Blog & Life Update From Medellin

It’s hard for me to believe that almost three months have passed since I left the USA to begin living in Medellin, Colombia again.  This also means I’m just three months away from flying back for Christmas.

I use to love backpacking because it always felt as though time slowed down when you were traveling through new countries, however the more time I spend in Medellin, the more normal it feels.

Time is marching forward, and I’ll be celebrating my 34th birthday this Saturday, September 25th.  I’m looking forward to a fun night of salsa dancing.

Medellin Living blog
Redesign of Medellin Living blog

Medellin Living

The last few weeks have been quiet here at Go Backpacking as I’ve been focusing on updating the design of my other blog, Medellin Living, as well as sharing my recent experiences in the City of the Eternal Spring.

If you haven’t been over there yet, here are a few posts to get you started:

I try to ensure a fun mix of content, including:  the nightlife, culture, local festivals, music, finding accommodations for longer stays, tips for finding work as an English teacher, and other highlights from around the country.

Cali Trip

For a mere $72, I’ve booked a 1-way flight on Avianca to Cali, Colombia for September 29th.

Now that I’m settled in Medellin, it’s time to explore some new territory, and Cali is the salsa dancing capital of the country.  I’ll be spending a long weekend there with GB contributor, Troy, and Todd, the co-owner of a new residence called The Art House in Envigado.

Instead of flying back to Medellin with them, I’ll be taking a few short bus rides through the coffee region, which I’ve only heard good things about.  I imagine it will be a relaxing way to unwind after all the partying and late nights that are bound to occur in Cali.

Blogging Projects

Earlier this year, I launched a new site, Travel Blog Success, to help travelers build high quality blogs.

The feedback from members has been overwhelmingly positive, which reinforced my decision last Fall to dedicate 4 months to the project.  Before the end of the year, I intend to revisit and update (as needed) the 12 original lessons, as well as add new content related to social media, press trips, and making money.

In association with this new content, as well as hitting the 100-member mark (which should happen very soon), I intend to increase the price of admission, so if you’ve been on the fence, now is a great time to join!

Travel Blog Success has received rave reviews from many travel blogs, including:

Building a membership site from scratch was an awesome learning experience, and before I left the USA a few months ago, I was throwing around the idea of creating another one on a travel-related topic other than blogging.

Earlier this year, I did some private consulting work for a fellow travel blogger.  It worked out well for both of us, and in the next month or two, I intend to make myself more widely available.

I also have some domain names I bought last year and have yet to develop into websites.  I’ve been thinking more and more about working on them since returning to Colombia. The majority of my online income currently comes from text link sales, and I think it’d be a new challenge to build informative, static sites based on outsourcing the content creation  (and maybe SEO too).

And last year, a friend suggested I write an eBook guide to Medellin.  Given I often get the same questions asked of me via my Medellin blog, Twitter, and email, this idea continues to linger in my mind as well.

A Quick Word About My Online Income

I began blogging in January 2007, and each year, I was able to double my online income.

As of August 2010, I’m actually tripling  my monthly earnings over the same time last year, and can therefore afford to live comfortably in a large South American city of my choice (sweet!).  If you’re curious about how much I earn month to month, I publish regular breakdowns over at Blog to Travel.


Medellin Travel GuideMy 138-page, all-original Medellín Travel Guide is now available for Kindle and PDF.







  1. says

    Hi Dave, glad to see everything is going fine on your side. I wrote a comment to your article “Why I’m moving back to Medellin” a few moths ago because I am a french blogger and I am coming to Medellin in november to spend a few months, I am very happy of this but recently I heard some things about security issues over there, it seems like you are just fine but I wanted to get your opinion.

    • says


      There’s no getting around the fact that the homicide rate in Medellin has been rising year to year since 2008. Most of this is due to gang warfare for control of territory and the drug trade. Colombia’s new President, Santos, appears to be committing more resources to the growing problem in Medellin. I recommend reading for English news about current events in Medellin, and around Colombia.

      Personally, I’ve heard more anecdotes about crime from foreigners this year than last. It has me a little more on edge because the (attempted) robberies are happening in broad daylight, and close to their homes, which are in what I consider to be generally safe neighborhoods.

