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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My trip back to Texas

Well my yearly trip back to Texas has almost come and gone once again. I just have one day left. It has been a good trip as usual. I have managed to see almost all my friends and family (for those I missed, sorry! next time) and even some old friends that I have not seen in many years. I also have gotten to eat almost all the food that I love and bring back all the food that I miss. In addition, this year I am playing Santa/delivery man and bringing back a lot of things for my friends back in Colombia.

I have missed Jenny a lot since being here but thanks to the magic of technology we have been able to talk almost daily and I have been sending her lots of pictures of Texas and my life here. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say. So I will be excited to get back to Bogota and see her again and get back to normal life. But, before I do that I have the great fortune of having one last short vacation. I am going with my roommate Mark for one week to a city in Colombia, called Cali and while this vacation will just be short, I am excited! It is our first time in this city and it should be fun!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve so we are going down to my grandmother's to send time with her and all my extended family. It will be nice to see everyone again. I will get to eat lots and have some fun. One last blast before I fly out back to Bogota on Christmas Day. It was much cheaper to fly out December 25th! But, I won't actually arrive into Colombia until December 26th due to my enormous layover/stopover in Ft. Lauderdale :( I have no idea what I am going to do for all that time!

Anyway, that is that. Merry Christmas, Happy holidays. Whatever you choose to call it. Happy New Year!

P.S. This year I will ring in my 30th birthday and New Years in Cali!

Friday, November 21, 2014

My almost December Update

So, I figured since it is almost December I would give yall a quick update. We are approaching our American Thanksgiving date here in Bogota! We decided on next Saturday. It will be really nice to be with my friends and hang out and eat! it is gonna be fun! My saturday classes up at work have now ended and I am just working my night classes until I leave for Texas on December 2nd. Not to much longer now! Mark is still in Canada and seems to be doing well up there visiting family and friends, But from what I understand, it is snowing quite a bit up there! (Also in Texas :(   ) Here in Bogota it has been raining and raining and raining! :(  My friend Will from Texas is here visiting me now. I feel bad because I have to work so much while he is here, between both my jobs but we are still having a good time.

Things with Jenny are still going well. We only just started but so far so good. I really like her and somehow she really likes me too ;) I have to renew my visa yet again soon. I have done that process so many times now I can do it in my sleep. But, that still does not make it fun. I am looking forward to my time (3 weeks) back in The States. It will be nice to see everyone again. Friends and Family both. But, I got some sad news yesterday. One of my best friends from Texas moved to San Francisco, so it is going to be quite hard to see him now :( I will miss you Ralfie! My Spanish lessons are still going well, and considering Jenny doesn't speak any English she sure is helping and I am happy for it! I am so glad that I cannot use English as a crutch and I force myself to figure out how to say it in Spanish, one way or another. She is super patient with me. But, after almost 3 years here (I can't believe its been that long!) my Spanish is well beyond "Beginner".

I wish I had more to tell you but I guess that is it. Yall take care now,Tyler

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

It is November already!

Well it has been about two months since I have blogged! Man, I really am getting bad about this now.... Anyway, whats new? I went with my friends a few weeks ago to a little town outside of Bogota, it poured rain and was generally terrible weather but we had a great time. I was really glad to refresh my soul outside of Bogota! All of us gringos even danced in the rain haha. It was a relaxing weekend had by all. I  have not done a whole ton since then really. Just working and working as usual. Trying to save money before I head off to The States in December to see my friends and family again! Pretty excited to have Christmas at home and then return to Colombia after that.

Halloween was fun this year, I dressed up with my friends as part of a human roller coaster. It was a good time. Our costumes did not hold up long but it was still fun. Now we are here in November and it is almost my Dad's 60th birthday. I cannot believe my parents are 60 and I am almost 30! Where does the time go? It seems just like yesterday that I arrived in alone for the first time (on a long term basis) and that was almost 6 years ago now!

