If I had to credit one trip with “getting the wheels turning” and eventually leading me to create TfT it would be my trip to Colombia exactly one year ago. At the time I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living- who really does? All I knew was I wanted it to be creative, involve lots of travel, and probably be run by me.
We had two months to travel and a tight budget. Colombia and Peru were on the itinerary, but two weeks into traveling along Colombia’s Caribbean coast we decided to skip Peru. Peru deserves its own trip, I’m sure.
After Cartagena we slowed down and spent some lazy days in Santa Marta before going further east. We found our favorite panadería, practiced siesta-ing in the afternoon and perfected our nightly dinner of garbonzos, garlic and any conceivable vegetable. At a point we got so comfortable we hardly wanted to move on, but the unrelenting heat encouraged us to pack up and head to the mountains.
It was in Minca that I spotted the most beautiful hammock (actually, chinchorro) I have ever seen. After a long hike up the Sierra Nevada mountains to our cabin we spent the evening drinking wine at a neighbors house just a few paces up the hill. The spot was remarkable. You could literally look in one direction and see snow-capped mountains, then look in the other and see the hazy Caribbean.
After a little Spanglish conversation I got up to peek in the neighbor’s house (this is a bad habit of mine) and saw, hanging in the middle of the living room, a woven hammock with the most beautiful, intricate web like draping. I quickly examined the rest of the room and spotted a similarly remarkable woven tablecloth with big tassels at the ends. A few questions later I knew where to find both. I think I’ll look back at this particular moment as the day the little inkling for TfT was born.
Colombia is the most geographically diverse place I have ever been. On one short bus ride and another very dusty truck ride we rode from the jungle of Tayrona into the desert of the Guajira peninsula. A couple weeks later we were spending the Fourth of July in the cool mountains of Villa de Leyva and hiking up to an alpine lake in Iguaque National Park. Colombia is so full of surprises that after a point nothing surprised me. In San Gil we heeded the advice of our cab driver and went the local pool. The pool turned out to be a long rushing river with natural water slides that cut through the most picturesque valley I have ever seen. We went on Sunday. Throngs of families were relaxing by the river, cooking soup in caldrons the size of a small car and playing music over blown out speakers. I couldn’t believe my eyes but had to, because that was the day I didn’t bring my camera.