The trip advisor of Salsa

I’m really happy to announce a new project I worked on with some friends: SalsaTravelAdvisor!

Salsa Travel Advisor

This website is helping dance lovers finding their next Salsa Congress, Bachata festival, Zouk, Tango and Kozomba event.

With so many events around the World, it’s more and more difficult to decide which one to attend…  so one day my friend Stuart came up with this idea: “it would be nice to finally have a website with all the congresses that people can review”.
One year and a half later, we did it!

Here it is SalsaTravelAdvisor.

If you, like me, enjoy going to congresses register for free and leave a review of your favorites parties!

 

 

 

Categories: Salsa | Tags: , , |

Getting a job in Colombia

While I had no intention to work during my Walk About, I hear more and more travelers that are having a different type of approach.

I see 2 categories of people.

The first category includes the Digital Nomads, people that like me are working either for them self or for someone with internet-based activities.
Wherever they go, they just need an internet connection and a PC, and they’ll do their magic to make money.

The other category includes the Work While You Travel (WWYT) folks. They get to a place and pick up any job, from teaching English to giving Yoga class.

But if you plan to stay months and get more in the system, you may want to look for a real local job.
The kind of job you can find written on a piece of paper taped in the window of a small shop.

Believe it or not – those shops are going digital too! So spending some time online can greatly help your job search.

For the super-small-maybe-growing category of WWYT folks, I point our 3 websites that will help you finding a job while in Colombia.
They’re in Spanish, as most of the jobs they advertise but I imagine language should not be a problem if you went that far:

  • CompuTrabajo: this is one of the most popular resource for Colombian’s job seekers. It’s simple to use and has lots of offers, that makes it a bit overwhelming.
  • Empleos:  as the name suggests, this website has jobs! It’s also very simple and surely a good place to check, and features some nice articles to help you in the job search process. Important to spot there the cultural differences from your own country.
  • Puesto: pretty similar to the one above, Puesto has a good selection of low demanding jobs across the country, especially in the big cities like Bogotá and Medellin.

 

So if you’re looking to stay in Colombia for a while and work, I wish you good luck!

 

Categories: Colombia | Tags: , |

Talking with Jose’ Lebron – The Lebron Brothers

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The Lebron Brothers bar

I discovered the Lebron Brothers listening this playlist from SalsaCanal, a guy that has hundreds of classic Salsa songs on his Youtube channel.

It was 3 years ago when my friend Paul and me spent days listening the hit “Dies Lagrimas“.

Since then, The Lebron Brothers is one of my favorite band.
With their unique style, their sad lyrics, their perfect mix of powerful rhythms, melody and chorus.

I could never imagine that one day I would meet them, Los Hermanos Lebron, in Cali, Colombia.  Actually, I had no idea they were living there :)

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Categories: Colombia, Salsa, WalkAbout | Tags: , , , , , |

Feeling unsafe in Colombia?

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...they don`t like me

Now that I’m back to the amusement park called Netherlands, when I tell people I’ve spent almost 3 months in Colombia the first questions I get are about safety.

Did you feel unsafe?
How dangerous really is?
Did you have scary moments? 

First of all, I consider myself fortunate as I didn’t had any real bad experience, excluding a mobile phone that had disappear most likely because I lost it rather than got it stolen.
The reason is partially because I look Colombian and I could not be easily identified as a tourist, till I open my mouth and speak a word.

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Categories: Colombia, Feelings, WalkAbout | Tags: , , , , , , |

3 months on the road

I’m writing this post from my bedroom in Amsterdam.
Yep, my trip is over – finito - 3 months are passed and as I promised to my manager I’m back to work :)

Coming home is still part of any trip, but I’m avoiding to think how I feel now (terrible!!) and concentrate in summarizing what happened last month of my first walkabout.

I realized that this trip is changing me in a way I’ll only figure out in the future, long time after landing back home. 

 

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Categories: Colombia, Feelings, Salsa, WalkAbout |

Bring a jacket to Bogota’

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a huge city

The bus ride from Salento was an endless succession of turns, downs and ups to the 2600 meters of Bogota’.
I’m glad I did it during the day: I couldn’t have sleep anyway, and the scenery as well as the on-board movies were good.

Allright, straight to the point: Bogota’ is the city that impressed me the least in my trip.

Let me say the bad things first:

  • It’s cold and huge (2600 meters and 8 millions inhabitants). It’s the only place in Colombia where I had to wear a jacket!
  • The rolo, this is the nickname for people from the capital, don’t have the beautiful Colombian attitude I found elsewhere
  • The Candelaria area, recommended for backpackers, was full of very insisting beggers that made me feel unsecure at times
  • The bus system is complex, aggravated by the fact that I got spoiled by the ease of Medellin unique Metro system
  • it’s more expensive, that means less cheap than the other Colombian cities (always a good reason for backpackers to complain, I had learn)

Did I have a bad time in Bogota’?
No way! I had good experiences (first CouchSurfing host) and enjoyed something different than in the previous destinations (the hostel lifestyle I ditched so far) :)

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Categories: Colombia, WalkAbout |

My 32nd Birthday at La Barra, Colombia

This is a video from my 31st birthday:

 

Thanks to Veronica, Jennifer, Moranni, Tatiana, Linde and Renske I had a super-surprise b-day dance performed at Club Roses in Amsterdam.
I paid more than 200 EUR for pizza and drinks with my friends.

And those are the pictures from my 32nd birthday, celebrated in Barra, a 3rd World village on the Pacific coast of Colombia:

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local bus

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on our way to la Barra

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welcome to La Barra!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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it's my birthday!

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Frugal lifestyle

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La Barra: an Eco-friendly village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the gift I received: a delicious cevice

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La Barra

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my b-day diner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Colombia, Feelings, WalkAbout | Tags: , , , , |

Couchsurfing in Colombia

Couchsurfing in Colombia is huge!

If you still don’t know couchsurfing.org, go check it right now.
It’s a community of people for hospitality exchange: hosts and guests meet each other on the website, check their respective profiles, and if they like it, bingo, one has the accomodation for free with a local person, the other has a fancy guest with hopefully interesting stories directly at home.

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Categories: Colombia, Preparation, WalkAbout | Tags: , , , |

Visiting Salento, in the Zona Cafetera of Colombia

After a weekend of parties, a visit in a nice village is a very nice cure: it gives at least the illusion of some relax and early nights…

Salento is a little town in the Eje Cafetero, the area of Colombia producing the biggest (legal) export of the country: good coffee beans.

There you’ll find a bunch of backpackers and unusual cold locals tired of them, plus you can do at least 4 things:

  • walk in the Valle de Cocora, a beautiful national park with the Colombian national tree, the wax palm, that grown up to  50 meters
  • do horse-riding in the sentiero national surrounded by the most amazing nature
  • visit a coffee plantation and learn more about the liquid that you think keeps you alive 
  • chillax (chilling + relax, optionally reading, writing or the like)

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Categories: Colombia, WalkAbout | Tags: , , , , , |

2 months on the road

At the end of the first month of traveling I had a nightmare: it was the 1st of August instead of the first of July and I was panicking.

As always happens, the future is never as we imagine and the 1st of August I was more relaxed then ever.
The fact that 2/3 of my walkabout are gone is not affecting me: my mind developed a form of self-protection, declaring this experience as a general preparation for something bigger, some form of permanent vagabonding that takes freedom to a next level. 
Minds are funny, aren’t they? 

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Categories: Colombia, Feelings, WalkAbout | Tags: , , , , , , , , |