, and so off they go to Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, etc. for extended periods.   I would try to have more imagination than that.  Try to do more what suits you, instead of blindly  following the advice of others.

Maverick Traveler July 23, 2011 - 9:51 am

I actually went to Colombia (Bogota, Cartagena) for the first time in late
2008 way before anyone else, and had a great time.

Medellin was the natural choice given the great weather and being better
organized than other Colombian cities. Unfortunately that’s all
it has going for itself.

Sam July 23, 2011 - 5:10 pm

What I mean is that all these guys go to Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia because someone else told them to do it.  (Isn’t that why you and everyone else hurried off to Colombia,  Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janiero?)  I was thinking it would be better if more guys would not do this, but instead try to think for themselves.  Maybe even come up with some new ideas and destinations, involving more imagination. 

Maverick Traveler July 23, 2011 - 11:18 pm

Well, I don’t think people go to a place like Rio because someone “told them” to.  It’s one of those 1-tier cities that everyone always wants to visit, like Paris or New York for instance.  You don’t need an excuse to visit a city of such calibre.  

Now a city like Medellin or Cordoba you *really* should know exactly why you’re going there and what your purpose is.

David July 14, 2013 - 10:54 am

You hit the nail on the head with that one. Medellin and Columbia: Cocaine capitals.

Guy July 26, 2011 - 10:03 pm

Bro I hear you. I know you aint got a rosy picture of MDE but you gotta admit that time in Cali was waaaaaaaack! And las chicas in COL are by FAR better than the ones from the big G let me tell you… Back home we gotta import them from Trinidad & Tobago.
But, glad to hear you got some purpose  now, tho. You gonna write us some memoirs??

Andy July 28, 2011 - 5:09 am

Did you read “Killing Pablo” before you went to Colombia?  If not, it should be required reading for anyone traveling to the country.  Written by the same guy who wrote “Black Hawk Down”, the place “makes sense” after reading the book the narco industry, the people, the politics, the violence and of course, the women.  

Maverick Traveler July 28, 2011 - 10:12 am

I actually did read the book around 6 months before going to Medellin.  Even with the background and the understanding it’s still a tough place “to get”

Yuano August 5, 2011 - 9:30 pm

that’s funny, but the percetion of Medellin is exactly the one I got from NYC…. what a fucking dump of a ghetto, outside of fifth avenue everything looks like a bombed out city…. capital of the world? hehehehehe souless, overpriced, racially segregated and of course… with lots of wannabes…  

Agnetha_sv September 25, 2011 - 10:36 pm

Third world shithole?  At least is a cultural third world shithole…. America with its endless malls, ignorant racist bastards, endless highways, grossly obese people, religious fanatism, rampant ignorance of anything not involving TV, shopping mall, the local suburbia and zero appreciation for arts or culture is much more of a shithole than colombia.

I am from Sweden and I truly enjoyed Medellin much more than I enjoyed all the often overrated, suburban looking, acultural American cities, in Medellin it was a trip to discover, in America I felt like I was in some bloody twilight zone where you can even go to the pharmacy without having to get on an enormous SUV and drive a few kilometers thru isolated grossly built rows of houses filled with ignorant lunatics that barely have any contact with the world besides from work!

Take colorful Medellin anytime over 99% of cities in the USA

Alex July 29, 2012 - 7:13 am

 I’ve just recently spent over 7 months in US after my long stay in Brazil and I have to admit your post is so freaking true! It’s real true.. The main problem here is the lack of education and mass culture controlled by rich class. Still US is giving much more opportunities than Brazil for example in terms of work or minimum living wages but generally speaking it will take it back in means of never ending medical bills, home payouts, etc.. Unfortunately the whole world economy is going down and we need to work hard not to end up very bad..

David July 2, 2013 - 10:01 pm

I’ve been an American citizen since I was born in Los Angeles in 1960. I agree with you. America is the most culture shocked, materialistic,unhealthy and racist Nation in the world.

rolly November 10, 2016 - 11:01 am

I agree with you Agnetha
I can’t wait to get to Colombia and see it all
That country south of our border need to Fix its own back yard and educate its citizens better before they make inaccurate statements, opinions call it what you want about other places
We Canadians don’t really care about America thoughts and culture because most american could not find another country on the map if there life depended on it
In canada we have some of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and with that brings great diversity
Another good thing that brings a piece of mind is that I can fly anywhere in the world with out stepping foot on American soil The states is the last place on earth i would visit now that you have DT running it

Larry December 13, 2016 - 6:15 pm

Colombia and Canada combined, are way less diverse than America. Could explain why they both lack appeal to the global citizen.
Enjoy your xenophobia 😉
America is made up of the world.

Larry December 13, 2016 - 6:46 pm

America’s people are as varied as its natural geography.
That’s what makes it great. No other place like it. Homogeneous its not. We continue to break through the restraints of our most liberal and conservative views that divide us. Most of the free world still continues to follow our lead. Good or bad.

Jojocastor November 21, 2011 - 9:24 pm

I googled Colombia+Shit hole and ended up here. My wife is colombian and I spent a lot of time in Cali which is one of the deepest, stinkiest shit holes I’ve ever been to. You can even ask my wife, she’ll tell you colombia is a shit hole too. Everything is way overpriced, dangerous, violent, dirty, stinky and so on…. Colombia es un pais de ladrones!

Antonio47 June 8, 2013 - 12:37 pm

I sadly agree with you. sigh!!.no further comment!

Ad_hhe January 9, 2012 - 3:38 am

Dude, I’ve lived in the states for 22 years and need to be reminded everyday by someone how I am a foreigner in this country eventhough I’ve lived here longer than where I was born just  because I have a very slight accent. Quite often this is done by making some smart ass reply using an irritating and exaggerated accent that doesn’t even resemble mine, maybe they’ll use one like the guy on scarface or some other annoying crap like that (did anyone do that to you in Colombia?). On the other hand, this usually happens quite often to me  if I decide to engage in national politicsl or a social discussion. I’ve been exposed to the most unthinkable and offensive comments, questions and remarks that I could fill a whole page writing about it  and by categories, dating, work, social, etc. Let me add that I have thick skin and am not easily offended, my motto is to disregard ignorant comments. Even then, the things that I’ve been exposed to here are so repetitive and ignorant that they just enhance the negative stereotype that some Americans have abroad. Let me not even get into the experiences I’ve had with women, men who can’t talk about anything BUT sport who are flat-out, biggoted yankee red-necks and people who are very excluding and cliquish. Like I said,  I could categorize it and sub-categorize it. BUT EVEN THEN, when I leave this country and someone asks me about the people, I am not going to label the whole country and its people as negative because of what I personally experienced here knowing that there are many positive aspects to it and many positive-good people also live here and that is the case almost anywhere. And I’ll do this despite the fact that with the exception of my time spent in Atlanta and New York, my experience in most of the country had negative aspects. That’s why after so long I’ve decided to pack up and go. Wanna talk about proud ego-centric people? in a great portion of the country, I’d be very afraid to say that I questions the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Irak or anything that would hurt the American pride. I had someone lash out at me and make a very rude comment at me just because I said that I got quality dental work done abroad for a fraction of the price and this happened in CT. I’m gonna stop now eventhough I could go on forever. The only thing I though often is thank G-d I look European, but even then , their attitude and perception towards me changed after realizing that I spoke spanish because everthing is so stereotyped here and everyone classifies you. They think they know you because your language etc.

