I am a week away from running back home and I have been thinking a lot about how this experience is going to be like.
Although I returned to the mother-land last year for a week, many things have changed.
Since I moved to the States at such a young age, I never had the chance to learn much about Colombia—the country. That was until this past semester when I took a class focused solely on Colombia. We used literature, art, and music to journey throughout the different regions of the country. We discussed many important topics and my final paper was an extensive analysis of the peace accord. I finally feel confident in my basic knowledge of my birth country and the feeling is extremely rewarding.
This year I also became an experienced traveler. I explore depths and corners of countries I could have only dreamt about. And now I have the chance to use newly found confidence to roam my childhood streets.
However, more than excited to embark on this 3 week journey back home, I am feeling anxious and afraid.
I have always felt scared in Colombia. No matter where I am and who I am with, I am paranoid that something bad is going to happen. After all, isn’t that why we left in the first place?
This week I was having a conversation with a friend who is moving to Colombia for a few months. I was trying to explain why I am afraid.
The flashbacks happened.
I have seen people lifeless with multiple shots on their bodies. I remember when my uncle’s wife was killed in their apartment and how that changed him forever. I have heard so many horrific stories of those days that I will forever keep quite to not replay the scenes in my head.
And no, watching Narcos does not give you insight of what it was like or how it is now.
Colombia is home. It is where I was born and the place that shaped a big part of my identity. I beg my parents to go every single year and now that I have the chance, I feel the shivers run down my spine when I think how close I am to being there.
It is a contradictory feeling that I haven’t been able to shake off. But I will keep you updated.
Quote of the day: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Picture: Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia August 2012