      Last year, I would’ve said that the crime is not indiscriminate (ie it was mostly gangs fighting each other in the poor neighborhoods, with specific people being targeted), however I wouldn’t say the same thing this year given the stories I’ve heard from friends.

      That said, I’m still living here, as is the Australian guy I know who got stabbed during a robbery, and an American guy who was more recently held up at gunpoint.

      • says

        S***, that doesn’t sound too good man. I just wanna find a quiet place to work during the day and go out at night. Do you know any another place in Colombia that would be safest ?

        • says

          It sounds worse than it is or I wouldn’t still be living here. I want the same thing you do, and I’ve got it now with my new apartment.

          The reality is that every city in Colombia, big and small, is going to have crime. You’ll have no reason to travel to the bad parts of the city where most of the crime occurs. I’d recommend to anyone that they pick the city they want to live in based on other factors first.

          I still believe Medellin is a beautiful place to live….I’m just a little more careful now.

  2. says

    Thanks for your feedback Dave, you know I have already been to Mexico and Venezuela and I speak spanish, but I just don’t want to take too much risks, and foreigners being attacked in broad daylight in good neighborhoods is not acceptable to me.

    I’ve been waiting to go to colombia for a few years and I already bought my ticket so now I am trying to find a solution to have a good time and enjoy my stay.

    Plus, my mom is coming to visit me in january for a few weeks, s**t !

    • says

      Seriously, I’m sure you’ll be absolutely fine during your stay!

      My travel blogger friend Christine from recently visited for 2 months with her husband and 5-month old baby, and they didn’t have any trouble! They were walking all over the cities using a video camera worth several thousand dollars! They spent 3 weeks in Bogota, 3 weeks in Medellin, and 2 weeks in Cartagena.

      Here’s Christine’s thoughts on Bogota:

      • says

        Don’t worry Dave, I love travelling and I bought my plane ticket already so I’m coming no matter what ! I am having dinner with a colombian friend of mine in Paris we’ll talk about this, plus I’ll keep gathering info. Do you know if it’s possible to rent an appartment in Medellin for like two months ? How much would it cost ? Sorry to bother you but the thing is I’ve been travelling in central europe this summer and I have enough of working in youth hostels :)

        • says

          I haven’t looked into renting an apartment myself, as I think most are unfurnished. Instead, there are a bunch of new places where you can rent a room in a small house or apartment. I think it’s the best deal going for short-term rentals…1 or 2 months. Definitely beats living in a hostel!

          Here are a few URL’s –

          International House Medellin (I rented a room here for 1 month – $330/month includes utilities) –

          Art House (opened by An Aussie and American friend a month or so ago, prices on website) –

          There’s another house similar to the Art House a few blocks away, but can’t recall the name.

          You can also try searching on

  3. says

    The hardest part about coming to Medellin is leaving again. an enchanting city that draws yo in more everytime you come back. I get goose bumps flying back to Medellin, a rush very few cities in the world create for me.

    • says

      Hey Rich, I feel the same way about Medellin….obviously. And I’m having more and more fun talking to paisas as my Spanish improves.

  4. James says

    The city of eternal spring! Can’t wait for next summer para la feria de las flores y mas. Fortunately just a quick 3 hour flight from MIA.

  5. Kasey Mcnish says

    I just couldnt leave your website before telling you that I really enjoyed the quality information you offer to your visitors? Will be back often to check up on new posts

  6. says

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  7. Estelle Forslin says

    I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

  8. says

    There must be something very exciting in Medellin… I read about so many travel writers who’ve moved or have traveled to Medelling. I can’t imagine what’s so magnetic about it.
    But you can guess: I wanna go too and find out!
    So that others can wonder even more: “Hey, what’s so exciting in Medellin?”
    Traveling is contagious :)

  9. says

    We are trying to find a place to live for a little while between traveling, debating between SEA and South America. We spent some time in Salento and loved it, but I think it might be too small to stay for more than a month. You make Medellin sound tempting!

  10. says

    thank you for th article,i was looking for a great place to land for the summer.maybe i will consider medellin.thanks for the inspiration.

  11. says

    Thanks for this post. I’ve already been to Medellin and got some friends there, but it’s always nice to read new things about it that make one want to visit it again.

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