I recently met a girl named Jenny and she is a real sweet heart. Things are going well so far. She is Colombian born but lived in Spain for many years and she doesn't speak English (but she can understand more or less) which is exactly what I need! She has really been helping my Spanish and I am really thankful for that! I am still taking my Spanish lessons and they are chugging along. But, now that I can speak Spanish with her on a daily basis it sure is helping me. She is very patient with my Spanish and is always willing to work with me. She is a traveler like me and she has lived in China,Italy,Mexico,Spain and Colombia. We have a lot of common interests!  So far so good :) I look forward to seeing how things will go.

Now I am just gearing up for my American Thanksgiving here with my friends and then Christmas at home! Oh, after I return to Colombia on December 26th I will go almost immediately to Cali (a city in Colombia) for a very famous festival that lasts until the first of the year. I have never been to Cali before and I will be going with Mark (my roommate) Right now Mark is in Canada visiting his family for the first time in 3 years. He will be gone on until mid December then, he will be back in Colombia.

Well I guess that is it for now. Yall take care til next time,Tyler

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A long overdue update

Well today just happens to be Sept 11th 2014 which is always a sad day for me but its been so long since I have blogged I figured I would just go ahead and do it. So, by my count I haven´t blogged in a month or two so I have a lot to catch you up on!

First things first. Way back in July we had the World Cup here in South America (Brazil to be exact) and while I have never been a soccer/futbol fan, just living here in Colombia and being here in the madness was quite an experience! I even bought a Colombian soccer jersey to go along with my Brazilian one that I got as a gift and I watched every single Colombian game. Colombia was missing one of their best players so they already started out at a disadvantage but consider that fact, they did really well! They had one super star (who has now been traded to Spain or something) named James something or other.

He is like 22 years old and he was really pretty amazing! If memory serves, Colombia was eliminated by Brazil in the quarter or semi finals so we got pretty far. Brazil in turn was eliminated and the final two was Argentina against Germany and Germany ended up taking the whole thing. Things have been really bad here in Colombia here in the past so I was just happy to see Colombians happy! There was a spate of violence after the first Colombian game (which we won I might add!) like 10 people died here in Bogota, so after that they banned all alcohol sales on game days which did help cut down on the problems a little bit but, most people just bought alcohol before the ban went into effect and drank at their houses.

After the World Cup Jessica came down here and spent a month with me here in Colombia and we had a good time together then she went back to Texas to start her school year again. Jessica was also still here when my parents came to Colombia for the first time and I got to show them my adopted country. They of course did not like Bogota much because of the traffic and pollution and all the crowds but, I got to take them to the area of Colombia they really liked it there and so did I. It was my first time there.  It was beautiful and peaceful and we didn't have a care in the world. It was so good to share those experiences with them.

So that brings us up to August/September now. Well in August I started back at my University job (in addition to working my internet based classes and a couple of private classes) so needless to say, I have been consumed by work and not doing much else! I have been out of Bogota  couple of times for some weekend trips and had a few relaxing days with friends but mostly just work and more work.

Now that we are in September I have the pleasure of having another friend of mine from New York, here in Colombia! So I am looking forward to showing her around. We haven't seen each other in 4+ years! Oh! I forgot to mention that in between Jessica and my parents both coming down I had the pleasure of hosting my dear cousin Mattie (from my mom´s side) and we had a great time together and I was really happy to show her around as well. She was here in Colombia for a few months doing some volunteer work, and by all accounts she had a great time, or at least I hope she did!

So  yes, in summary, I have been really busy hosting people and showing them around and working working. Today is not only a tough day for me because it is September 11th but because in two days it will be the 11th  anniversary of Therisa´s death. For those of you who know me, you know that it is always hard for me every year. The pain has lessened a bit over the years but it never really goes away. I still think about her and what could have been, quite often. She was so full of potential.

