I’ve Been Invited to Medellin, Colombia

medellin flower show 749019 Today is a high energy day. I’ve got lots to think about and I’m feeling great. The first thing on my mind is an invitation I got yesterday, an answer to a dream I’ve had for a decade. It was from the Ministry of Trade for Colombia–an invitation to travel to Medellin and see their flower show. I’ve always wanted to visit this misunderstood and honestly, dangerous place and here came my invite.

I immediately phoned my shooter Paul Shoul. He’s been there before, and it’s always fun to travel with him and use his fantastic photos in our stories. He’s got his reservations though, he’s thinking we might be kidnapped. Then I pitched Tom Vannah, the editor of the Advocate. He sent me back a scary article from Outside Magazine, full of terrifying advice like ‘don’t dress in khaki clothes, they will look like a soldier and shooting is the only form of communication.’

But at the end of this story, the author, Eric Hansen reflects on a tough, days-long journey that ended in a fishing village called El Valle in a remote part of the coast.

“Much to my surprise, I no longer feel a need to get blotto. Instead, with a sober mind, I’d like to continue processing, analyzing, and ruminating on what I’ve seen. And it strikes me that this change from passionate drunk to reflective abstainer is just the kind of personal transformation that’s the reward of any adventure. It’s an example of the power of a place to change a person, of getting far gone both physically and psychically, of looking in the mirror and wiping away the fog, and of the compulsion to blather on about your own shit in trite metaphors without ever feeling ridiculous. Jesus, I hope it’s not permanent.”

Our trip in August will not involve driving out into the country, where the rebels are most active, but to a civilized city of two million with a dangerous past. I’m planning on going, and I hope I have my shooter Shoul there with me.