I spent the last month in both Paris and Colombia.

In Colombia I was a victim of violent crime in a “safe” area of the country. With a gun to my head, I lost my passport and all of my possessions, along with a large part of my faith in travel and in humanity. The days that followed were some of the darkest of my life.

Mere days earlier I was feeling all too light in the City of Light — my happy place, my beacon of beauty, a place that brings light to my eyes and fire to my soul. I return to Paris as often as possible — but not too often, for I yearn to experience more of the world. I know that the globe is far from being full of pastries and side streets, pungent cheeses and cute cafes.

With that in mind, I booked a ticket to Colombia — partly due to the recommendations of other travelers, partly to give a previously ‘no-go’ destination a chance.  I was confident, I was comfortable, I was fearless.

I wanted to experience the “real” Colombia. I believe, sadly, that is exactly  what I got. Never could I have imagined I’d be part of a bus hijacking. Never did I think I’d actually be faced with a moment in which my life could have ended, just because I was traveling there.

It was my first time in South America.

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