On a happier note, I will be coming home December 2nd thru the 25th of this year! so Texas people, see you not to long from now! Well I guess that is all I have for you now. To be quite frank, I think I wrote enough haha. Yall take care,Tyler

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World Cup Madness!

Well my Lord! it has been quite a while since I have updated my blog! So what has been going on in my life you may ask? Well let me tell you. The last time I blogged I believe I told yall about my parents coming in July. That is still going to happen and I am really excited about that! But, in addition to that, my cousin is coming to stay with me for a week (she arrives tomorrow!) I am super excited to see her because it has been quite some time since I have got to see her face to face. She is here volunteering in Colombia for a few months and I am looking forward to hearing all her stories and sharing mine!

Not only is Mattie coming here (and letting me play tour guide) but also a girl I went to High School with (Jessica) she will be here in a week! I am really excited about her visit because it has been in the works for a long time...It will be her first time to Colombia so I am looking forward to sharing my adopted homeland with her.  So between Mattie,Jessica and my parents I will be a busy man! Also, I just found out that in September a good friend of mine I met in New Zealand, she will be coming down as well! It has only taken almost 2.5 years but everyone is coming all at once now haha! I have so much planned for everyone and I am just hoping I can fit all my plans in and also actually get some work done at the same time!

Well other than all that, I am still teaching my Internet classes (but now my "real" job at the university is on break until July 28th) once everyone gets here I am going to drop all my work (apart from the internet classes) until July 28th though. So I will have a little vacation and lots and lots of family/friend time! It is going to be great! The apartment is still loud with those bars so close but I am just used to the noise by now (and I sleep in earplugs) so really all that is pretty normal.

Here is what is not normal. COLOMBIA IS IN THE WORLD CUP! I will make an honest confession and let you know that for the vast majority of my life I have had zero interest in soccer (even when I played it as a kid haha) but, being here in this country that is SO insanely passionate about soccer or football or whatever you want to call it, it really is quite amazing! Imagine that your city of choice has just won the world/national championships in your sport of choice. Imagine the atmosphere the night of the big win. You know that feeling in America that last maybe 24 hours if you are lucky. Well it is that feeling EVERYDAY here. Now that Colombia has won both of their games so far (3 to 0 against Greece and 2 to 1 against Ivory Coast) the air is thick with more than just pollution! It truly is an amazing place to be during World Cup time. Especially because relatively speaking we are so close to Brazil (where the World Cup is being held) and Colombia was just ranked the most passionate soccer fans on the planet (The USA was last on that list haha)

As I said, I am still not a huge fan of soccer/football but just being here at this time in this atmosphere you just cant help but to get caught up in it and it truly is a great thing to see everyone so happy here, after so many years of the bad stuff from the past. But, Colombia still does have its problems with sport violence. I cannot wrap my head around this, but after the first game against Greece, 10 people around the city were murdered, over 150 people hospitalized and there was over 3000 reported fights along with 250+ traffic accidents and COLOMBIA WON! That is the crazy part! People are regularly killed here for supporting the "wrong" local team (but everyone is united as one for The Colombian National Team!)

Well they threatened to cancel the local championship games a while back (nothing to do with The World Cup) if people kept killing each other. Now with the most recent game against The Ivory Coast (An African country) Colombia won that game and everyone was happy of course! But, the city of Bogota decided to evoke "Ley Seca" (Dry Laws) so no one could drink any alcohol at any bars or clubs in the city. Well I will find out tomorrow if this actually decreased the amount of people killing each other over sport. I sure hope so! For those of you who might think Colombia is full of sport crazed maniacs and I am in constant danger, don't worry! I am not near passionate enough about soccer to get myself in any trouble where I could get hurt. I only support The Colombian National Team anyway. Everyone loves them!

