The light streams through my window as the birds wake me with their joyful morning chorus. Last night I was lulled to sleep by chirping crickets and the sound of the nearby stream. I peek my head out the window to see fluffy clouds dispersing, revealing another beautiful day in paradise. This paradise is called Medellin.
After getting ready, I grab a notebook and pen and head out the door. The neighborhood fruit vendor senses my morning hunger as I approach his stand. He cracks open an enormous papaya and perfectly ripe mango, and serves me the most delicious fruit salad for just $1.75. “Enjoy,” he says smiling.
I continue to my favorite spot—arguably the best café in town, as the coffee is grown and roasted in the nearby hills by the café owners themselves. The friendly barista greets me with a warm hello and asks if I will have a cappuccino, my daily morning ritual. He lets me practice my Spanish, although he is ready with his great English as soon as confusion arises. I take the corner seat on the outdoor patio and notice the “usuals” around me.
At this hour, you find the book lovers and those that are here “working.” To my right, a semi-retired gentleman checks out the stock market on his laptop. Diagonally to my left, the young 20-something entrepreneur builds his online marketing empire from the comfort of this café.
A young woman is tutoring an American expat in Spanish, while at another table a British gentleman edits an English essay for a college student. The barista drops off my steaming cappuccino and I open my journal to scrawl some notes about my next article. I can’t help but smile, thinking how I have substantially upgraded my Monday routine. This is my new and improved life in Colombia.
After my yoga class, I head to my other favorite café. With sleek, crushed-velvet benches and plants growing from the far wall it’s easy to relax and be productive here. I order the menu of the day for a mere $5.50 and am presented with an enormous soup, open-faced sandwich, and a freshly squeezed juice.
Later in the afternoon, I visit a flower-seller to get a bouquet of stargazer lilies for just $4. I go on to the apartment of an American couple who have become close friends. The doorman recognizes me and opens the gate. I proceed to the penthouse. Their apartment door is already open, in expectation of my arrival. They trade me the flowers in my hand for a crisp, refreshing glass of champagne. Through the spectacular floor to ceiling windows that overlook the entire city of Medellin, I see I have arrived just in time.
We clink glasses as the sun retreats below the horizon, nodding in silent agreement that we made the right move in coming to live here in Medellin, Colombia.