Time, indeed, flies. Kevin is one of the most recent additions to my inner circle of friends in LA - it sometimes seems like we met yesterday - but seven years have passed since we first joined the same soccer team. We’ve travelled together extensively since then; I’ve been in more countries with Kevin than any other person. He broke his arm just before our trip to Southeast Asia in 2009, and had to ride on the back of my motorbike around Thailand. He was there for my 30th birthday in Portland, where he tried to throw a football through my mom’s panoramic window, and nearly drowned tubing down the Sandy River. In New York City, he sat next to me at a US Open quarterfinal while I danced on the jumbotron in a banana suit. But everything fell apart in Latvia and Sweden, where, after two short weeks, neither of us could say a word without aggravating the other. I was hesitant to travel with him again after that, but we talked it out and agreed to give it a go. His visit to Colombia was our chance at redemption.
Kevin started dating Rachel almost two years ago, and the two of them are now subletting my apartment in LA. Rachel is also an avid traveller and may actually deserve credit for making their visit happen. I made a couple of suggestions, but generally let the two of them set the itinerary. After some indecision, they settled on Bogota, Medellin, Salento, Santa Marta, and Cartagena. I planned to skip Santa Marta, spend a few extra days in the south, and catch up with them again in Cartagena for New Year’s.