Klp5d June 10, 2012 - 6:27 pm

I am a US citizen, born and raised, but I have lived in a few other countries.  I undersand exactly what you mean about the comments, and stereotyping.  I see this mostly  happening in small towns in the US, and less often in cities where people are more worldly, educated..and have been exposed to other cultures.  I have lived in Finland, Spain and now Colombia.  Three very different cultues.  I have traveled throughout central America, Caribbean, some of South America, and parts of Europe.    The reason I am mentioining my travels and living abroad is because I have to say the only place I have felt like an alien is in Cali, Colombia.  I do get frustrated at times living here since  I am treated by some as an extraterrestial who cannot function on his own…and knows nothing.  One time I returned a spray bottle since it was clogged.  Two people argued with me trying to explain to me how to properly use a stray bottle…until finally a third person realized that I was right..it was clogged!  I get this a lot in Cali.  I was invited to friend’s house and the friend gave me a tour…explaining to me all about Europe.  This girl had never even been outside of Colombia!  She never asked me if I had ever traveled.  She should have assumed this since she knew I was a foreigner.  Since she seemed so interested in talking about other counries you would have thought she would have used ths opportunity to ask me about mine!  Again, these are just some examples of the locals.  The few calenos (sorry I have a gringo keyboard, so that is not spelled correctly) I have met here who have traveled are quite different.  I think it all comes down to people being educated. 

Raybarranquilla May 8, 2012 - 10:13 pm

colombia is a shit hole this is the truth because i am of the truth word and light of my father and i liuve in this rotten shit hole full of murder lies thieves back stabbers gossipers whores sodimite stupidest edecated morons in the world its like ther not real humans thay just try to imitate being human not all just 99 per sent or so . and thats why i am here it makes it easyier for me to hate the world and lift my fathers staff like moses.   ther is a good part a triangle the siera nevada the highest coastal mountain in the world with indians as an example to the heathen below but most of all the colombians are just down right greedy people i have ever seen and thay will sell ther daughters to pay for ther school.  well god bless you all and blessed are youy if you are not affended especialy by the truth

Pavel June 2, 2012 - 7:16 pm

Man, I am in Medellin right now and my experience is totally different. Yes the city is different from New York but the same way New York is different from Kiev and Kiev is different from Barcelona. Both you and I were born in the same country and our native language and culture are the same. You say you’ve never experienced anyone calling you a foreigner in NYC. Good for you. I had a couple of encounters where guys who did not look like Iroquis to me called me nasty names and yelled “fkng foreigner” at my face, for the sake of fairness I must add one of them did it in thick Australian accent 🙂  You say paisas are not reliable and self-focused in a sense… I’ve heard that before, but that’s totally not my experience. I am here for business which is to some interest to locals and they are as warm and friendly as your (or mine) Russian babushkas and as punctual as that stereotypical German. I must also tell that people I’ve met here are mostly married couples, couple of them are gringo-paisa marriages with children of various ages living in Medellin. These people are amazingly well educated. Believe it or not, all people I met here asked me not only what I think about their country, but also where I am from. Most of them admitted great potential Colombia holds speaking of economic development but also criticized many things here. Speaking of business slash social interactions… I actually am running out of reasons to refuse their invitations to go to their places or to go out with them. Read this considering I know just a few words in Spanish. Really. Of course there are gold-digger girls in El Poblado which I find an artificial gringo-focused ghetto. Of course those girls come there to show their… investment, and gringo guys of various ages and sizes play rich sons of wealthy fathers or something like that without knowing how fkng pathetic they appear from aside. I met a paisa girl who has studied in the US and we went out a couple of times now. Imagine the reality – yesterday, when I asked for a check, she offered to pay for it in a friendly but non-negotiable manner and actually paid it saying that I did it the night before. Really. I thought maybe something went wrong but… no, she called twice earlier today already. Never had a problem with taxi drivers yet, except after 2 weeks here I still fail to understand how they drive the way they do and stay alive for, I assume, relatively long periods of time. To me, they drive worse than drunk tractorists in rural Russia, which is almost impossible to imagine. Medellin is the very first city I visit in Colombia with no time to go anywhere else. Yes, I am here mostly for business, with a clear set of goals and deadlines. Maybe that’s what makes the difference, I truly do not know. But so far, my experience in Medellin is of polar opposite to yours. Just reporting. 

Joe Luna April 3, 2013 - 6:54 am

Hey Pavel,

Sounds like you are having a great time in Medellin. I’d like to ask you a question based on your experience of MDE; what part of town do you recommend to rent an apartment for a month-someplace nice but where I can see the night life. Never been there and would like your opinion.


Bluepill85 July 30, 2012 - 4:05 pm

Sorry to hear about your experience in Colombia, I can understand how living there and visiting couldbe two different things. I have been to Colombia 4 times and my wife is from there, I am Jewish and also have Russian ancestry growing up in Chicago but my experience has been very positive however your experience with medellin according to my wife sounds spot on. My wife is originally from barranquilla but lives in bogota, in bogota people tend to be more..serious and my wife doesnt like the culture there but it is a beautiful city, though there is certainly a share of problems with bad areas. I also visited San andres island which is part of Colombia, I lost my wallet and the lady chased us down on our scooter and all money was intact, never have had that happen in the US I was expecting everything to be gone. Dive shop was friendly and the hotel guy got us some really good deals, most people asked me a lot about Florida where I live and made a strong effort to speak English even though I was the gringo and I should have been speaking Spanish.
My wife and I saw her family in baranquilla and also went to Cartagena which again people were very friendly and generous, had a incident at the airport where we ran out of money and the taxi cab driver just let us pay him with what we had.
Anyways my wife is not a gold digger, we share money equally, she has helped me and bought me gifts and I help her and buy her gifts, but yes there are people out there who will take advantage of you, obviously the government and society isn’t perfect, it just depends where you go. In Medellin your referring to the paisa culture which my wife has explained to me that the people there are somewhat two faced, violent tempers and obsessed with material things, I have heard cases where they will stab you in the back over something stupid but to say a whole country is like that, we see flaws but there’s a lot of positives too. When I lived in the Midwest, I met some of the worse people you can imagine but most people in the south here in the us are friendly, it’s all about the culture. Oh and my wife’s family puts importance on family too.

