Travel Colombia and you’re likely to be kept busy with attractions and incredible scenery and hospitable people. But once you begin to live in Colombia, like I did in Bogota, things start to change. Everything becomes familiar and you begin to form patterns in your everyday life. It wasn’t until my second day in Villeta that I noticed I could feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. 24 hours had passed before I’d realised birds were chirping in the trees. It took a completed day to unwind, even for a moment. But if you’ve forgotten what it feels like to relax, Villeta is a pretty good place to jolt your memory.
Villeta moves at a slow pace. Locals sit in the street and sip cold drinks; they relax on the curbside, sitting back with their weight in their arms, nodding at people walking by. They sit and chat at the small tiendas at the end of quiet roads; everyone knows everyone. When we couldn’t find out way to my partner’s Uncle’s house, we just asked a taxi driver if he knew where señor Fernando lived. He did and pointed us in the right direction.
I on the other hand was not, have not, been moving at a slower pace. I think I’m in a constant state of tension from all those Transmilenio trips, wondering whether I’ll make it to my destination, or if the driver, who thinks he is racing the Grand Prix, will slam on his breaks, again, and and I will become airborne, again.
But there I was, in my shorts and singlet. No-one was looking at my feet weirdly for wearing thongs (flip flops); I was dressed completely appropriate for the weather, in my comfort zone, ready to relax. But it seemed I had forgotten how, without even realising it. I was looking so forward to getting away, to winding down, but I was still in the big city frame of mind.
It’s easy to get so hyped about about a vacation, or a weekend getaway, that once you arrive you just can’t get into the vibe. Sometimes it’s not until you get back home that you’re really in the chilled groove.
I eventually relaxed, thanks to the good people of Villeta and here are some happy snaps from the trip.