San Andres Island & Cartagena, Colombia

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sunset over Cartagena

It’s 10 PM on a Monday, the last week of the term, which means I really should be studying for my upcoming finals this week. This also means I’m (supposedly) going on my next international trip in only 4 days, and I still haven’t caught up on my blogposts from my last trip! I say supposedly because who knows what the coronovirus will do to the state of travel the next few days, especially since this next trip is a school-sponsored trip to the Middle East. Fingers crossed all will be fine, but I do need to start planning a backup in case our trip to Israel & Jordan fall through.

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The other crazy thing is that the term is already almost over – it really, really flew by this time! I think because I’m taking everything week by week, and my weeks are really only Monday afternoon-Thursday afternoon, time feels like it’s flying much faster. It really makes me nervous to start working again; even though my weeks are packed and crazy, it’s really nice to be able to unwind on weekends and leave New Haven to give myself a mental break. It also makes me not hate Boston as much, since now I associate it with happy free weekends! But, that being said, as the academic year winds down, I’m dreading “living” in Boston full time again for the summer – I will still be traveling for work so will see M just as often (if not less), but the mental idea of living “full-time” in Boston really stresses me out. I guess it’s just not a healthy place for me to be, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to pass a few years at another business school before coming back for another year or two afterwards while I wait for M to graduate his program! Hopefully I will be so busy when I return to Boston that time passes by as quickly as possible 🙂

It’s already month 3 of the new year, and I’ve been pretty good at sticking to my goals, especially of reinventing my health! Last month I did 15 workouts within 29 days, which means basically every other day – which is a huge improvement for me. Hopefully I will maintain this through the year, even when traveling. I always say “this is the last year before ___x___”, but this actually is probably the last full year where I can be completely selfish and do whatever I want, so I’m ready to take on some new travels. One goal for this year is to finish all 7 new wonders of the world: Petra, Jordan this weekend (if my trip doesn’t get cancelled..), and Machu Pichu in Peru over fall break!


DSC_1117DSC_1111We knew that we wanted some beach time during our January trip, and San Andres Island was a wonderful option to get some real beach time. The island is owned by Colombia but is closer to Nicaragua, and it was a cheap and easy flight from Medellin. The only annoying thing is that you have to pay a tourist tax in CASH of around 70USD..which we didn’t know until we got to the gate, and the airport didn’t have an ATM so we had to run OUT of the airport to get some cash before barely making it to our flight. You also need the tourist card to exit the island, so don’t lose the card!

The island, as all islands, is a bit expensive. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort, which was pretty nice for the island but there are no private beaches on the entire island. Our first day we rented a golf cart to tour the whole island. This requires almost a full day, especially if you stop at various beaches on the way to relax or snorkel. We didn’t love the “main” snorkeling spots, but one of our favorites was stopping by a random rock cropping on the west side of the island.

Our other days was comprised of relaxing on our beach, going to the sister resorts, and eating/drinking at our all-inclusive! It’s always nice just to chill for a few days in the midst of a hectic travel schedule.

From San Andres Island, we flew into Cartagena for the last stop of our trip. Originally we were going to visit the islands around Cartagena for our beach days, but we thought San Andres looked nicer, so we only spent a little over a day in Cartagena.

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the Gold Museum

DSC_1157DSC_1159We stayed within the old city, and went to basically every museum. It’s HOT in Cartagena! One of our favorite museums was the Naval Museum, although everything is in Spanish – it was cool learning about the history of this port city on the Colombian coast.

We also went to La Cevicheria, one of Anthony Bourdain’s places to eat in Cartagena, where we had some good, but not amazing, ceviche. Honestly a lot of the smaller hole-in-the-wall restaurants and street vendors were more interesting to me, as well as finding the hidden coffee shops where Gabriel Garcia Marquez supposedly got a lot of his inspiration for his books from!!

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Cartagena is a beautiful city, but it did feel more touristy. We loved wandering around the city and taking photos of the colorful walls though! Also we had a great time looking at all the cool intricate door knobs around the city – take a look at M’s favorite ones below.

We ended our day with a beautiful sunset stroll along the wall. You can watch the sun set over the horizon and imagine how it looked like hundreds of years ago – the museum exhibit mentioned that the walls are still in original condition so we could very well pretend we were archers defending the city.

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