Vanni August 5, 2012 - 2:22 pm

Love this page. My wife is from Medellin and I got married there, after which we spent a week in San Andres, which means I have seen nothing of Medellin and their residents. As we’re planning to spend at least a month in Colombia from next December, I am keen to delve into these kinds of pros vs cons debates, whatever the overtones.
My wife Monica is a typical Paisa…or maybe not. She’s obviously proud of a city that gave her the infrastructure she needed to complete her education (she went to private school on a rare scholarship, and had to take loans for her two engineering degress at Pontificia Bolivariana), as well as decent job opportunities with a multinational manufacturing company.
She makes no secret about Medellin being full of people proud of their city, especially in the fierce competition with Bogota as the productive engine of Colombia. One truth is, after living in a bubble of bad stereotypes for decades, Colombia has a desperate need to instil their citizens some sense of pride, whether it involves a single municipality or the whole country. Google for “Colombia es pasion” material and you could be giggling at how hopelessly naive their campaign to prop up tourism via national pride, or vice-versa, is.
Yes, especially with the Uribe era and Colombia opening her petals to the world, it makes sense for Colombians to feel proud of themselves, their hard work and their cities. Of course, for a country shattered by civil war and stereotypes this must feel all very new, perhaps shockingly so. This probably justify some of the more extreme tones, which even I have heard of in the few days I spent with Medellin people, Monica’s family for instance.
All in all, I understand Medellin is a fairly well organised city to live in. Of course there are still notable pockets of poverty and inequality, but their efforts with running such a complex urban reality are laudable and some have even been recognised as world class (think their integrated utility consortium Empresas Publicas de Medellin).
So, yes, a Paisa saying they’re the best in the world might give a cosmopolitan New Yorker or an Italian living in London like me a smirk or two. Yet, if that sense of pride is what keeps more and more people taking loans to pay themselves quality education, work hard from 7:30 AM to 6 PM every day and treat their city infrastructure with respect, well, then I think their attitude is all very bearable.
Just to give you guys perspective, Italy is full of regional and city-level pride, which we call “il campanile” (= support everything under the city clock tower). People from Naples are incredibly proud of themselves, and what Naples us to represent, as a past cultural capital of the world. Yet all this grace is well and gone, and that pride never materialises in any effort to make the present Naples better, more efficient and cleaner. The current Naples is a real living hell, and I would prefer Medellin’s “factual” pride any day.

captnukka October 22, 2012 - 8:40 pm

Pavel- that’s a crock of shit and you know it. Medellin and “educated” do not belong in the same sentence. The women are the most vapid, shallow, lying skanks i’ve ever met. They’ll lie, manipulate, and cancel plans on a whim. They have boyfriend(s) and even children they’ll conceal from you to accomplish their end goal (your wallet). Most of them are so stupid and childish they aren’t even good gold diggers. Their entire existence centers around getting bad breast implants (they look awful, lol) at 15, and then getting their butts enhanced with silicone or fat they had lipo’d out from their guts, injected into their butts. Some of them get these silicone implants in their butts that make them look like horses! hilarious. The men are notorious losers who are competing for “worst haircut in the world” and simultaneously “Most hideous neon Diesel knockoff shirt in the world” categories, respectively. But back to the women- They bring NOTHING to the table, except maybe maybe maybe their looks, and their femininity. Other than that if you look hard enough in their eyes you can see the back of their skull. They put ZERO value on intelligence, sophistication, or their education and 100% of their everything on material goods and looks. Also, don’t forget about the rampant gringo discrimination of labeling you a “sex tourist” because you had the nerve to travel to their city and try learning their language and culture. Are there worse cities than Medellin? YES. However, you’ll be EXHAUSTED dealing with the slippery unethical people there, and the women will drive you bonkers with an 80% flake out rate. We have a saying there: “Stack ten to get one”. Meaning, line up ten dates for friday night if you want one to show up, because the other nine will no show or flake. Medellin is an overhyped, incredibly boring city unless you are into prostitutes and the white stuff, of which i’m into neither. One thing is for sure- the only remotely intelligent conversation you will ever have here will be with another foreigner.

Maverick Traveler October 22, 2012 - 8:43 pm

Excellent, excellent feedback. Pretty much sums up my experience to perfection. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

“They’ll lie, manipulate, and cancel plans on a whim.” YES, they do!

“Meaning, line up ten dates for friday night if you want one to show up, because the other nine will no show or flake.” YES again!

If we ever meet, I’m buying the first round.

jackieRobinson September 16, 2016 - 5:21 am

I’m visiting Medellin in a few months—just curious, in your experience does the dating get better with higher education level? I have a hard time picturing women with masters degrees acting this way, as a rule…I actually dated a women from MDE while living in SF, met her family, and they were super sweet, honorable and intelligent. Have to think social strata plays a big part—sure hope so?

KELVIN D LANIER February 18, 2018 - 2:14 am

You are so true. My best conversation was with another foreigner and foreigner woman. The people are too prideful.

Pixel Reloaded November 12, 2012 - 1:16 am

When you go to a country just to explote your sex tourists interests you cant expect more. You are sex tourists, so take your place in the experience.

Klochkova February 8, 2013 - 2:07 am

I was in Medellin for 2 months and I liked the city very much, the guys I met were really cool and sexy I think. I’ve brought a nice thinking about girls as well.
anyway, I think people belong to their place and you won’t expect all of ’em to be open open. that’s culture, it happens in Russia (which ever citie), it happens in Spain, USA, and so on.
Just some disapointed guys that didn’t get what they wanted as easy as they would like is not point for arguing…. I still thinking what they mean by interesting and smart conversations?
are they men of letters? are they novel prize? are they scientists? are they famous musicians?
to hell with them, the most stupid critics I’ve read

Funkytouristbro May 17, 2013 - 9:57 pm

Man, havent laugh out for so long, certainly you are the typycal Gringo, overweighted and with a bad taste of fashion. ..besides old and smelly..typical sex tourist that think people will fall over your feet for being a damn foreigner……pobre guevon!!!!

dpcjsr June 5, 2013 - 9:56 am

I have just moved back to the US after spending 7 months living in Chiang Mai, Thailand and my experience was very similar. I got tired of overlooking the many drawbacks of living in CM and glossing over these things by saying “they just do things differently there”. Yes, they do thing ineffienctly, roads are dirty, even walking is dangerous due to poor infrastructure, vicious dogs run wild in the streets, and I am a target for fleecing because I am falang (Thai for gringo). The language was a constant barrier.

So I am happy to be back in the US where everything is familiar, people understand me when I speak, the food taste wonderful, and convenience is everywhere. Oddly, many Americans seem stressed and unhappy but not me. I have a new found appreciation for all that is available here. So I float thru my days a happy camper surrounded by stressed out worried people who cannot see the many wonderful things around them. That is my biggest gift from traveling abroad, appreciating what I have here in the US.

