As a travel hipster, Medellin is a place I’ve never been interested in visiting. It’s probably the most popular white person and ex-pat destination in Colombia owing to convenience, temperate climate, great infrastructure, lush flora and legendary, beautiful women. Without a doubt Medellín is the prettier, daintier little sister to the hulking, dirty mass of my-favorite-Colombian-city, Bogotá. So while I have been able to avoid it for sometime it was too easy to spend two days there on my way back from Santa Marta en route to Bogotá. In preparation, had so many reasons to be unimpressed. The best way I can describe Medellin is “Colombian Disneyland”. If you walk into a café in Poblando, aka Gringo Central, it’s not unlikely to find everyone there is an American. The city has been the beneficiary of a lot of post-Escobar foreign and local investment (Bogotá is a little sore that the money set aside to build its subway went instead to Medellin’s metro and Bogotá got stuck with the much-detested TransMilenio instead) and from where I have been in Colombia thus far it’s the most cush. Back when I was in Barth-a-lona I lamented the city’s infatuation with its own Antoni […]
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Bogotá has been a blessing but also a quagmire of comfort — I’ve done a poor job of exploring the rest of Colombia as I have been happy (too happy?) living a normal life in the capital city; that’s a lazy way to live in a country so geographically diverse and beautiful as Colombia. So while Bogotá is my favorite city in the world (Seoul wants another shot at the title), I needed more research diligence before I can claim Colombia as my favorite country. I was afforded the perfect opportunity when I was forced to depart my AirBnb on account of a five day pre-existing reservation. I took the opportunity to vacation up to the Caribbean coast to Santa Marta for four days to check out Tayrona National Park and the surrounding beaches. Santa Marta is the birth place of my favorite Colombian musician, Carlos Vives — and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit part of the reason I decided on Santa Marta was because of his music video, La Tierra del Olvido (click to watch) which features lots of scenes from Tayrona and the beaches surrounding Santa Marta. The video does a great job of showcasing the cultural […]
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One year ago, while I was in Lima Peru, I ventured to a shaman in the Peruvian Amazon to drink ayahuasca. I gave a talk in Bogota, Colombia two weeks ago on my experience — what happened. I thought it was important to articulate the details and I recorded my story. If you are interested in hearing it you can listen to that story here.
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My friend Travis works for Remote Year – the company that first facilitated my escape from office life two years ago; he invited me to a weekend retreat in Quito, Ecuador with the purpose of getting “One Layer Deeper” with other creative, curious and inspired people currently travelling with Remote Year. The theme of the weekend was to gather people together and go beyond standard operating norms to cut through that top level boundary which we all usually put up around strangers. Each of us hosted knowledge sessions where we shared experiences, expertise and perspectives to this end. Topics included “Is there free will?”, separate one-on-one, hard-ball interrogations of one another, yoga, goal and action calibrations, a series of improvisational social games  and a high-intensity breathing exercise course (which was way more challenging than I thought it would be). While I spent a couple of weeks in Quito last year, this time around it was a completely different experience centered around creating social connections, knowledge and experience sharing. We stayed in a giant mansion built by a former professional Ecuadorian basketball player (also our Airbnb host) replete with a basketball court, a fire pit to host late-night theoretical discussions and a giant parilla […]
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I rendezvoused with my father, sister and youngest nephew in Dublin for a week of road-tripping through the Irish countryside. We rented a car (a beast of a van — I was lugging extra luggage from Switzerland) and ventured west along the The Wild Atlantic Way, Ring of Kerry and the towns of Galway, Killarney, Cork and Kilkenny. Emerald, scenic pastures were the norm and picturesque, rustic landscapes perpetual as we drove back roads instead highways whenever possible. We differentiated the regions we passed through by their relative surplus of sheep, stone walls or tour buses and supplemented our scant Irish history with information brochures procured from drive-through tourist information kiosks, guided tours and taxi-driver interrogation. I had never been to Ireland before so exploring the sites and diffusing the culture was (as always) a fun challenge. The people we encountered were universally garrulous, forthcoming and helpful and surprisingly to me willing to volunteer aid in the form of directions or recommendations. I would even describe the Irish people that I met and interacted with as warm — an adjective I have never before bestowed upon a European. Having spent three months in Switzerland, the homey feel of the Irish […]