Colombia has 45 million people so there is bound to murders just like anywhere but, Colombia is MUCH safer than before. I would be more afraid to be alone in parts of Dallas then I would be in parts of Bogota. The thing I just can't understand though is why people kill each other over sports. Sure it happens in The States but nowhere near as much as it does here. One death is one to many and there is usually more than one person killed here after a local or national soccer match. Anyway, don't worry I will be fine and it truly is an amazing time to be in this country during The World Cup! I wish Americans could get this passionate about anything! Well ladies and gents, that is the end of my rant.

Yall take care,Ty

Monday, April 21, 2014

Nothing and more Nothing.....

So I don't believe I have blogged at all since our move in day. That has been a while! Well what has been going on? not much really! Our new apartment is really nice on the inside and the only downside is the outside..... unfortunately we are across the street from two bars (wish I would have known that before signing a year contract!) and they are very loud! But, other than that everything is fine and dandy.

I really have slacked off on the blog I know.... But there is just nothing to tell you. I don't write if nothing new happens and lately nothing has really happened. I am no longer "traveling" I am living life and being boring. I am still here doing the same things you are doing, just in a different country and in a different language. I do get restless and think about moving on but really I am not completely unhappy. I do have a specific goal in mind and I really want to accomplish it. In order to accomplish my goal I need to be disciplined enough to get there. That involves being a boring " real adult" for a while so that is what I am doing, as much as I can't stand it!

We just came off our Easter holidays here, which is basically over a week in Colombia where everything shuts down and no one goes to work or does anything haha. As for me, I was sick for almost all of it which really sucked because I didn't get to travel or anything :( But, I did have my internet teaching job going on so I was at least making a little money as opposed to doing completely nothing. I also got to finish almost all of Breaking Bad! I have like 3 episodes left! things are starting to get crazy on that show.... NO SPOILERS!

Also, MY PARENTS ARE COMING IN JULY! I am really excited to get them down here finally! In addition, my little cousin will be living here in Colombia for three months volunteering and I am excited for her! (separate trip from the parents) Well now that I am finally feeling better and back to the grind of work work work I doubt anything else exciting will happen for a while but, if it does I will be sure to keep yall updated.

Yall take care,Ty

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Moving Day

Well Mark and I have officially moved now! We are still in Bogota but transport wise we are about 30 minutes closer to our respective workplaces. Our apartment is brand new and we are the first ones to move in. It is pretty nice but not perfect. There is a few things that need to be fixed but nothing really major.  The biggest problem so far is that we are quite close to a club/bar and it is VERY loud all hours of the night :( But, so far we have only been here during the weekend I am really hoping that during the week the noise won't be so bad. It is really a shame because we didn't know about the noise level before we moved in.

This apartment was so hard to get going thru hoop after hoop and mortgaging pretty much everything we have to get this place. Even Colombians have huge problems getting apartments because there is so much red tape. Here in Colombia the people and/or companies who have apartments and want to rent require you to give them so much "security" up front that is a big deal to even get in an apartment. So once you are actually in it is just such a relief. I really don't think I will be moving again if I can help it.

Due to the fact that we had to pay 3 months rent up front and my boss had to co sign for us AND we had to pay 10% of the value of the contract included with our first month's  rent payment this has been an expensive deal. But now that we are in just because Colombia doesn't have any zoning laws and they can put a loud bar very close to a residential apartment, unfortunately we are just stuck with it. I guess over time I will learn how to sleep with all this noise.

Anyway, you take the good with the bad and we are here and it is a cheaper more central location with more people around and more economical things to see and do. So now that I am basically organized in my room we just have to organize the house. Luckily when we moved in the movers that we got were not SUPER expensive. well that's all I have for you for now.