Antonio47 June 8, 2013 - 1:31 pm

A odd paradox;-men always complain when they have got everything in life, but when they have nothing only then they would appreciate what they once had…-

Maverick June 8, 2013 - 1:34 pm

Complete agree. That’s human nature.

BrianB July 11, 2013 - 3:21 am

Thanks for the info. I’ll be in Colombia in the next year or so. I studied Spanish in Costa Rica years ago and lived there for a few months. I lived in Miami then and am fluent in Spanish. I watch movies in Spanish but novels are a bit slow for me. I’m a mix and look a 1/2 Latin 1/2 German-American and got hit on all the time by girls looking for a “rich” husband. They valued my height and green eyes too. There is racism. Looking white is valued, the lighter the better. If I hear another latin say about a little blond girl that she’ll break lots of hearts or have lots of boyfriends I’ll barf all over them. Job announcements even say “Tiene que ser de buen aparencia” even to hire an attorney and a man so the person in charge isn’t looking for a sexy girl. That actually translates to “Must be white.” I just saw it again this last week for a an international lawyer job in Bogota.
To latin women we cheat less, earn more and help around the house and with the kids (some) and latin men cheat all the time and are useless around the house. They treat women like servants. My bud Alejandro got up one night as his new baby boy was crying. His wife was sick. She was shocked a man would do that. Expect that latin women first value a man’s wallet and the men value her looks. So she’s a sex object and we are success objects for the most part but having a husband that looks like he just stepped off the stage of a Telenovela (Soap Opera) gives her street cred with the girls. That’s how macho/mujer societies are, roles are defined. Just watch 50s TV reruns or “Mad Men.” The attitudes and behaviors here in the good ole USA were much the same just a few decades ago.
I expect all Latins to be on “latin time” that is late 15 to 30 mins is common. But not showing up without calling is beyond rude. Latins love to talk and get carried away, bus schedules are pure fiction. Even in Colombia and Costa Rica 90+% have a mobile phone. If I’m dating a girl my number better be in it.
I see the US as being a very materialistic society. Few other than the well educated appreciate the finer things and the best things are not material things. Most are brainwashed by advertising and think material things will make them happy. Sorry folks it doesn’t. Relationships do. Family, friends, associates and like that do. Most latin countries lack the money for interesting architecture, good infrastructure and the differences between the classes and races is stark. The rich are very “pretencioso/presumido” – snobby. They are here too. The Bushes and their ilk live gated communities and belong to exclusive country clubs to keep you out. The rich I know view anyone who works at all as working class and not worth respecting or even knowing other than a few that view their kind as a bit fucked up. One guy told me he was looking to marry out as those of his class could not know love as they’d never experienced it growing up with nannies, governesses and boarding schools. Their parents left the child rearing to the help.
BTW: A jerk or dick is huevon not guevon. G only sounds like h before i or e.

theprofessor July 13, 2013 - 2:57 pm

amigo, tudo bem? first off, i admire the watermelon size balls it takes to fully immerse yourself in another culture. as a new yorker, i have gotten into some sticky situations myself during my travels and attempts to culturally assimilate (ahem.. game) so i can appreciate picking up new languages to navigate around the social nuances, namely spanish and portugese.

to take a 30,000 foot view back, it seems like the pendulum effect is in play and coming in full swing for you. you started off rooted in your home culture (eastern european), and moved directionally outwards geographically and culturally – NYC (global city), Latin america (more homogenous), plus many others not mentioned here, and after fully experiencing those cultures through immersion, you are realizing the similarites, and now, benefits, of coming back as an experienced local to FSU, where you are cleaning up as the chief poon janitor. in addition, all those cultural benefits are kicking in, leading to easy social proof that puts you in the league of players at the higher socioeconomic rungs of society. Thus the writing is on the wall – you are destined for local dominance back in your ethnic homeland.

i am saying all this because this is sort of a crystal ball to my situation. in my culture, the native geography holds all the cultural forces that I will benefit from in a position of strength (patriarchal, clear defined male/female roles, economic growth), but are disadvantageous to me as a bachelor below 35. After getting into game and traveling, I have enough passive game to clean up with homeland girls in NYC, but not enough experience to settle and clean up back in the homeland. To be honest, latin, and more specifically, brasilian culture is closer to my mixed global citizen personality/identity, so I am entertaining a longer-term stint there to see if i can truly assimilate culturally. and heck this is super long term oriented, but even if i don’t fully assimilate, i want to lay the groundwork for my next generation so that they claim the “local” card and dominate. this will be my vicarious darwinian victory, because i have no interest in settling down in NYC or going back to the homeland, which is still an emerging nation that has been up and coming for decades… the question we ask is, it is up, but when is it coming?

Maverick July 14, 2013 - 7:04 am

Great comment, and you’re absolutely right that the culture still matters somewhat.

I wrote a bit about the cultural aspect here:

Just curious why you say you can’t dominate in your culture? Sounds like you’re on the same path as I’m.

Colombiansarepussies September 21, 2013 - 1:27 pm

The truth is, Colombia IS a dangerous country. There are a ton of thieves all over the place…and not just in the obvious sense. Everybody tries to scam everybody. It is shocking what a Colombian will do to scam another person out of 200 pesos (10 cents). It is tiring to hear foreign girls say how friendly the locals are….THAT IS BECAUSE THEY (the guys) WANT TO FUCK YOU! NADA MAS! The people are incredibly dishonest and backstabing, and they dont have the balls to say anything to a foreigner one on one, but sure like to talk bad behind their backs. Basically, Cololombians, especailly Colombians dudes, have no confrontational skills and are too pussy to speak their mind. They have the mentality of 14 year old girls. They dont have the balls to say what they think. It is also tiring to say how good the food is to everyone, when Colombia has the blandest, boring food of anywhere on the planet. The ONLY reason ANY foreign male lives in Colombia is because it has smoking hot women who love to fuck and they are easy and plentiful. This is the truth. And yes, Medellín is an absurd city, probably my least favorite in Colombia. The amount of tourism (mostly backpackers) has absolutely ruined it.

AnEducatedColombian December 8, 2013 - 9:00 am

This is not particularly true, you probably were among the “good” people, aka the people that have money, these guys, yes, don’t look for confrontation, but man, oh man, get out of the good neighborhoods and you can be killed for nothing, (doesn´t matter if you work for the CIA http://goo.gl/k8HHF) in this video you are going to find the two kind, the guy that comes from a “wealthy” family and the average moron http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpfH46eUfYU

KELVIN D LANIER February 18, 2018 - 2:23 am

Man you are so true.

Que Viva Colombia!!! October 10, 2013 - 6:43 pm

Hi bro From Colombia! First of all fuck you, second don’t insult my country, third I give a fuck if you think your country is better, fourth and last no one asked you to come and stay and if you are going to just talk bad about our country just shut up remember nothing is perfect neather is Norway, Holanda (yes i’ll say it in spanish), Germany, Sweeden, España/Spain, France, Italy or any other consideriblt medium large or large country so vete a la mierda!

