Solo Trip to Bogota, Colombia

So I decided to take a trip to Colombia alone…


Things people said to me when I told them I was going to Colombia:
-wait.. the country?!
-are you out of your mind?
-your asking for trouble
-*jaw drops*
-you need to be careful
-are you trying to get kidnapped?!

When I said I was going to Colombia alone:
-can’t your boyfriend go with you? Does he not like traveling?
-can’t you bring a friend?
-it’s not safe, especially for a woman alone
-what if you get killed?
-you’re so brave

I thought maybe the people I were telling happen to be closed minded so I started telling strangers that I was going to Colombia alone. Whenever I spoke to a waiter or someone on the train, I brought up my trip to Bogota and got similar responses. I booked the trip a few weeks in advance and wasn’t concerned about it, I knew people’s judgements on the country but knew these were mostly all stereotypes. As I had informed more and more people of my trip, they had started to skew my judgement – I started to think maybe this was a bad idea. All of the comments made me so overwhelmed, that for the first time, I had anxiety going on a trip, almost to the point where I didn’t want to go anymore.

Unfortunately, America generally has a very negative view of Colombia – stereotyping an entire country on the bases of a few people. The stereotype that a lot of Americans have is that Colombia is a violent and dangerous place, plagued with drugs, gangs and crime. Yes, Colombia has some crime, drugs, and violence but so does America and almost every other country in the world. It is wrong to judge an entire country or culture the same way, there are good and bad places in every country.

Seeing part of Colombia on my own made me realize how wrong everyone was. I was ashamed and embarrassed that I allowed people to scare me into thinking that an entire country was a dangerous place based on their stereotypes they had of a country they had never been to, and barely knew how to spell! These people who were concerned for my safety knew nothing about Colombia except what the media has shown them. They had never been, nor knew anyone that has. As I thought about it more, I realized how unfairly Colombia is viewed. We (Americans) judge cultures and nations and sit on our high horses while our country is not safe for many people. We do this due to racism and untrue stereotypes. Americans need to stop stereotyping an entire nation on a few people’s crimes, as our hands are not clean either.  Maybe America is a great place for you, but it hasn’t been and it still isn’t for many people.

I am happy I didn’t allow people’s judgements to stop me going to Bogota, especially alone.  I can’t speak for the rest of Colombia, because I’ve never been, but I felt as safe in Bogota as I would traveling to most major cities alone. I decided to go to Colombia alone because I genuinely enjoy traveling alone. No other reason. Yes, my boyfriend or friends can join me, but I make the choice to travel alone. I’m in love with the vulnerability of having no one or nothing to depend on, proving to myself time and time again that I can do it.

This is what actually happened to me in Colombia:

  • enjoyed some of the most delicious food
  • met wonderful people with beautiful, kind, souls
  • learned about an amazing, diverse culture in the hopes to help break down untrue stereotypes
  • had one of the best trips of my life


Stay tuned for my full Bogota guide coming! If there is anything particular you want to know about the city, please feel free to ask!


Finding Francesca

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