Naomi lived 5 years in Colombia
As part of our blog we love to share other travelers experciences, there stories and projects. We are happy to introduce you Naomi, writer of the Blog How to Bogota, freelance copywriter and currently based in beautiful Barcelona.
What kind of traveler are you Naomi?
When it comes to travelling, I always like to do my research and have a plan before I leave, which I can adapt when I get to the destination. That way I don’t waste time trying to find things to do when I arrive, but I also allow myself the flexibility to change my plans if I feel inspired and want to stay longer in places that I discover once I’m there.
What’s your favourite place in the world?
It’s difficult to pick a favourite country because I love different countries for different reasons! I lived in Colombia for 5 years, so that’s definitely high up on the list. With rainforests, mountains, tropical beaches and islands, busy cities and gorgeous landscapes, it has something for all tastes. I also love Switzerland for the stunning mountain landscapes and lakes, and Spain for the warm weather, delicious tapas and fascinating history.
Do you speak Spanish?
I started learning Spanish on a trip to Argentina when I was 18. I was teaching English as a volunteer in Buenos Aires and took private Spanish classes. As I had learned French at school, learning Spanish wasn’t so difficult, and being immersed in the language every day meant I had plenty of opportunities to practise!
Then I studied French and Spanish at university in London, and spent a year abroad living in Mexico. After that I lived in Colombia, and now I live in Spain. So I’ve had a lot of practice over the years!
I believe you learn a language quickest when you have a reason to learn it. And that means a reason to speak it and people to speak it with. In my opinion, the best option is to do a language course and take some private classes in a country where they speak the language you want to learn. Then you’ll be able to practise what you’ve learned in class every day with the local people.
If going abroad isn’t an option, go to a language exchange evening or try to meet people where you live who speak the language, so you have a chance to practise outside of class. Then immerse yourself in the language as much as possible at home: watch TV shows and films in the language, listen to music in the language, look at news websites etc.
Tell us about your blog
I started How to Bogota when I moved to Colombia in 2013. At that time, there weren’t any other blogs that were just about living in Bogotá. I thought that by writing about my daily experiences and what life was like there, it might be helpful to other people who were planning to move to Bogotá or who were new in the city.
I share tips, advice and insights that I know would have helped me a lot in the beginning when I was getting settled and getting to know the city. These include which neighbourhood to live in, where to go shopping, where to meet people, where to learn Spanish, etc.
What are your future travel plans?
Right now I’m living in Barcelona, Spain, and plan to stay here for a while. It’s nice to be back in Europe and a bit closer to my parents, who live in London. But I can see myself moving back to Colombia at some point in the future. Colombia leaves a piece of itself in your heart that remains there always. I think I’ll always be drawn back there.