How to Have the Best Vacation of Your Life in Medellin Our Local Insiders Share the Best Strategies to Overcome Kids, Work, Scheduling and More!

Hey there vacationer. It’s time for a vacation. Are you ready to break from the norm and escape from all the drudgery at work, so you can truly get refreshed and renew your excitement for life, while enjoying one of the best year-round climates in the world? Are you ready for world class food, nightlife that never ends and a city whose adventures stretch out beyond the edges of your wildest imagination?

No matter what way you’re leaning, aren’t you looking forward to a little YOU time?

Maybe now–just maybe–you’ll finally get a chance to read the novel you’ve been keeping on the bedstand… or could you stand getting so busy you never even have a moment to glance at that book! Wherever your preferences, we’re going to show you the amazing conditions in Medellin, Colombia where all these amazing elements come together to deliver more and more each and every year a phenomenal, unforgettable vacation experience!

Exclusive Bonus: Download our Complete 7 Day Guide to Medellin. Let this be your excuse to practice more Spanish and create some incredible memories

Why is Medellin so perfect for you as a vacation spot? Well, before we get to the innumerable benefits, it’s good to clearly define the problem. Here’s what our research tells us:

Most of us look forward to vacation and we fantasize about languid days and long, slow dinners that start with cocktails sipped on the back porch. But that is, for most of us, little more than an idle daydream, not a reality. Summer seems to go by faster every year. Before we turn around, it’s September, and we haven’t done anything or gone anywhere.

Which leads me to point #1: vacationing inside your country leads to seeing vacation as not a travel event at all, and ultimately just time spent doing nothing. Going somewhere is, in ways, work. So, wanting to escape work it can be a challenge to get planning. In Medellin, we’re all about making it easy to be here. For instance, you can get set up with a house or apartment, fully-equipped for your pleasure, right here.

What About the Kids?

Oh, I know, we’re all complaining about how kids are coddled these days and how hard we used to work bagging groceries at the little store down the street instead of being sent off to camp for two full months; but in case you haven’t noticed, it’s really hard work being a kid these days.

Home from camp, youngsters have to get started on all of the summer homework they’ve ignored till now (whose smart idea was that, by the way?), and of course parents have to nag them to do it. It’s also time to buy clothes and school supplies, and generally ramp up for the school year. But who needs little ones to remind us of the  rhythm of school years? With or without them, most of us begin to rev up our motors as September approaches, as though the three designated months of summer actually provided us with any really significant down time.

Remember back when you didn’t have kids and you planned to travel with them, to faraway places? Since Medellin is only a three hour flight from Florida, it’s become easier than ever to put the little one(s) on a plane and bring them a week of education and renewal like nothing their grade school teacher can “learn” them in a book.

But here’s the thing. You’re not just doing this for them, or just for you. We really do all need some time to rest and relax. Our psychological and emotional engines need a non-working period to cool off. David Ogilvy, the king of early advertising theory, says it in his classic book Confessions of an Advertising Man — creative juices flow better when we are giving our brains and our bodies time to rest and rejuvenate.

And it can’t be in your regular environment, and it shouldn’t be local. Your sweet spot is the Southern continent, in a metropolitan city called Medellin…

Here are some simple suggestions to make the summer (and maybe the rest of the year, too) a little more relaxing:

1 – Daydream about your upcoming vacation to Medellin all you want; but then get real. The more planning and organizing you do ahead of time, the more you can relax when the time comes, and just enjoy being here.

2 – Having organized and planned as much as you can, now you have to remember that these plans are not written on tablets a guy named Moses got on the mountain. They can and should be changed, altered, even ignored. If you planned one day to go hiking through the Amazon, or go to Medellin’s award-winning zoo, but the day is so hot that you can’t stand to be out in it, don’t go.

The point of a vacation is to let go of all of the rules and stressors of the rest of your life. Go to the movies instead. Sleep late. Get your nails done.

3 – Don’t beat up on yourself or your travel partners when (notice, I say when, not if) things don’t go exactly as you thought. I did say to plan and organize; but once everything is set out, try to think of it as an outline, not a requirement (see number 2 above). And remember that it doesn’t make you a bad person if you aren’t doing what you thought you were going to do, and it doesn’t make your partner, child, husband, or friend bad if they aren’t doing what you thought they were going to do.

