Half-Spanish and half-Dutch, she's got golden, sun-kissed hair, bright, emerald eyes, a devilish smile, and a curvy physique that'll make you look twice. She also has the ability to put some sort of foolish, love-struck spell on you with just a glance and a smile that'll have you chasing her around a foreign country for nearly a week, or at least for me she did.
We met on a dive boat outside of Taganga -- a small fishing and diving village hiding behind some mountains just outside of Santa Marta on the Atlantic coast of Colombia. I took one look at this girl and was like DAMN. Her name was Florence -- Flor for short. I chatted her up in between dives and she ultimately invites me and my two great friends, Markus and Rob, to a pool party at her hostel in Santa Marta that night. The party was bitchin'.
Rob the Welshman drank his weight in cerveza and jumped into the pool with all his clothes on, and I cooled inside the pool with Flor and her friends until it got late. Upon leaving, I very awkwardly tried to kiss her, which seemed like an excellent idea at the time, but it didn't exactly pan out nor happen at all. I left Santa Marta with my head held high but also with my tail between my legs.
A few days passed, and I was back in Barranquilla, where I was living, and still had this girl on my mind. I mean, I didn't even really know her that well at all, but like shit, I still wanted another chance with the girl. Doing the backpacker thing at the time, she was something else. Living freely and doing basically whatever the fuck she wanted to, traveling to wherever her heart desired and all that. While we were in Santa Marta, she told me that Medellin was the next spot on her trip. And, as I'm sulking there in my room in Barranquilla, I get a text from Markus inviting me to go on another adventure with him and Rob to guess where...
"Ok yeah, I think I'll go to Medellin with Markus and Rob then. Flor will be there, maybe I'll see her," I thought before impulsively purchasing my plane ticket to the Cocaine capital of the world and telling Markus and Rob that I was down to tag along for another "bros trip."
Indeed, when I got to Medellin, Flor was there. I had been texting her prior to my arrival and I was getting excited. But when I was there I saw her for a total of about five minutes.
I actually ran into her -- by chance -- while bar hopping with Markus and Rob in the El Poblado district -- Medellin's most touristic, party district. So, upon running into her and her friends, we all went to get a drink at the nearest bar, which I think may have been a gay bar.
It was at this moment -- when I took a shot out of a purple squirt gun in the shape of a giant cock with Flor -- did I realize that I had to come to Medellin for all the wrong reasons. I realized that I had come to Medellin to try and woo some girl as my main priority instead of just enjoying the trip and the company I had come with. Somehow, taking this shot out of this dick-gun with Flor in this gay bar made me reevaluate things, and provided me with the clarity I needed.
So, with a heavy heart, I said goodbye to Flor, knowing that it was probably the last time I would ever see that lovely girl, and went out and wreaked havoc on El Pobaldo's bar scene with Markus and Rob like I should have been doing in the first place. I knew now that the chase was fun but the chase was done. But I wasn't heartbroken for long. Because from that moment on, the trip couldn't have been any better.
After parting ways with Flor and her friends, nothing but the best times ensued for the next few days while Markus, Rob, and I were exploring Medellin. We hiked up hills, walked through vibrant neighborhoods with the most amazing street art I've ever seen, ate local delicacies and drank to our hearts' fulfillment in the savviest salsa bars and tastiest breweries. We became kings in a city of kingpins, or at least so we felt. And, by exploring the city and enjoying ourselves, we all really got to know one another for who we were.
In this strange but beautiful foreign land, these men became my brothers in a matter of only a couple of days. The deep conversations we had are some that I'll never forget, and the memories we shared will last a lifetime. So what started off as me foolishly chasing Flor to another Colombian city for another chance, ended up making for one the best trips that I didn't even ask for. And I wouldn't have it any other way.