Colombia 2019

It's been a minute since I wrote anything on this blog. But today I'm motivated because I really don't want to forget the lessons that my trip to Colombia taught me.
First, sexy is in the eye of the beholder. Though I'm not exactly in high demand here in San Diego, as an American Daddy Bear, I was crazy popular in both Bogota and Cartagena. I have to remember that. Whenever I get to feeling a bit down or start to get too hard on myself, I have to remind myself that everything is relative. I have to remember not to judge myself based on the invisibility I feel next to the muscle thinks of Rich's or Mo's.
I could, if I chose, be wildly popular and feel sexy and attractive just by moving to a new place and basking in the "fresh meat" syndrome. Moving every six months should keep me feeling quite happy.

Next, I have realized that although I have traveled the world alone, I'm at a point now where I really do want to travel with someone. My time in Bogota was enjoyable, but I see that I would have had so much more fun with a friend along to compare stories and to share laughs with. I know I packed myself off the England alone back in 2000, and I did it again when I shipped myself off to Vietnam in 2011. I went in blind and ended up having amazing times. But the thing I forget is that once I was there, I made friends and spent real quality time with them. In England I had Mary and Camille and Linda to go off to Birmingham and Edinburg and York. I had Jodey to visit Leeds and London and Manchester with. I even took Camille to Paris and Amsterdam.
In Vietnam, I had Sqy to jump in a coach and visit Cambodia and Bangkok with. I sometimes forget that part, thinking, "I can travel alone; I don't mind it…" but then I do mind. I get to my new place - this time, Bogota - and feel… alone. And while I felt very popular and very wanted in Colombia, it wasn't exactly the same as making memories with friends.
Third, listening is the hardest part of learning a new language. I took 4 years of French in high school and only took 1 year of Spanish when I was in college in the 1990s. I feel I can read Spanish well, and I can pronounce it well, and I even feel that I can speak some sentences with a semblance of fluency. But listening…. that's the real work. Having someone speak to you at their normal pace in their accent… wow. I had forgotten how hard that is to understand. And I reflected a lot on how my students must feel in classrooms every day. I need to be more attentive to that. And i need to brush up on my Spanish listening skills so I can do better next time.
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