A random afternoon while traveling

There’s a bunch of things to say about traveling. It’s overrated, it’s the way to happiness, it’s escaping reality, it’s how you find yourself, it’s the only way to live.

None of them are true, of course, because everything in life is relative and perception changes with each one of us. So while I stopped pondering over big topics like those because there’s simply no universal truth, I’d love to share a random afternoon while traveling. It makes everything arrange itself right in the universe again and makes all the efforts and mosquito bites totally worth it.

If you’ve ever close to the coffee region in Colombia, you should come visit, every guidebook will tell you that. And every guidebook is 100% right in saying so, it’s a magical lush land with sweet coffee, good food and pretty colonial architecture.

Some of these guidebooks might also tell you about a little 8000 people village called Filandia situated a good 30 min from Salento. They’ll say the city is postcard-pretty, the tourist crowds are minimal and they might even mention a coffee place or restaurant when you need to try the regional trout in garlic sauce.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll read this post or meet a fellow traveler and you’ll find out about Maria, a lady who lives in Filandia and opens up her 100 years old house to people who want to visit. You won’t read anywhere else that she also opens her heart and her life to you if you cross her doorstep.

Maria used to be a nurse a good 7 years back when she kind of turned around to her parents, said thank you for the support they gave her during university and stopped going to work. She felt unhappy, not herself and wanted to find her way.

Maria is now a neo-hippie who found her spiritual way in life, owned a cafe, started her own artesanal business, sold another business and is now happily living in her beautiful house. She also works in her dad’s shop and creates artsy colorful stuff she displays in her home and in stores around the area. I’ve seen beautiful houses before and they were always just that, pretty houses. Maria’s is a home which breathes normality and personality.

She walks you through the house, explains the original parts and the small additions she made through the years. She’ll answer any questions you have and she’ll give you insights into Filandia’s development in the recent years. She talks about cycles of life, the way things worked out for her, the order she looked for and how it all made sense in time.

You might not agree with these concepts or they might simply not be for you and that’s fine. I’m in awe with this wonderful human for just being. Naturally, organically, without apologies. The tranquility and serenity of her home rivals the one I found up in the mountains at the end of a long hike. The clarity of her eyes is similar to the river I had to cross without a bridge yesterday afternoon. And the deep 2 pm philosophical chit chat was deep without ever wanting to be that.

And it’s moments like this one, when a soul clicks with another, that’s when traveling matters. All the rest, honestly, is just pretty overrated instagram photos.

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