Steve November 8, 2013 - 1:10 pm

This is a fascinating discussion. I may have read about 1/2 of the posts and will come back to read more.

My thought/question for all you seasoned LA travelers is ‘Do you regard Ecuador with this same cynical negativity? Is there a Latin country that is good enough for you?’

Love to read your replies.

AnEducatedColombian December 7, 2013 - 10:08 pm

After having reading all, I just going to say something being an educated local who has to deal with this from the day I was born.

True, this is totally true, I don’t even trust in another Colombia, only my parents (I can’t even trust in one older sister who’s totally fucked up).

I’m an engineer, having being in Europe for a short period of time I just realized how underdeveloped this shit hole (as you are calling this country), is.

I moved to Medellin since almost a year ago, from another colombian city and what I liked is how easy is to fuck a brainless gold-digger here, you just have to be more astute than these whores, and it will cost you only a couple of beers and a taxi “carrera”, e.g. tell them you’re a serious business man and want to marry a Colombian, rent a good flat and enjoy, don’t call the bitch after that, and do the same, make an appointment and cancel at last time, you know, business meeting or something.

What I hate the most about this absurd place in space-time called Colombia is how the most stupid girls (whom are the vast majority) are getting pregnant about the 17 years old, the outcome is a bunch of uneducated motherfuckers with a huge ego for being totally idiots which in turn, is the special skill that turns on women. Let’s take as example the moron of the previous comment “Que viva colombia” with his monkey-or-less intelect and his basic English articulation (mine’s not good neither but for not paying a dime for learning it, it’s a good deal); this is the prototype of the average brainless Colombia being proud about nothing, and that only cares about the “seleccion colombia” which is the national soccer team or what’s worse, the will loses their lives ( or kill you ) for the proud of their twopenny local teams, seriously if you wear the wrong t-shirt in the wrong neighbor you can actually be killed by these apes.

Wanna read a little more? Well I’ve lived in several cities, across the country (more than 5) during all my life, including Medellin and a small city in the center of the counry, it doesn’t matter where you are, everything is the same at the end of the day, taxi drivers overcharging, having to keep your eyes wide open to not be robbed, but the most annoying thing that’s always common is the lack of sense of respect for your neighbors, and the law’s here is worth a shit.

Several times in my life I’ve found myself with serious angry after trying to sleep while there’s a stupid non-sense party of a bunch of machos listenning to music so aloud that can be heard several blocks from their house and I’m not being hyperbolic, this is a fact I even measured the sound intensity and was comparable to a jet turbine, or just a lot of the non-a-little-educated children playing around the residential unit against the norms, but parents know colombia’s laws are shit so nothing will ever happen.

This is Colombia, this is my country.

As a man of science, I had to develop certain skills to survive, otherwise I would have only not-very-good-looking girls like forever, and I’m not against this, but they just demand the same that the good looking ones, just that nobody’s gonna give ’em what they’re asking for.

So, you have to truly separate the way you treat every person and be a total bad-ass when you have to be, and be gentle with the ones that have values. With girls most of the times you’ll be lying to them, making false promises and having several in your bag ( the law of ten previously stated ), it will depend on your pocket capability.

Now you know how it is like, if you wanna come, you’re welcome, there are decent people to treat too but most of them are academics or entrepreneurs, so make sure you know what you’re looking for before you come.

oh, btw we treat well gringas because we want to fuck em. Surprised? oh c’mon don’t be naive!


Abril November 23, 2014 - 11:55 pm

Wow.. It appears you’re rather resentful towards the country you were born in.. I’m not here to insult you for speaking out your mind, but I do feel what you’re doing is wrong; Colombia is not a perfect country and yet has many flaws, it cannot be denied, but I feel most of the things you said are overstated rants vitiated by your obvious hate and resentment towards the country.

I have to admit that many of the things you’ve said are true to an extent, but I highly doubt Colombia is the ONLY place in the world where this happens; there’s bad people EVERYWHERE, they’ll annoy you, rob you, gold-dig you, fool you, insult you, and mistreat you in any possible way they can. The rest of the world is really not any different, the only difference is that you’re trying to make Colombia look as the world’s biggest shithole, as if there wasn’t shit anywhere else.

You’re making yourself oblivious to the many positive things that make Colombia such a formidable country, of which many nationals are proud of. I will not go off on an endless flux of words about everything this country has to offer among its frontiers, since you’d probably try to overlook them by complaining about every little thing that’s annoyed you, ever, as a result of the infinite hate and resentment that ruffled inside you.

You may feel as though you’re “unveiling” ashtoningly shocking truths, but in fact by making Colombia look bad by going on a relentless and slanted rant about all the things you hate, you’re making yourself look bad. You’re not educated, you’re just a sorehead, presumptuous, pedantic asshole. Recuerda: lo importante no es tener una educación, sino que se note que fuimos educados.

Fortunately, there will always be millions of colombians who’ll feel proud of having been born here, and whose hubris hopefully will make up for your bitterness of soul. You’ll always been resentful and ashamed of the country where you were born, but that’s on you.

