This is the final week of my stay in Colombia, here in the Casa Kiwi Hostel in Medellin. Don’t worry if my emails fall to zero and my blog postings get scarce. I’m as busy as possible, learning how to use my new Lenovo laptop computer, which spoke Spanish when I bought her here. She had to be switched to English, muy pronto.
My NBF (new best friend), Marc Rosenberger, (an Intergalactic Friend, IGF, for sure), is teaching me how to recall the basics, as well as new software-use technology. So every day we cover a new lesson and then I apply it for hours while he goes to Salsa dancing class and Spanish language lessons.
I’m turning into a serious writer again, as I’m organizing jillions of journal excerpts into future ebooks. My hostel private room even provides a writing desk, so I have a fine, quiet workspace.
And I’m feeling right at home.
I arrived in Medellin, Colombia, six weeks ago when I flew here from San Jose, Costa Rica. Luckily, I landed in the gorgeous and leafy-green neighborhood of Poblado and have sampled three lovely hostels, staying two weeks each. Now, I’m in Casa Kiwi, where I stayed ten years ago. Instead of a dorm bed, this time, I have rented a private, ensuite, room so that I can use its lovely desk to work away on my next book. One of my three suitcases is crammed full of pages culled from many of my journals. Now, I’m marking and sorting subject matter to see what this book is going to be about. The past (going back to 2000) is so very interesting and this project will fill a good bit of my future, just massaging it.
Here’s another look at some of my surroundings:
Medellin, Colombia, is a most beautiful and welcoming city! Here are some street shots I took yesterday on a walk through my hostel’s neighborhood of Poblado. It’ a city full of green, green parks and international restaurants. I notice that some of these pictures appear sideways. Just tap on them, and the enlargement is straight. Better yet… come on over and see them in.person.
Note the brand-new, condo highrise in the background of the first picture. There are many of these beauties going up.
After three months petsitting in San Jose, Costa Rica I flew to Medellin, Colombia, to begin my long Figure 8 Exploration around the entire coastline of this South American Continent. I hope to document this undertaking with photos and blog posts, especially because, next week, I’ll observe my birthday here in this Garden of Blues Hostel with always-changing hostel buddies. Ever-changing countries! Ever-changing beautiful new friends! I love my traveling life!
I’ve extended my stay in the Fauna Luxury Hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica for another two weeks. This hostel puts no limits on one’s timeframe, contrary to most; so, some guests stay for months. Here’s why:
This colorful inner patio contains ping-pong and pool tables and this glorious mural. It’s an outdoor lobby leading to all rooms, the bar and huge dining room/cafe, and our hostel kitchen. My 5-bunk dorm room has the new-fashion cubicle bunks. We each get a comfy, wooden box with a descending curtain for darkness and privacy. I haven’t seen the private rooms yet but maybe I can get some shots of those too. My dorm bed costs $13 a night but the ensuite privates are only $35 to $50. All including breakfast. Such a deal!
I haven’t published any exciting details of my life here in Grecia, Costa Rica, housesitting and petsitting for a lovely and lively young doggie, Cara. My excuse is a good one, however. While I temporarily settle into a quiet, suburban expat life in a modern community; I am finally able to cope with an enormous editing/writing project that I couldn’t have done within my parapatetic traveling life.
I brought about 40 handwritten journals of my recent travels, which also contain details of my most-unusual inner, psychic life. My sister almost threw them in the dump when this journal collection landed on her plate but agreed to hold off until I arrived. I’m sure this is typical of most psychic’s relatives.
Since dogs are not the best conversationalists, we petsitters know to equipe ourselves with time-fillers: paperbacks or online haunts and duties. Or old journals to tear apart according to topic and then to retype for online distribution. That’s where I am now. Cara has my presence fulltime! Though, can you believe? She STILL competes for my attention with my computer!!! An egomaniacal young doggie! I try not to encourage that ego buildup.
