Medellin January 2018 In Botero Square, in the centre of Medellin, there is an exhibit of 23 works of the artist Botero and two water fountains made by master. The square is visited by thousands of persons every day.


As a writer, I often find myself tangled in the web of words, seeking to describe the indescribable and capture fleeting moments with a permanence they never truly possess. My family’s recent vacation to Medellin, Colombia, provided ample opportunity for this pursuit. There, amidst the city’s verdant valleys and vibrant culture, I journaled our 14-day journey, a tapestry woven with the hues of new experiences and the subtle threads of introspection.


Our family trio—my husband Jim, our 16-year-old daughter Kristy, and myself—arrived in Medellin with the usual cocktail of excitement and the mild anxiety of stepping into the unknown. Luckily, we hired a Medellin tour company to show us around and get us up to speed on the area.


Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Medellin’s allure lies not just in its pleasant climate but also in its rich tapestry of culture, history, and rebirth. It seemed the perfect backdrop for our family, at a time when Kristy is blossoming into her own and Jim and I are navigating the waters of midlife and parenting a teenager.


We chose to stay in El Poblado, an area lush with trees and brimming with cafes, which resonated with my writerly heart. Our first morning began with an exploration of the Botanical Garden, a 40-acre green haven that promised a gentle introduction to the city’s natural beauty. As Jim and Kristy marveled at the Orquideorama, where orchids hung in architectural splendor, I scribbled notes about the play of light through the wooden slats, casting patterns as intricate as lace on the paths below.


Our days quickly developed a comforting rhythm: mornings spent exploring, afternoons relaxing, and evenings sampling the local cuisine. One day, we ventured into Comuna 13, a neighborhood once tangled in violence, now reborn as a canvas for artists. As we ascended its outdoor escalators—a symbol of progress and accessibility—I watched Kristy’s eyes light up with every vibrant mural that told stories of resilience and hope. Jim, ever the engineer, was fascinated by the technology that transformed a community. I found myself jotting down snippets of overheard conversations, the laughter of children mingling with the distant beats of reggaeton.


Midway through our trip, we took a day to ride the Metrocable, dangling over the city like a bird in flight. From this vantage point, Medellin was a quilt of green interspersed with the colorful patchwork of buildings. Kristy, camera in hand—a budding photographer—captured the cityscape with an eager eye, perhaps seeing her own future in the expansive views. Jim pointed out landmarks, while I penned a poem on the back of a Metro ticket, inspired by the city sprawling beneath us.


Our excursions included a trip to Parque Arvi, a nature preserve accessible via Metrocable, offering trails that meandered through pre-Hispanic forests. As a family, we hiked in comfortable silence, the kind that speaks of easy companionship and shared wonder. Kristy’s enthusiasm for the native flowers, capturing their essence through her lens, reminded me of my own passion for capturing moments through words.


One cannot visit Medellin without immersing in its coffee culture. We toured a small coffee plantation just outside the city, where the scent of coffee cherries mingled with the earthy aroma of the soil. Jim, a coffee aficionado, engaged with the growers, his questions technical yet tinged with genuine curiosity. Later, as we sipped on the rich, freshly brewed coffee, Kristy mused about the process from cherry to cup, an echo of the cycle of growth and fruition that seemed a theme of our trip.


In the evenings, we found ourselves at Parque Lleras, a vibrant spot where locals and tourists alike gathered. Music floated in the air, a blend of traditional Colombian rhythms and modern beats. Kristy, usually shy, found her rhythm dancing with locals, her laughter more melodious than the music itself. Jim and I watched, our hearts full, realizing that these moments were fleeting yet forever etched in our memories.


As our days in Medellin wound down, I felt a surge of creativity, my journals filled with observations, poems, and stories sparked by our adventures. One quiet morning, as Jim and Kristy were still asleep, I walked to a nearby cafe. There, surrounded by the soft hum of Spanish conversations and the clink of coffee cups, I started drafting a piece about our travels. It wasn’t just a recount of where we went and what we saw; it was an exploration of how travel stitches together the disparate pieces of our souls, how it teaches us about the world and ourselves.


Our return flight was bittersweet. As we ascended above the city, I glanced at Jim and Kristy, both dozing, their faces relaxed. The trip had changed us, each in our own way. Jim found a renewed appreciation for innovation in unexpected places, Kristy discovered a passion for capturing stories through her camera, and I, well, I rediscovered the joy of writing not just to capture, but to truly convey the heart of our experiences.


Medellin, with its eternal spring, had nurtured us too. We left richer than we arrived, our lives fuller and our connections deeper. As a writer, I sought to distill the essence of this journey into words, to hold onto the colors and chronicles of our family’s fortnight in a city that, much like us, had found a way to bloom anew.