Throughout this trip, periodic visitors and checkpoints have kept me on a rough schedule. When I returned to Bogota, I was in the new position of having no direction. It was also the first occasion that I had my laptop - retrieved during “intermission” - and time to use it. I accepted a few freelance projects, so this marked a new chapter of my trip on two fronts; work to do and nowhere to be.
So, I stayed in Bogota for nearly two months. I bounced around between hostels and apartments, but it was the closest I’ve come to living abroad since I spent a year in Italy, which was - wince - ten years ago.
I spent many days in the public library, or working in my hostel. And I met great people - both travelers and locals - so I socialized when I wasn’t at my computer. I did things normal people do: cooked, worked, read, and went to some galleries, concerts and movies. It was real life, with half the work and twice the novelty.
Bogota is a progressive place. During the “Dia de Justicia Climatica,” cars were forbidden within the city, and a concert was held in the central and stately Plaza Bolivar. Bogota is nearly the size of Los Angeles, and at least as dependent on cars; Waze ranked it as the tenth worst driving city in the world. The Centro fell quiet without the constant drum of engines. I suddenly felt anxious for a transportation revolution, and inspired in the presence of environmentalism outside the privileged bubble of western cities. What would Los Angeles be like without cars?
Having so enjoyed my time in Bogota, I found myself ready to choose another city as a temporary home. But first, after so long in one place, it was time to hit the road and pick up the pace. It was hard to leave, but I left knowing there was a good chance I’d be back.