Yall take care til next time,Tyler

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Feb 2014 News

Well hello there friends :) I just wanted to give yall a little update on my life. There is a time here in Colombia from around November to January where most people here don't work much (if at all) due to Christmas holidays. Due to this fact, I don't get much work teaching in this time obviously so I have to really save my money during the year so that I can survive this two month time not working much. Up until now I have been working "average" teaching hours and making "average" money. The good news is that here recently I have gotten a lot more hours! (Obviously a lot more money as well!) so this is good news for me! Now I don't have to worry so much about money. I am teaching English for my boss still, teaching English via the internet and I am teaching my own personal classes and also a Saturday morning class at a local university here. So obviously that is a lot of  hours but good for me!

In addition Mark and I (My Canadian roommate Mark) we are moving to another apartment in Bogota in another part of the city. So I am excited for our new apartment starting March 1st. We will save a little bit of money on rent and transport costs and get a chance of scenery. So basically I am just here living life as usual. My life is neither SUPER exciting nor super boring. I am just happy and healthy and a lucky guy. You know in my teens I was worried that I would die having had a boring life with no stories to tell. Nothing to REALLY live for. I am so lucky and thankful I can now say with certainty that is not the case.

Also my friend Adrian (who is Irish) he lives in a Colombian city called Bucamanga (Which happens to be one of my favorite cities) he came here to Bogota for a day so it was really nice hanging out with him even if it was just for a bit.

P.S. After 5 years of writing this blog (Some months more posts than other obviously) I have now reached 40,000+ views! Thank you all my readers!!

Yall take care,Tyler 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Update

Well hello dear readers, I want to give you my first real update for 2014. So I told you back in 2013 that it was my plan to move to Medellin and start my Spanish classes soon. So my plan has changed now. I won't be moving to Medellin due to not being able to get an apartment in Medellin and not being able to renew my visa if I leave Bogota. So I am staying in Bogota still working at the same job but in addition I am now teaching English via the Internet and it is going well so far. I am also looking into moving to a new apartment (still here in Bogota) and while I do hate the weather and the traffic here in Bogota now that I am here for another year I am really going to try and make the best of it. Live could be better but it could be much much worse. Spanish classes are still on the plan. That hasn't changed. I just need the time and the money and this year in 2014 I WILL make it happen!

I am now 29 years old (inching closer and closer to 30!) and my old roommate Mark (The Canadian) has moved back in with me and the girls are gone. I had a great Christmas Eve in Texas and my Christmas Day on the plane back to Bogota then I had my birthday,New Years Eve and New years here in Bogota. So I guess to wrap this all up 2014 so far has been pretty nice and I hope it stays that way. This weekend I will be leaving Bogota to go to my bosses farm in a city about two hours away from Bogota for a relaxing weekend there then back to the grind on Monday.

P.S. I know this was short and sweet but really nothing super amazing has happened yet in 2014 so I didn't have much to write. My life just isn't as exciting as it was when I was traveling but I guess you can't have all the excitement all the time and I am still pretty happy.

Yall take care,Tyler

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Welcome to 2014!

Well hello there dear readers. Welcome to 2014! Now Christmas Eve,Christmas,My Birthday,New Years Eve and New Years have passed. So I can officially welcome yall to 2014. I hope that is going to be a great year for all of yall and a great year for me. You know I was just thinking, even though my blogging has become less frequent and more boring as of late, I have been writing this blog since 2009. That is a long time! What great memories I have had so far and I hope I will continue to have. I have been very lucky and very blessed with great family and friends and support from all around the world. I have gotten to see and do so many amazing things all before the age of 30. My lifestyle is not for everyone but I love what I do.

I have some big plans ahead for me in 2014 including a potential move to a new city (still in Colombia) and I have just finished training for a new English teaching job. My big goal for 2014 is to FINALLY start real Spanish classes so that I can really improve my Spanish skills all over instead just speaking the street Spanish as I do. I am looking forward to the new changes in my life. Mark my old roommate from Bogota is coming back after some extended travels so it will be good to be living with him again for a while before I potentially make my big move to my new city in Colombia around March/April time.

All the best to you and yours. Ty

I know this blog was short and sweet but I hope you liked it anyway.