And another thing, the weather is always good here, so don’t feel like you’re missing anything, if you just need a day.

4 – Remember, travel can be stressful on it’s own. If you are traveling, make time to just de-stress. Because I live in an apartment in Medellin that is extremely well-situated for visiting the city, I frequently have friends and family visiting (I don’t flatter myself that it is me they’ve come to see!). I tell all my visitors, “You can’t see everything there is to see in a single trip. You will have a much better time if you select a few things to do and plan to come back again! You will also have a better time if you come back to the apartment to rest sometime during every day.

Why stay in a Medellin hotel, when you can stay in a home, for as much as 35% less? Read More

Nobody can go-go-go every minute without wearing themselves out. It’s better to take it a little easy – just sit in our living room, have a cup of tea, and listen to the sounds of the city. And then when you go home, you won’t need time to recover from your vacation.”

5 – If you are traveling with another person or a group, whether they are friends, family or strangers, make some time to be by yourself! Travel can be stressful (am I repeating myself? Of course, but for a good reason – we all too often imagine trips without taking this into account – which leads to disappointment, frustration and, of course, a failure to relax). Time alone, just to veg out, to sleep, or to actually read a couple of pages of that book! – can help you cope better.

6 – Eat regularly. I can’t say this enough. Our daily schedule, as hectic as it may be, is something we use to structure ourselves. And structure makes us comfortable. When we loosen the structure, we also loosen our habits, and we often end up eating too much or too little. Pay attention. It’s not fun to get home feeling fat and bloated, but neither is it fun to be always hungry and uncomfortable. I take snack foods with me on any trip, short or long, so that I can have something to nibble on while I’m waiting for the restaurants to open or my travel partners to get hungry. Nabs, nuts, dried fruit, and a large dark chocolate bar are part of my standard traveling equipment. Sometimes they come home again; but often they have had to be replaced along the way. Far from making me gain weight, they work to help curb my appetite and keep me eating regularly when my schedule is thrown off by too much fun!

Medellin is known for it’s street foods. Get the inside scoop with this FREE travel guide, right here.

Exclusive Bonus: Download our Complete 7 Day Guide to Medellin. Let this be your excuse to practice more Spanish and create some incredible memories

7 – Get enough sleep. This one, too, is crucial. You can’t party every night and sightsee every day without damaging your equilibrium. And the point of a vacation is to do the exact opposite – to restore your sanity, right? So make sure that you get your regular quota of sleep, even if you’re just hanging out all day.

8 – And speaking of hanging out, get at least a little bit of exercise every day. If you want a low key activity, try Medellin’s parks for walking. Your body and mind will both benefit from it. And so will your spirit. I’m not talking about playing tennis or running every day, if that’s not your thing. Walking through a new city is a great workout. But suntanning isn’t. Neither is sitting in a sightseeing bus or spending hours in a car. If that’s what you’re doing on this vacation, make sure that you get out and stretch a little and walk a little. Take a bike ride if you can (and if it appeals to you). Go for a short swim. Nothing major. Just get the blood flowing through your muscles and brain, and you’ll feel more rested when you get home!

9 – And finally, remember that vacations are just short blips on the screen of our lives. We daydream about them for a lot longer than we actually live them. My mother used to say that she got a lot more pleasure planning any trip than she did actually being on it, and although my brothers and I took it personally when we were young, I understand very well what she meant now that I am an adult.

A huge part of the function of vacations is to provide us with daydreams about being out of the stress of our daily lives. But the reality of vacations is seldom exactly what we imagined. Try to remember that that’s how it’s supposed to be. Enjoy the time as much as you can, but don’t expect perfection. And when you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or just unhappy during your vacation, let yourself daydream about how relaxing and comforting it will be to be back in your regular day to day routine!

Plan a vacation worth day-dreaming about, right here.

 

Andrew Campion

This might be my quick "bio" but I want one thing to be crystal clear: this site is all about YOU! It’s my singular mission here at Medellin Lifestyle to report on and create awesome stuff that’s really helpful, insightful, to the point and makes your time (or potential time) in Medellin better. Since 2006 I've been investing in and helping others–from digital nomads to retirees and expats of all stripes–transition here to lead wonderful lives in my favorite city in the world!