A proudly fellow colombian

violetverses January 9, 2015 - 3:03 am

I stumbled upon this post while researching how American women are treated in various different countries, and I clicked on this because I lived in Cali, Colombia for a month and a half teaching English through SENA this past summer. I first traveled to Bogota earlier that year and went to Bogota, Santa Marta, Cartagena, and Villya De Leva. I was newly single, so loved the experience, but returning in June and actually living in Cali (before contracting a parasite from some seafood I ate and having to return home to NY) proved to be much different.
It’s interesting to read a man’s experience in Colombia; as a fair-skinned, green-eyed American woman with a pin-up sort of look and multicolored hair, the attention I received from men in public was just insane. I’m used to catcalls and leers, but men there would stop their cars in the middle of busy freeways to ask me for my number. At first, it was flattering, as I’d gotten out of a long term relationship earlier that year and was still processing a lot of grief, but it also became frustrating because I could never, ever travel anywhere and simply be left alone. I actually wrote down some of the pickup lines because they were so over-the-top. When I visited in April, I was single and looking for some rebound sex, so I ended up hooking up with a friend of a friend, who later found me on facebook and I discovered that he had a wife and children. He told me that night that he didn’t even have a girlfriend. When I returned to Colombia in June, I was dating someone, and had a different perspective on the attention. One incident that stood out to me was that when I arrived at the hostel in Cali in June, I stayed behind while the other teachers went out for a bite (this was when I first became ill), and the male owner of the hostel walked right into my room where I was lying on my bed to return my passport, and sat down on the bed next to me and began stroking my thigh. Half delirious from how sick I was, I told him that he needed to leave and needed to knock if he wanted something. Like many men in Colombia, he was a single guy whose sister took care of him who owned a hostel and spent his weeknights taking foreign girls to salsa clubs. On the other hand, his sister heard me crying while saying goodbye to my boyfriend on Skype, and came upstairs with a pot of tea for me and rubbed my back while I told her what a tough time I was having acclimating.
The food is atrocious. Everything is fried and beige and bland, and Colombians are so damn proud of this awful stuff. The desserts are sugar coated in sugar, baked with sugar, fried, and then rolled in sugar. I never knew that level of sweetness could exist in one bite. There are, however, several chain restaurants that are pretty decent (Crepes and Waffles is beloved by all Colombians).
It was exhausting to constantly have to be vigilant about being ripped off, and there were times when being called a “gringa” was definitely used in a pejorative sense. A man I met there who was originally from the US, but moved to Colombia told me not to trust any Colombian, and I heard this sentiment echoed throughout my trip. Most Colombians were very friendly and warm, but I found in my business dealings that they could also be austere and oddly rigid (the ‘Colombian’ approach to time doesn’t apply to Americans, as they are aware that punctuality is important to us, so my supervisor would get to meetings late, but would be incredibly annoyed if I showed up even 5 minutes after he did, when I was navigating the MIO (bus system) with my broken Spanish and got lost a couple of times.
The beauty of Colombia is phenomenal–I absolutely loved Cartagena and found the walled city to be enchanting, however, when traveling by bus from Cartagena to Santa Marta, the extreme poverty I witnessed was horrific. I was fortunate to not have been targeted for pickpocketing, but tired of constantly hiding money in different places on my person and carrying just enough cash in my wallet to satisfy a would-be mugger.
The dancing in Cali was phenomenal, as many clubs are actually open until 6am, some even 24 hrs. The hostel owner at the second place I stayed when I taught in Cali (not thigh-touching guy) was also a salsa instructor, and I learned a bit of Calleno salsa after studying salsa in the states, so I enjoyed going out dancing in Cali with someone who knew the area and who I trusted. I should also mention that when I became ill, the owner of the hostel also took me to the hospital, arranged for a taxi to pick me up, and then made me food and brought me water regularly to make sure I was drinking enough fluids, and I am truly grateful for this.
Overall, I feel that Colombia is much like a salsa dance-quick, fiery, intense, and sometimes too much, but truly interesting. I don’t think I’d want to live there long-term, especially because of how women can be treated there, but I’m really grateful for the experience, even if I did almost get into an unmarked van my last day there at the airport, deciding against it at the last minute because my gut told me no (pretty sure I was almost kidnapped). I was still sick and pretty out of it at that point. Lesson learned: ALWAYS choose taxis from the official taxi lane, and not some guy who asks if you need a taxi, no matter how good the price seems.

my2cents February 15, 2015 - 1:12 am

I’m a colombian borned in the Santander region… a bit far from Medellin and Bogota. At the age of 18 went to school in the US and lived there for almost 9 years. Came back to Colombia in 2002 and now moving to Italy in 2 months. Although i’m not an american citizen and never wanted to cheat my way in with a fake marriage, I do feel american in many ways and Im proud of it. Most of my best friends — from college — are american, now, what can I tell you about Colombia.. well, if you want to experience the real sense of freedom.. like felling you could do whatever you wanted to do without being harrased by a cop, a lawyer, etc ,.. well, this is the place to visit. You just have to apply a bit mmore of common sense…thats all, you can not go out trusting everyone you meet and this applies everywhere you go but here is a must.
Most colombians are nice people but you have to keep in mind that there’s a lot of poverty here and the quality of live is not the same as where you live, so people sometimes make bad decisions in order to get some easy $$$. There’s also a messed up distribution of wealth over here.. anyways, yes women are hot and not all of them are whores.. if you go to Medellin looking for a good time + coke well… then you are going to meet lots of girls of the type we call prepagos and yes,, they will be going after your money and not your looks.. remember that!!!! but if you want to experience the real colombian culture and hang out with real colombians .- not fake ones– just integrate yourself to a ‘parche’ a group of young people and pick other cities to live/stay like Bucaramanga, Manizales, Bogota. .. its easy here cause most colombians are friendly and open to foreigners… just dont be stupid going out to show off $$$ buying drinks for everybody and stupid things like that.. just keep it real and they will respect and care about you.
A word of advice for backpackers, and I dont have anything against you — but as crazy as this may sound most colombians dont do drugs and the ones that do are not perceived by local society as ‘good people’ so if you come to colombia resembling a hippie style do not expect to be threated as a mature adult cause most colombians will think you are just visiting here for the drugs + cheap hostels and not because you care about knowing more about the country and its people… if you just want to go camping and hike and all those outdoors activities well thats fine with us.

Now, why do I want to leave Colombia then? it is sad to find corruption at all levels, it is sad to see that the local universities dont invest on research, it is sad to see how people work 45+ hours per week and get paid 300-400 USD per month … 600-900 USD if you are lucky and have a decent job, it is sad to see messed up roads and no highways, it is sad to see how colombians dont care about destroying their envirinment, it is sad to see the same fucking corrupt politicians in power and then see their sons pick up their legacy,,, anyways, these and other things just make me sad and this is the reason why I have decided to leave this beatifull country . Hoping to come back at least once a year to visit.

Steve February 25, 2015 - 2:54 pm

I personally have spent around 6 years mostly living in Colombia with Medellin being the bulk of my time. I couldn’t agree more. It is very amusing seeing the people touting this place as if it were on the Disney world level when the reality is far different.

