Last year, I spent Christmas in Slovakia. We did a ton of skiing in several countries including Slovakia, Austria and then in France. Two years before that I spent it in Hungary and then traveled alone for two weeks in Germany and Switzerland and back to Hungary via Slovakia. Well, not entirely alone since I met a ton of great people along the way. This year however, we’re planning on spending it in Colombia, in the home city of my girlfriend, Ana.
There’s enough for me to see in Medellin, since I’ve never been to South America before, or a Spanish speaking country, but we’ll be traveling throughout Colombia during our brief vacation. Around Christmas will obviously be reserved for spending time with her family but before and after that we have a few excursions planned.
Colombia is a Catholic country (even though a lot of them are scared of how religious the United States seems) and as a result, the city is full of lights and other decorations during this special time. Since towns in the United States are generally discouraged from putting up Christmas specific decorations, it’ll be something entirely different to see an unabashed version of a city Christmas display. Hungary has always put up lights in Budapest, with Christmas trees and other Christmas specific things, but from what I’ve seen from photos, Medellin Christmas lights are far more spectacular.
We’re still looking for a scuba resort where we can dive for a few days for less than $1000. You can do that in Florida in the Keys for half that price, including hotel, but for some reason, we’re having a hard time finding a good/cheap one in Colombia. I really don’t want to spend that much money right now, though if we had to, it’d totally be worth it to swim with whale sharks and huge manta rays.
Other than that, we are planning on visiting some colonial era Colombian towns, the coffee region (with Juan Valdez, the guy with the donkey on all the Colombian coffee) and various other things unique to South America or Colombia. We don’t have a whole lot of time, but we’re going to make the most out of the time we have. You can be assured there will be a ton of photos when I get back.