Anyway, I’ll have these jounals gutted by the time her owner, Kathy, returns; and maybe I’ll rent a cabin on the beach to type them up? Or I’ll take a break and finish in the next spot I land in? My life is sooo flexible! It’s certainly an advantage to fashion ones’ self as a writer. Because that very designation identifies you as an analyzer who writes about what you discern under the covers: maybe, a dog’s influence upon your life? I hope my input is of a higher quality!!!
So, thanks to this dog, I have set a goal for myself that keeps me on target to keep winnowing my journals. Naturally, I’m creating more diaries as I go; but trying not to be so loquacious.
Can you say that about the animal in your life?
I flew here from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to attend Molly’s high school graduation and many gala affairs surrounding that, including a pool party and a theater fundraiser.
As part of my two weeks’ family visit, we attended two fantastic theatrical, performances of the 30th Anniversary Musical of Phamaly (Family) Theater for physically-disabled actors. My grandaughter, who has a very rare genetic chromosome disorder found in only 34 people in the world, has been a dedicated actor for several years. The very talented cast uses wheelchairs, walkers and canes but they are polished and professional. What a show! This is the only such theatrical company in the United States and they have traveled as far as Japan to perform.
On Tuesday, June 4, I fly to Tampa, Florida, to visit my sister and brothet-in-law, Ann and Bill Sargent, and after a week, I’ll fly to San Jose, Costa Rica, for a convention and six weeks of pet sitting. I’m anxious to return to the Land of Pura Vida.
I’ve been in mid-Mexico, in the quaint and still-small town of San Miguel de Allende, since early December. We expats (Americans or Canadians living offshore) have invaded this place because it really still feels authentic and it really is colorfully-beautiful. But, we do crowd the place.
I arrived in the coldest time of the year, here in tbe mountains; and it’s high season, so finding a rental was likely to be tough. However, I’m moving into a very nice, two-bedroom apartment in a great neighborhood for a very reasonable rent in two weeks; all because of a random conversation with another expat. Meantime, I’m renting a bedroom and bathroom over a basket shop very close to the Central Plaza. Tiny, inexpensive, and friendly. But I haven’t even unpacked because I’m trying to settle down and live in real place. I’m getting there!
And the COLOR is just magnificent! But just take my word for it.
And this bust is of Stirling Dickinson, one of the first American Expats in San Miguel de Allende in 1937. I’m claiming him as my long-lost Uncle because my maiden name is Dickinson and he and my father were the same age and had New England in common. So why not?
Stirling Dickinson is honored here with this bust in the Instituto Allende, the highly-aclaimed Art School, one of three which he established; along with the Biblioteca, Library. He also established Baseball Teams, got the stadium built and privately helped many people. One way was through providing college sholarships for many San Miguel youth. He died at the age of 88 in 1998 and is still very lovingly remembered here.
The biography written about him by John Virtue is titled: “Model American Traveler”. Now that’s a good Expat!
My traveling life has resumed after two months visiting family in The States. Back in September, I concluded my 3rd around-the-world trip and flew from Hanoi, Vietnam to Hawaii and then, on to Denver, Colorado. It was great to reunite with daughter, Jennifer; son-in-law, Kevin and grandkids, Riley and Molly.
Santa Fe, New Mexico, hosted the International Living Magazine’s Expat Conference, which I attended to help me settle into expat life here in Mexico. I met several people already living here, whom I will soon look up. I plan to stay at least the six months that my tourist visa allows.
Then, I flew to Central Florida to visit my sister and her husband, Ann and Bill Sargent.
But, this decision to return to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico had already “flown into my heart” as soon as I turned the corner in South East Asia. Why, I’m not sure, though I’d been very impressed with its beauty on my first trip to Mexico.
This is the Central Plaza, the beautiful heart of San Miguel de Allende. Everyone gravitates here simply to be surrounded by this beauty. Even though it’s a small town, I’ve never found one so packed with hidden treasure of color, beauty, art, style, food and culture. I’m so glad to be back!