JT January 17, 2016 - 6:02 pm

Are Medellín and Bogotá or for that matter Colombia shit holes?
Are the people and the women in general idiots, gold diggers or infused in a drug Culture?
Is living in Medellin or Bogotá a pleasure?
I will try to answer those questions.
I am a Colombian living in the US, San Francisco Bay Area.
I have lived in New York, Miami and the Pacific Northwest.
Personally, California and the Pacific Northwest are the best places in the US.
New York to me is a shit hole after 3 or more days. Florida is another shit hole after a few days.
Bogotá is even bigger shit hole after two days. Medellín is much more manageable but after a few days you want out.
But all of that is just a matter of what you want and what you expect. I am from Colombia, I have been there and done that!. If I have a vacation or have to choose a place to live I will not go or live in Colombia. Why? There is so much to see and do in the world.
For that matter, I will never spend a day or relocate to NY. Another shit hole for me.
See, it is all a matter of perspective. For the New Yorker who wrote the original article NY is the center of his life.
For me, the center of my life is California. The Bay Area because the inland parts of Califonia can be shit holes too.
My statements are very ignorant because what makes a place a shit holes are your expectations and what you enjoy or have going on in life.
The main writter of this post is a New Yorker. Most people will say that NY is a world class City with incredible energy and many attractions to offer. You can not compare New York, London, San Francisco or any other world class city to any place in Colombia. Why bother going to Colombia if you expect those standards.
If your definition of world class are those cities or American style culture then Colombia will be a disappointment.
I went to College and have spent all my business career in High Tech sales in the US. There is no place for business like the US. There is no place in the world like the Bay Area. This is my framework these days.
You can close a multimillion dollar deal and the people you deal with may not even want to have lunch with you. Because they have their own life.
In Colombia you have to have many lunches and waste a lot of time before you can do businesses
Some high tech deals took me back to Colombia. I hated doing business in Colombia. I am used to the pace and the way businesses are conducted in the US. It has been very painful to do business in Colombia. The traffic is horrible. The people are always late for meetings and it it very difficult to be productive with so much “bananeo” slang for so much dicking around with people.
Colombia is a wonderful place if you have the right attitude and framework.
My attitude and framework are based on my lformtion in the Bay Area. Therefore, it is hard not to thing of those Colombian cities and some Colombia people as being full of shit.
However, I have encountered many Americans and foreigners in Colombia who escaped the bull shit of their own countries and have found Colombia very refreshing and welcoming. If you are coming from a bullshit place you may find Medellín or Bogotá delightful. Once again, it is all perspective.
The Medellín, people, paisas ar every parochial and proud of their city. The cultura metro, they love their public transit system. Clearly the best in Colombia,
Colombia is evolving and emerging from years of isolation and violence, There are many good things going on and many proud and productive people who want to move it forward.
There is an open free trade with the US and many other countries and that is forcing many small and mid size firms to modernize.
I think that people should go and stay in Colombia if they admire the Countryside and natural beauty found outside it’s cities. If you’re from a world class city you will find Colombian Cities dull. if you are from mid class cities in the US you may find Bogotá and Medellín appealing. I met two couples from Houston and Indianapolis and they love Bogotá and Medellín.
The positives, great weather, ever lasting spring in Medellin. Beautiful apartments with porters and maid service and yes they developed a solid, reliable circle of friends.
It takes time, but if you meet the right people you can have a great life in those cities.
Many people will experience Colombia and love it. Many will be happy to be out. Dave did not make it in Colombia but he loves his New York.
I am sure a nice piece of ‘a..” would have made his life more entertaining in Medellin.
Colombia in general is a place where you have t watch every step. You do not flash your iPhone in public because you can get mugged for a phone, You have to be alert at all times.
I hate to be so alert and so mindful of every place regardless of how nice it is.
Living in Colombia can be very nice but it is also nice to the option to opt out if it gets to you.

James Maverick January 18, 2016 - 8:32 am

Fantastic feedback, thank you.

Charles January 26, 2016 - 2:42 pm

Hi JT,
I’m the Bay Area. Very interesting to read your take on this post. I’ me love to connect via email if possible.

Jorge Torres January 26, 2016 - 8:10 pm

Where do you live. I am in Lafayette, east bay.
Have you travelled to Colombia or plan to travel for business or pleasure?

MrH November 21, 2016 - 5:07 pm

True, it is always about perspective and how you interpret your environment. However, Medellin (I am currently living here) has an extremely amplified second city syndrome by and large. Obviously there are people here who understand, respect and appreciate the outside world, but the vast majority have such a skewed/arrogant view of their own city and self importance. I haven’t experienced such a mentality in other parts of Colombia before.
I planned to relocate here for the foreseeable future, yet the general dishonesty, flakiness in most social/business arrangements and food are three major factors that are making life extremely difficult here right now. Medellin has a long way to go to truly prove it’s self appointed status as an innovative city. I have traveled with my work for over a decade now, approach every place with an open mind and always immerse myself with local people and culture; yet unfortunately, Medellin appears to be a mistake.

Rick February 19, 2016 - 11:00 pm

I guess Mr Maverick is a closed minded man that come to Colombia for sex turism or so. I am sorry man, bad experience only exist in your mind. Educated people, when traveling overseas, really enjoy the difference. When traveling, never compared. I am sure the country you were borned has a lot of problems probably than in Colombia!!

Asado Idependiente April 26, 2016 - 5:14 am

Maverick Traveler you seem to wonder why it is that you dont like Medellin, I know the reason, so let me tell you.

I make it short : Medellin is not a world metropolis escpecially not the mindset of the people, go to Bogota instead if you like Colombia.
Or my advice, go to Bangkok or Hongkong. Hongkong is the Asian Version of Rio de Janeiro 🙂 and Bangkok is just 24h 365 days adrenaline

You said yourself you like big cities, so why did you go to Medellin in the first place. I like big cities too, thats why I skipped Chiang Mai in Thailand and stayed in Bangkok instead

whatever whatevs, not my monkeys not my circus May 5, 2016 - 9:44 pm

You are clearly a sex tourist picking up low-end prepagos, your expectations are simply too high. If you have a Latin American fetish you’re better off trying to meet Colombians studying in American universities. They come from rich families, none of the low-class gold-digger stuff because they don’t need your money. They are generally whiter which maybe you don’t like because it’s not exotic enough, maybe you have a thing for the darker ones I don’t know. That’s fine, but they are generally poorer and less educated so pick your poison.

I’m female and I’ve been married to a white paisa for 20 years so I do know the subculture of white paisas, especially what the women are looking for in a short-term boyfriend. In colombia they wouldn’t give a sex tourist like you the time of day, outside colombia it’s all about the bragging rights of dating a non-colombian. Bonus if he is a European or Asian foreigner also studying in the US.

James Maverick May 7, 2016 - 12:57 am

“You are clearly a sex tourist picking up low-end prepagos,”

And you’ve clearly demonstrated a complete inability to comprehend even basic reading. Instead of deleting this comment, I’ll leave it on so that others can see what a fool you are for even attempting to write this drivel on my blog.

Hernán Francisco Castiglione Redgrave July 5, 2016 - 1:54 am

I read this and god this is so awful, I understand that you didn’t like Medellin but complaining because you weren’t able to bang some chicks did you at least travel to other department states like Huila, Santander, Bolivar, Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Caldas, Cauca or Valle?

“Why am I trying to understand their culture when they haven’t the slightest idea where my birth place is located on the map (Hint: it’s a big country in Europe)?”
This is funny I lived in Florida for 5 years and the Americans that I met were pretty… well not literate they didn’t know how to write or spell Colombia and most of them only spoke English and the same they don’t know how to locate Colombia in a map so don’t generalize things here, on the other hand I met other interesting people.

“Why am I studying their language (and slang, accent) so thoroughly when as soon as I open my mouth they’ll know I’m a foreigner and will be discriminated against one way or another”
Welcome to the real world!!!! what did you expect? to everyone kneel down to you because you try to speak Spanish please wake up Immigrants in the US have tougher situation and live this kind of things over and over again in the south in the north everywhere and as a tourist it’s a mess if you don’t speak at least a basic English in some states please grow up.

