Living in Colombia

Playa Blanca Beach, Colombia Jim was a uni classmate who got an expat assignment to Bogota, Colombia in the late 60's. On every trip back to the U.S. he plied us with lively stories about rampant crime, nightlife that started at midnight, and beautiful Colombian women.

Jim's stories were followed by vivid descriptions of lush green mountains, coffee to die for, and picture post card beaches -- and more stories about his current beautiful girl friend.

We all know how uni guys like to brag, so we discounted some of what sounded like hype. Then on a subsequent trip, Jim brought along his girlfriend. I doubt if there was a guy in the room who didn't ask about expat assignments in Colombia the following day.

Despite the daylight robberies and mafia killings, Jim had to be dragged kicking and screaming away from Colombia. Actually, the only things that induced him away was a recent marriage and an assignment to the Philippines.

Modern Era Colombia

Colombia is trying desperately to extricate itself from a nasty civil insurrection and curtail as much international drug trafficking as possible. As well, Colombia has made the Top 10 Reformer Countries list for each of the past three years.

So consider putting Cartagena and Santa Marta on your shortlist. You may also want to take some latin dance classes.

Enroll in a Spanish program, get a great pair of sunglasses and -- taste the coffee!