Don’t get me wrong, besides the bad there was a lot of good during my Colombia travels; these were the most glaring negatives and frankly, most surprising. Preparation is best when venturing into new territory and I wasn’t, but hopefully you will be after reading.
You will be stared at — relentlessly
Whether you’re an attractive traveler, a person of color in cities with a majority white population, a suspected rich foreigner or just a foreigner, be prepared to be a specimen. As one Bogotaon said, Colombians are obsessed with foreigners, whether that’s a good or bad thing, they will stare at you until you figure it out.
You will be harassed within an inch of insanity
If you are suspected of being the aforementioned, along with staring comes the harassment. Forget it if you are heard speaking English, the rich foreigner is immediately ascribed to you and anyone selling something will never stop. Particularly in Cartagena. We tried many methods to decline, politely declining, ignoring, firm refusal, acting deranged and not one was to any avail. Our refusals were met with 5- to 10-minute pitch lines, curse-outs and stalking.
Continue reading on Examiner.com 10 not-so-awesome things to know before your Colombian adventure – New York International Travel | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-new-york/9-not-so-awesome-things-to-know-before-your-colombian-adventure#ixzz1ZekRYLLF
My reason for venturing off to Santo Domingo was for research, my reason for a swift return is for the warmth; the weather and the people. I felt right at home as soon as I stepped off the plane and into the hug of an excited seven year old. It was the daughter of my host Altagracia. I decided to rent out one of her room on airbnb. I felt to get the most authentic and inside look into the country for my research and for my own experiences, staying with a local was the best way to go. Alta had two daughters and they were amazed by an American coming to visit. Alta lived about 15 minutes from the city center in Sabana Perdida. Her neighbors were just as amazed of an American coming to visit and not opting to stay in a fancy hotel. Alta made sure that I was accompanied everywhere I went, whether it was her or her neighbor, Jhordis, a 14-year old girl that I initially thought was in her 20′s. She took me to all the places I wanted to go.
It is such a tight knit community oriented environment in the Dominican Republic. One looks after the other, who looks after the other. Everyone is their brother’s keeper and…Continue reading on Examiner.com The Dominican Republic: Pure hospitality – New York International Travel | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-new-york/the-dominican-republic-pure-hospitality#ixzz1ZejFfyST
As a traveler, making friends and building connections are essential and oftentimes makes or breaks your travel experience. Travel affords the great opportunity to build a world-wide network as well as make interesting love connections. If you feel you’re not getting love in your hometown or home country, get a plane ticket and the possibilities are endless. I have established connections romantic and platonice in all the places I’ve traveled. I’ve also come to discover that depending on your “look” you WILL be a novelty depending on your locale. I’ve gotten so many concerns about how an individual would be received in certain countries and it truly does depend on the country and the pervasive look of the locals as to how you will be treated. If the country is homogenous, if you are opposite the popular look, be prepared to be loved up and down. In some places, people get their perceptions of a particular group of people from the media and you may be their only encounter. As I always say, everyone is exotic somewhere. Here are my observations:
Continue reading on Examiner.com How Will You be Received in the Country You’re Traveling To? – New York International Travel | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-new-york/how-will-you-be-received-the-country-you-re-traveling-to#ixzz1ZehZXXPE