“Why am I chasing their women, when they’re the biggest gold-diggers I’ve ever encountered in Latin America?” (Medellin)
If this was your main purpose of your trip in Medellín you are pretty damn stupid and it was miracle than nothing happened to you in the first place.

“Why am I spending money in their country when I know I’ll have to fight with a taxi driver over a bullshit “recargo” charge at the end of the night?” (Cali)
Well dude what can I say I’m glad that you are not spending your money here anymore in fact your doing us favor freeing us from your presence.

I wish luck in your future travels Maverick.

Gemma July 20, 2016 - 8:38 am


Yeeeah August 6, 2016 - 8:22 am

Dumbass logic. Basic dumbass Colombian coke head.

One thing I hate the most is the fucking shitty sircus-music that they all are so proud avout and sing in the most stupid situations.

Yeahhhhh July 29, 2016 - 12:53 am

Barranquilla is totally agreed the same kind of third world shit hole as you stated. I found the hole article to be totally true no matter what these third world shit holes say. Making 100 bucks a month and acting like they run the hole world. 😀 Oh my good god Somalia and Colombia are on the same category on my list..

KELVIN LANIER February 18, 2018 - 2:51 am

You are one percent right.

pio August 12, 2016 - 8:05 pm

Most comments here are very negative…unfortunately is hard to be foreign, once a foreign always a foreign!
Hope we can all be a bit more mature but positive, even something like insecurity could make you more alert,wary which is not always a bad thing.If we can’t make things around us better at least let’s try to better our self.

Jackthefrench August 22, 2016 - 4:12 pm

I’ve been traveling alot around the world in all of the continents and surprisingly Colombia is the worst country I’ve been in. Everything about Colombia makes me feel like throwing up. The food is shitty, the people are either stupid or arrogant, all of the ccases un-educated. Seems that the whole country is a ghetto and all the “big business men” deal coke on some level. Well what the heck. I just feel happy that my visit is in the past. Not in the future.

Kalvin January 25, 2017 - 3:58 pm


I’ve been traveling alot around the world in all of the continents and surprisingly Colombia is the worst country I’ve been in. Everything about Colombia makes me feel like throwing up. The food is shitty, the people are either stupid or arrogant, all of the ccases un-educated. Seems that the whole country is a ghetto and all the “big business men” deal coke on some level. Well what the heck. I just feel happy that my visit is in the past. Not in the future.
I can say the exact same thing about France, ironically enough your country is in my opinion and by far the most overrated place I have seen in my life!!!

Food is overpriced and shitty (the only way to have good food in France is to pay big bucks at nice restaurants while in other countries good food can be found even on street corners.

People, let’s not even talk about the French, their parrochialism, their lack of respect towards others, their driving…… THEIR COFFEE!!! (how hard Is it to make a good cup of coffee?)

the intense bureaucracy, the innfecitient transportation always late, the trash, the “mecs” vandalizing, the shitty customer service, Paris is a massive dump overflown with Chinese taking selfies of everything!

Honestly I found it ironic because to me France is exactly what you describe Colombia as… and You happen to be French!

KELVIN D LANIER February 18, 2018 - 2:52 am

Once again so true

Calvin January 25, 2017 - 3:51 pm

I just got back from Colombia. I dont agree with your article. In fact The entire city of NY outside of Manhattan reminds me much more of a third world shithole than Medellin.

I however spent most of my time outside the city in the countryside which I loved so much I am planning to buy a little farm there.

I am also a new Yorker!

Dee February 10, 2017 - 10:59 pm

Great article. About time someone said the truth about Colombia instead of those with rose colored glasses who’ve only stayed a short time. Well written.

KELVIN LANIER February 18, 2018 - 2:54 am

Yes I like the fact he been there longer to know instead the investigation who come and go.

CaliPenitent November 1, 2018 - 10:33 pm

I’ve lived in Cali for 4 years now and, while I don’t agree with everything you wrote, most of it holds true. Colombia is a paradise to visit, but once you get entwined in the day-to-day…not so much. In my experience, the majority of well-educated Colombians want to go elsewhere because opportunities are so limited in Colombia and the challenges so great. The ignorance index is very high (Colombia’s educational system doesn’t even come close to making the top 100) and because of primarily political factors (i.e. rampant corruption and the purposeful suppression of the lower and middle classes) the culture as a whole is one of “take what you can while you can get it and to hell with everyone else”. It can be tough to find compatible people here, and while people are superficially open making deeper connections is a lot harder than it is elsewhere. It’s deeply stratified economically (I describe it as the country where the Republicans won) and the rules and regulations favor legacy wealth; if you didn’t grow up with a big inheritance and need to somehow make it on your own, good luck, the deck is most definitely not stacked in your favor! Bureaucratic processes – be they with the government or a business – are nightmarishly convoluted, inefficient, and slow – be prepared to spend absurd amounts of time completing what should be simple, basic tasks. The threat of violence is never far from your mind here, and every time you go out the front door you have to be on your guard against people robbing you. Colombia builds up its natural beauty a lot, and that it has a lot of it is undeniable. It’s also, however, largely inaccessible because there isn’t a culture or infrastructure of enjoying the outdoors in Colombia, and when Colombians do venture out they don’t generally stray far from their vallenato y empanadas. They’ll also finish consuming something and throw the wrapper right into the river or the forest without a second thought, seen it dozens and dozens of times. I’m still here because my wife is finishing up at university, but quite honestly Colombia isn’t a good place to live if you have the option of living elsewhere. Seriously, every time I go somewhere that isn’t Colombia I can feel the smile returning to my face and the joy to my soul. This isn’t just me, either – as mentioned earlier, nearly all of the better off young Colombians I know are looking for their way out.

Rafael November 16, 2018 - 8:09 pm

i agree, i grew up in this shithole called Colombia, and all i can say is it is true everything the author says, basically everyone is trying to take advantage of you, we have a saying that in colombia people steals even a hole, i ask myself . which other country has even something like that. colombians steal anything they can is just something normal, like something cultural, i have seen people stealing thing they don’t even know what are or what will do with them and ended up dumping it. people is so promiscous here, especially women, and they start their sexual life very early, i have listen to women saying they lost their virginitys at 15 14 and even 13. People here drink like fish and party like animals, and they simply don’t stop, they can be parting the entire week if they have the money and if they don’t have guess what they do. Steal. they are racist and classist as f and the worst part are the poor who hate other poor and love the rich. People here is plastic and basic, you can see this on the music they like that is regueton which consists in like 3 sounds that repeat and repeat and repeat which lirics talk about sex and party, the right wing of any country sounds like socialdemocrats compared with this douchebags. i am simply done with this country and looking forward for the day i can get outta here and don’t have anything to do with this crappy place and its crappy inhabitants. I just hope don’t find any of this douchebags in other countries cuz when they are abroad they are even worse. no one likes colombians in other countries, you can see in internet how this country just exports prostitutes, drug dealers and thiefs.


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