I moved to my current country because: An ESL teaching fellowship opportunity in Cali, Colombia presented itself at a time when I was in-between jobs and yearning for a position that would allow international travel or living. I returned to the USA after the year-long program finished but still longed for the atmosphere I´d experienced in Cali. In fact, I made it a point to visit Colombia each of the two years I didn’t reside there. Eventually, I used my recent experience and knowledge of Cali to inform my permanent move back here and secure a teaching job at a private institution. I also founded a startup tour company called Hola Cali.
The three things you need to make it here is:
1. Patience – things will not always happen as fast as you would like them too nor as described by individuals you come in contact with. 2. Ability to balance having an open mind but also boundaries – both are necessary for avoiding negativity, potentially unpleasant interactions and inconsistencies. 3. Advanced level of Spanish – It’s absolutely necessary in order to navigate life here and understand context and nuances.
My favorite experience living here has been…Overall, my favorite experience has simply been being here, learning Spanish and seeing my growth over the years in terms of integrating into both my educational community and my social community. Other than that, I was recently able to mark travelling to the Amazon off my bucket list and went swimming in the Amazon river.
If you’re considering living here, you need to leave this at home : I would leave winter clothes and any flashy jewelry at home. Also, leave behind any sense of entitlement or nationalist arrogance.