Anyone who knows me from school days knows that music was, is and always will be my life!! From going to as many live concerts as possible (Check out my review section) to religiously checking I had my trusty cassette player with me.
Growing up in London as black teenager, I was often judged for listening to pop music such as NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Britney to name a few yet my room was plastered with HipHop and Dancehall legends. I was the embodiment of Eclectic and didn’t give a damn.
Developing into a woman I encountered and survived many a bad relationship and Britney was always one of the strongest glues that put me back together. There is seriously nothing like listening to ‘Stronger’ with a chilled glass on Hennessey and coke in both hands.
I even worked ridiculous overtime so me and 3 friends (Shout out to Jennifer, Krystal and Christy) could go and see her live, a frickin dream come true a thousand times over.
So when I heard Britney was doing the BMA’s 2016 I honestly wanted to sit down and take a minute to calm myself and remember the road is tough but I will make it.
We all remember Britney in 2007, hell I even referenced it when I was in my last semester of university trying to make word counts and find the right bibliography style. This young woman has come so far I feel like we were by her side the whole way.
This picture is somewhat freeing if not completely intriguing as we see a beauty of the modern world literally shave off the reigns of the media and celebrity norms.
If any woman, anywhere in the world can’t relate this this need to liberate and be one’s self then my dear, the wave will soon reach. I’m not condoning or praising Britney’s spontaneous balding sesh but as many people have yet to understand celebrities are people and sometimes they crash and burn just like us, but they too can shine again.
So this is for you Britney, thank you for showing us your crazy and getting back to the star you always were….
Just putting it out there because one day he’ll have to depart…
Sometimes I get lost, blinded through social media, lied to by money and greed, burnt by other people’s opinions n tripped up by society’s expectations. Well I declare that I, Aic3la, just want to be happy so if you’re not trying to encourage and support as i do to realness please leave the table….
I have been back in my glorious Barranquilla for almost 3 months now and I had planned to continue strong on my blogging wave but I ‘wiped out’ again!!
Here I am back on my board, ready to catch the next wave.
PLEASE ENJOY THE RIDE WITH ME DUDEEEEEEEE!!
So one of my first trips was down to the beautiful city of Cali!!
I decided to go on a city break to Cali in October as I had some days off work and wanted to dedicate time to the ‘Salsa’ capital of Colombia and maaaaan they weren’t lying!!
From it’s Afro Colombian roots on the pacific coast to it’s controversial medical tourism industry the city definitely has a lot of ‘salsa’, in all sense of the word. The Colombian department of Valle de Cauca has a diverse landscape and various cultural realms to uncover so if you can, explore explore explore!
With my travel homie Mr L, I arrived in Cali mid afternoon and we got a very reliable and quite safe bus from the airport to the Central bus station where taxis would be more reasonable.
After a beautiful trip through some of Valle de Cauca’s countryside singing along to some classic salsa *cue Edgar Joel – Hasta El Sol De Hoy*, we arrived at the terminal, got a taxi to our hostel.
A 4 days break at ‘El Viajero Hostel’ was just what the doctor ordered. Following the advice of my travel bud we didn’t book in advance as sometimes the charge a booking fee and to my relief they had space so we were escorted to our bunks and made ourselves at home. (P.S. I always book in advance, I had a mad moment and let him take control…… not for the faint hearted, better to be safe than sleeping in a park!)
Will now speed up the review and give you my highlights of this beautiful city:
- SALSAAAAAAAAAA!! – I fell in love with Salsa during my year abroad in Havana, Cuba so this was right up my street. El Viajero hostel supported this love and exceeded my expectations. Free Salsa classes everyday (kinda sweaty room but you know Latino steam and all that hahaha) and nightly outings to various Salsa spots around the city. GO GO GO!!
- La Menga – An area in North Cali, full of mainstream clubs where people end up stumbling to after the salsa slows down and the can spin no more. I went there twice for a reggaeton and dance refresh, it should be around 8 mill COP in a taxi at night from El Viajero.
- Cali Walking Tours – A small business set up by a young woman who had spent some time in London and wanted to take the concept back to Cali for tourists. A very nice 2 hour tour (By the way i’m not a great tourist and I managed it. For the freeness it was informative and interesting). At the time it there were 3 people voluntarily doing the tour at different times but I expect as the company grows so will the amount of tours and guides. Ask in your hotels for more information but think they meet on Tuesday and Thursday outside La Iglesia de La Merced if that helps…… (See slideshow for pics of the tour). Tip well and support the cause!!
- Down-town Cali – I didn’t get my camera as I am no damn papaya but it was pretty much the same as any other down-town area. A lot of shops and markets selling everything and more. An experience to say the least but some hidden lunch/almuerzo gems are to be discovered there too.
- El Viajero Hostel – Reasonably priced considering they have a private pool and bar. Some sites say they have hot showers, now these ‘hot’ showers are solar powered so best believe you better be in your towel, shower puff in hand when that water heats up cz I tell ya a cold shower in a cool climate is no fun!! Otherwise good fun with breakfast included!
- Climate – Cali is a generally hot city but beware of the random cold spells that can pass by. I went in early October and it was only hot in the day. Come night time if you weren’t a bit drunk, you were layered up in most of your clothes to get some sleep.
I know there is so much more to see in Valle de Cauca and this is only a snippet of it’s beauty. I have made a promise to myself to see more the places I go to and not just be a sexy sloth!!
Here are the momentos of my time in Cali, Colombia 😀
p.s. Shout out to my homies Monika and David!! Can’t believe we all didn’t take photos together!!
Apologies for the pic but I felt Arnie would soften the blow of my return!!!
For those who have faithfully blogged over the past year I salute you with both hands. I thought I was strong and could hold on forever but no….. nope…. I wilted liked a defrosting rose. Foreign living got me way too excited!
But as I am I strong believer of ‘nunca te rindes’ = never give up, here I am ready to roll on the next film reel and press play!!
So I will give up a quick update on my life since August 2015 (Cringe! has it been almost a year!!) and will be doing random throwback Thursday posts to highlight the best bits.
- I spent August until June 2015 working at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla.
- I travelled to Cali, Medellin/Guatape, Cartagena, and Santa Marta as well as 2 trips to Florida, USA to see my lovely family.
- Started teaching Undergradutes Level 2 English (University curriculum = A1 Level in my opinion).
- Made some AMAZING friends.
- Moved into my own ‘cute as a button’ studio flat!! (A la Carrie from Sex and the City).
- Found a beautiful love in a hopeless place (wouldn’t expect anything else for me!) and yes it’s still going strong!
And most exciting of all……. I’M ABOUT TO DO IT ALL AGAIN!!!!
As me and Barranquilla are absolutely mad about each other we have decided to continue our transatlantic romance and embark on a 2nd year.
Only change will be my place of work which will now be at Universidad del Atlantico, which is one of the best public universities in Barranquilla and the Caribbean coast.
So keep your eyes peeled for Throwback Thursday updates and saddle up for a new year with the loca with the fro a.k.a ME!!
😀 Thanx for having me back!!