“Have you ever met a cloud?”

“Have I met who?”

There I was, a few thousand feet in the air casually chatting with Edward and gaping in disbelief at Chicamocha canyon below me. Seeing as the verb conocer means “meet” and “know,” I thought I was in for a science lesson about the different kinds of clouds we could see from under the parachute. Then, a cold gray mist enshrouded us, and we met a cloud.

Meet a cloud: another one of those things that I would check off my bucket list, if I had ever thought to put it on my bucket list in the first place.

Darn those teachers. Not only do they get out of work at 3:00 every day, it’s like they’re always on vacation (second most national bank holidays, holla at me.)

Colombians will talk your ear off about how beautiful and diverse their country is. There are mountains, deserts, lakes, beaches, rivers, forests, plains, valleys and coffee-themed amusement parks. I can’t even think of a geological feature that you can’t find here, and the craziest thing is – it’s all beautiful. I’ve been to several different departments in the country, and I haven’t seen an ugly one so far.

Santander was no exception. Natalie and I bused about seven hours northeast of the capital to a town called San Gil located in this hilly, hot region of banana trees, Spanish moss and vultures. San Gil is known for its extreme sports, and, being such extreme people, we had no choice but to throw ourselves off some cliffs attached to parachutes and pilots. Chicamocha canyon is really, really amazing but I found it hard to comprehend that I was actually suspended over it thanks to some nylon, plastic and aluminum.

We kept our feet on the ground for the rest of our days in Santander, busing to a small colonial town named Barichara the next day and hiking a few miles to Guane, another, smaller colonial town. Colombia’s best sandwiches at Gringo Mike’s, fried fat-bottom ants, exceptional lulo juice, a few hours of tejo (best. sport. ever.) and two pairs of handcrafted sandals later, we tore ourselves away from San Gil’s weather perfection for the second half of our trip.

If our current professional tracks don’t work out, we should probably just be professional vacationers because we are damn good at it.

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