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I rented a chalet with two friends in the Swiss Alps for the winter. Veysonnaz was optimal for our price point as a small resort, less posh and pricey than other locations like St. Anton, St. Moritz, Verbier or Zermatt while providing access to the other resorts of the four valles with our season pass, linked by lifts, gondolas and T-bars. In retrospect we picked the perfect location — and house! Being eight hours ahead of my Colorado workplace timezone allowed plenty of time to ski in the morning before returning to Chalet Adele to work the rest of the day; somewhat surprisingly, Chalet Adele turned out to be our favorite part of our Swiss winter – a hot tub, a sauna and a spare bunk room for friends to come visit — ski in and ski out, adjacent to the slopes — and a picturesque, unrivaled view of the surrounding mountains making for truly epic sunrises and sunsets. Great wifi too. So when the snow wasn’t great (and it wasn’t great a lot of January and March) we were quite comfortable working hard and then relaxing in our chalet. My chalet-mate Chris is an accomplished cook and most nights he and Trevor would prepare a […]
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In 1997 I spent the fall semester of my sophomore year of high school attending an American school in Zermatt, Switzerland. Zermatt is the home of the Matterhorn, 29+ 4000 meter+ peaks and beautiful scenery. No cars or trucks are allowed within the town limits and we needed to take a 15 minute train ride from adjacent Täsch to visit, parking our car there for the entirity of our four day visit. With four distinct, active seasons, Zermatt is what I claim to be the prototypical Swiss mountain paradise At the time my semester spent in the Swiss alps was the coolest thing I had done.* Transitioning back to my home in Kansas City afterwards was heart-breaking. I missed waking up beneath the Matterhorn and taking four hour ski breaks in between classes. No sooner had I started up my old life than my old nemesis, Routine, came back with a vengeance. I was being driven to and from school, doing my homework, playing sports, sleeping and repeating. As a teenager it felt like I had few resources with which to direct my own life. I was waiting, forbearing frustration as much as I could, for the tomorrow to arrive when I would have the abilities to do with my […]
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I’ve been terrible at Spanish for an entire year now, starting back in Buenos Aires. Since then I’ve lived in other Spanish-speaking countries: Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador — each with distinct dialects, idioms, accents and slang. In an attempt to describe the style of Spanish I speak currently — imagine a three-year-old child speaking broken English utilizing a haphazard, incongruous assortment of accents: Scottish, southern, Boston, and cockney. The child can tell you what he wants or needs and ask simple questions effectively but if asked a question containing a word he hasn’t learned yet (his vocabulary is around 100) he’ll just look at you with cow-eyes and a blank stare of confusion. That’s pretty much where I’m at. While in Spain I added a new verbal weapon with which to assault native Spanish speakers — the fabled Spanish “lisp”. In Barcelona (and apparently much of Spain to my surprise) some consonants, such as “c” are softly pronounced as a “th” turning “gracias” into an audible “grathias”. Let me tell you right now that depending on your level of aggravation, it could drive you nuts. It drove me nuts. Madrid impressed me on account of what I would refer to as its […]
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Brussels, Belgium

by Reid Peryam· February 20, 2017· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
2017 started out with a quick, 3-day, early-January stop over in Brussels, Belgium. In between work and jet-lag I had enough time to explore and and do recon on a new city and country I had never visited. Brussels struck me as a very walkable, easy-to-navigate and livable city. It’s quite small, quite beautiful and quite expensive, but like the rest of western Europe you get what you pay for — good food, safety, photogenic streets and old architecture. The narrow, curving streets in the city center are lined with all sorts of small, independent restaurants, cafes and boutiques selling anything from artisan goods to comic books. Even the graffiti and street art are of a high order — I spotted a scene depicting TinTin covering an entire building wall, another scene elsewhere was a murder mystery thriller in comic book style. The effect on me, in winter, was a cozy, traditional charm. Belgium is proud of its beer which is served cold, rich, high-alcohol and malty. Delerium Tremens is often rated as one of the best beers in the world in various competitions (the name references the “rapid onset of confusion usually as a result of withdrawal from alcohol”). Unfortunately I have a […]
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South Africa has captured my imagination for almost 15 years. After spending a month in New Zealand South Africa seemed a natural follow up as an English-speaking, far away destination with natural intrigue and not too many people. Much like New Zealand, South Africa seemed mysterious for its reclusive nature which keeps it out of the limelight most of the time; naturally I had some questions. How did there come to be white people in Africa? How is it that black people speak this weird version of Dutch? People surf alongside sharks? Is everyone racist and/or angry about that apartheid thing? I arrived with a huge blank slate upon which to color recolor my conceptualization. And I’m happy to say I have. I’ve answered these questions for myself along with more; I learned my three Bs: what biltong is, who my bruhs (pronounced “broos”) are and what a braai is. Additionally I’m happy to report that I can distinguishing which accent belongs to a Johannesburger (51% success rate!) and why I never want to be in Cape Town during the summer. I’m pretty much an expert in everything. There is an exhausting amount to do around Cape Town, and I did a lot of things during […]
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