This isn’t a comprehensive guide to Tayrona National Park, it’s the personal journey entries I took while camping. Forced to be with nature, away from wifi, lost in the jungle with only a book and a journal. The following are entries from the three days we hiked in Tayrona. Words spilled out of me, I thought I’d share. Enjoy!
Well, getting to Tayrona was an absolute nightmare. Hiking in the jungle is so beautiful at first then the beauty fades and you can’t stop sweating and realize how heavy your bags are. Then your boyfriend is 15 steps ahead of you rolling his eyes at how slow you are while you yell at him to stop being a goddamn mountain lion. It’s all so great. I love hiking. I love camping. Fifty percent of the time. The other fifty percent, I’m tired, hot, or hungry. Or all three.
I realize more and more how much of a complainer I am. To be fair, traveling is a test of sanity and patience. I’ve failed both tests on too many occasions to count. And yes, here I am. Snapping a picture of the beautiful ass beach in between my temper tantrums.
After the sun went down, we grabbed our headlamps and headed for the beach. There’s only one other time in my life where I remember seeing the stars so clearly. In Bolivia, in the middle of the night submerged in a natural hot spring. It is such a romantic site. And breathtaking. To see the stars so vividly. I hugged Darien tightly and thanked the Universe for this moment.
I know I say this in literally every single one of my posts, but damn. This place is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’m from Iowa. I’m not used to camping on beaches or tropical weather. And palm trees. I still get excited every time I see a palm tree.
I was reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic last night. It talked about how you pick something to do with your life that you can deal with the “shit sandwich.” It made me laugh. I eat so many shit sandwiches and I love writing about the shit sandwiches that I eat. She’s talking about the not-so-good things that come along with what you love doing. I love traveling so much that I will get a million mosquito bites, squeeze myself on hot uncomfortable buses, risk getting all of my things stolen. Before entering Colombia, I read that police might be corrupt and steal your money or valuables. Yesterday at the camp site, someone got all their money and credit cards taken. Complete nightmare. For me, the risk is worth the reward. It might seem like I complain a lot but I’m just sharing my shit sandwiches with you. You’re welcome.
Those few seconds of staring up at the stars last night on the beach; those seconds are the reason why I travel. The moments were I lose my breath. I feel small. I realize the world does not revolve around me. I’m humbled. I need those experiences in my life.
It rained last night. We barely slept. In the middle of the night, I woke up frantically believing someone stole all of our things. Everything was there. Darien said calmly, “Babe. I’ve been awake this whole time. No one stole our things.”
As all of our things were getting wet, I promised Darien we could leave the following day. We originally planned to maybe stay three nights, but it was more of an open plan, feel it out when we get there. I suggested three nights before realizing it was Darien’s first time camping. First time camping in a tent. First time camping in a tent in the jungle. FYI, two nights is perfect for a “first time camping experience in a tent in the jungle.”
The hike back was about 2 hours. It was easy! Maybe because we accidently took the horse route. We followed the horse poop trail and said hi to horse friends along the way. It added 10 to 15 minutes to our hike at most, it was nice to see a different view.
We got to the end and I could have cried. I love the feeling of accomplishing a hike and more importantly, I love the food at the end of the hike.
I must say Tayrona National Park was probably my favorite tourist spot in Colombia! It has some of the most beautiful views I’ve seen in my life. It was also so refreshing to get away from wifi and the city for a bit. And as far as camping goes, Tayrona is pretty much an all inclusive (without getting everything free lol). You don’t have to bring your own tent or food if you don’t want. The hiking trails are great and easy to be honest, the hiking is the easiest part! It’s the heat and bugs you have to be careful about.
I posted the beautiful photos and received an overwhelming response. I felt a bit unauthentic. I never want you to believe my life is perfect. The park was absolutely breathtaking but the photos didn’t include the fights Darien and I got into or the 100 mosquito bites on my legs. My smelly unshaven armpits. My sun burnt skin and aching back. You missed the bickering. The stress. The sadness. A whole lot of shit sandwiches. With that said, I cherish every single experience. I am forever grateful for the ups and the downs. I don’t want to scare anyone away from traveling. I hope to inspire others to break out of their normal routines and see a part of the world. Also, know that there are multiple ways in seeing the world. I have humbly chosen the poor, adventurous route because I am far too impatient to wait for wealth to see the other side of the world.
The reality is we are all on our own journey. My journey is different from yours. Neither one is perfect. Thank you for being a part of mine. For reading about my truth and shit sandwiches. ❤
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