Solo Travel Changed Me

June 2014 was when I started to do the real essence of traveling, solo! https://iamryshel.com/2014/09/26/i-am-a-backpacker-i-am-a-filipina/

I was backpacking for around 10 months where I got to visit total of 9 countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka). I visited the famous tourist spots but I spent most of my time in not-so-tourist places where I had fun the most. I traveled with no destination and no plans. I traveled where my feet took me. I traveled solo. I traveled with a bunch of strangers and afterwards gained friends all over the world.

After Asia, I wanted to travel to South America and I was able to make that happen in less than two months. I arrived in Colombia on June 24, 2015 and now working as an Instructor in one of the best language education companies in the world. I’ve been working and traveling for the last six months. I was able to make my dream Peru happen last October where I had the best birthday ever. https://iamryshel.com/2015/10/29/the-best-birthday-ive-had-so-far/

Few days ago, I spent my Christmas Day with an amazing family in Anolaima, Colombia. Such a peaceful place surrounded with farms and there is no signal at all. I was totally disconnected for couple of days. Here, I learned how someone had to walk up and down the hills for an hour to go to school. I always admire people like that since I never got to experience this. I can imagine how tough life was but because of determination, we can always achieve what we want in life. Here, I again got to experience a simple life. People spend time to eat and actually converse to each other unlike nowadays where people eat while on the phone. I got to play the traditional sport called Tejo. Such a silly game if I think about it but I had fun and it was amazing how this game can bring happiness to people in a secluded place like this. I also got to look at old photo albums. Something that I don’t have. I don’t have any album to look at to remind me of my childhood whether it’s a good or bad memory. In fact, I don’t remember much about my childhood.

During my travels since June 2014, I did some volunteering jobs. I got to see different types of poverty. I got to experience difference kinds of people’s kindness. I earned more patience from all the waiting I had to deal with when taking public transportation or crossing the borders. I learned not to be less judgmental. I became more open-minded. I started to appreciate the beauty of nature more. Every time I see sunrise, sunset, beach, mountains, the moon and the stars, it makes me feel something different inside. I can’t help but be thankful despite everything I’ve gone through in life. I am a strong woman. I’ve always been safe and blessed. Traveling solo gave me a lot of opportunities to develop myself. Seeing different places and meeting different people is just an awesome experience.

Despite what I’ve accomplished in life, I am good at keeping my feet on the ground. I guess, that’s one of the reason I am always blessed. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

La Chorrera Waterfall (Colombia)

I asked a few Colombians if they’ve been to La Chorrera and surprisingly, none of them knows about it. According to wikipedia, this is the tallest waterfall in Colombia with a total drop of 590 meters. How can they not know about it?! 

Anyway, I mentioned it to one of my students, Luis who then invited me to go there two days after we talked about it. He has a car so it was of course easier. From Mazuren area, it took just about 1 1/2 hours and we reached La Chorrera. 

The entrance fee per person is 8,000 COP which includes a guided tour. We opted for the 10am tour which didn’t really start until almost 11am! While waiting though, we had the time to see the small waterfall. 

   
   

The trek took us 3 1/2 hours going and back. It was a little bit challenging and I honestly thought this was harder than MacchuPicchu Mountain. LOL! There were only few stairs and some parts are slippery so I highly suggest a good trekking shoes. 

   
    
   
We ordered our lunch before we started the hike so it was almost ready when we arrived.  This cos 15,000 but I didn’t like it much. Everything was too oily and it tasted like they used the same oil for everything. It was definitely nice to eat in the middle of the forrest though while you hear the water as it falls.

 
This little dog who accompanied us through the hike sure benefited from it though. πŸ˜‰

  
The views along the way is breathtaking. 

   
    
    
   
It’s absolutely worth to allot one day for this trip. Tiring yet fun and relaxing at the same time. 

  

Oh, and Choachi is just about 15 minutes drive from La Chorrera which we also went to just because we needed gas. It’s a tiny town worth chilling for a bit. πŸ™‚