Yesterday, I was in Miami. Now, I’m in Colombia and I’m loving every second of it. When I stepped outside of the airport, I took a deep breath and welcomed the earthy smell of my motherland. As I exhaled, I thought to myself, “I don’t care what people say, I’m Colombian despite being born in Miami”
Hell, Colombian blood runs through my veins so why not? Colombian music entices my body to move to the sound of its indigenous instruments, my tongue yearns the taste of Arepas in my mouth, and my very being feels fulfilled with the kindness and warmth of my people. There’s no doubt that I originate from here.
Right now, I’m staying in a village called Buga with my family. It is timeless here. Walking around Buga is like walking around Buga 40 years ago because nothing has changed. Well, except for the fact that there are concrete roads instead of dirt ones.
The way that people live here hasn’t changed either.
Their days start early. Most people here wake at the break of dawn, shower in ice cold water and off they go. Kids scatter off to school in their adorable uniforms and their parents go to work. Now, what separates Colombians from the people of my birth country is that they work to live rather than live to work.
After they work a reasonable amount of hours, they typically spend the rest of the day with their families. They have lazy afternoons where the elders sit outside and watch: they watch their grand kids play, they watch their neighbors argue, they watch the traffic, and they watch the sunset. The kids on the block all know each other; their friendships last a lifetime.
Actually, the people of Buga often leave their doors open—literally. They like to have the rays of the sun shower their living rooms in light and they love to have visitors stop by at any hour of the day. It’s quite beautiful really.
It’s quite beautiful how life is so slow-paced here. The days are long and there is no pressure—no pressure to always be at the top of your game at the workplace (no one tries to outwork one another here). The reason? They all know what’s really and truly important: living life as it was meant to be lived.