Would You Accept A Free Trip To Colombia?

by Dave on August 19, 2009 · 92 comments

I’m not going to get all sentimental on you, at least not for long. By now you know how I feel about Colombia, and Medellin in particular.  Since arriving back in Virginia four weeks ago, I can’t help but compare everything here to what I left behind – the climate, the geography, the people, the pace of life, the music, the nightlife, my gym.

So imagine my surprise when I am contacted with an offer to  go on a fully paid 2-week trip back to Colombia the day after my 33rd birthday, September 26.  The purpose would be to tour the country’s best sights and blog about it.  Seriously?  I couldn’t make this kind of an offer up if I tried!  And there is more I’m not quite ready to share yet as I’m awaiting the details, but let’s just say if you liked my $25 Amazon.com giveaway, you’ll LOVE what is coming next!

This opportunity reminds me of a post I wrote back in 2007, Would You Accept A Sponsored Trip Around the World, about the Travel Channel’s then new show – 1,001 Things To See Before You Die.

Looking back at the comments on that post, both from myself and guys who’ve really blown up in the online travel world the last few years – Mike of Vagabondish, Ian MacKenzie of Brave New Traveler, and Dan at Voyagner, it is ironic to find myself actually in the situation we were debating before my RTW trip!

In case you were wondering whether I’d accept a sponsored RTW trip, here’s what I thought back in April 2007:

What would I do, you ask? I’d like to think, deep down, that I would have the strength to decline the offer, in favor of doing it myself. Now, after the first RTW trip is completed, all bets are off!

At this time, I can honestly say I feel completely congruent by accepting the opportunity before me.  And I look forward to sharing every exciting aspect of it with you!

Would you accept a sponsored trip to Colombia?

Please leave a comment, retweet this post, Digg it, or hit StumbleUpon and let’s get the debate going!

About the Author:

is the author of 1702 posts on Go Backpacking.

Dave is Editor and Founder of Go Backpacking and Medellin Living, and the Co-founder of Travel Blog Success. Follow him on Twitter @rtwdave or Google+

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92 Comments

Stu August 20, 2009 at 8:46 am

I could pass up on a free trip right now ;) We are expecting little boy 32 in november and there is much to be done (Like saving for my wifes unpaid maternity leave)…

tempting but obligations take precedence :/

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Shree August 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Who can pass up on a free trip ?? Not me….i would go away in a heartbeat. Leaving my husband and 3 kids to fend for themselves…

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Shree August 20, 2009 at 8:42 am

Who can pass up on a free trip ?? Not me….i would go away in a heartbeat. Leaving my husband and 3 kids to fend for themselves…

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Krista August 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I’d accept it if I felt I had enough space to design my own itinerary and that I could get away from any scripted bits on a very regular basis. I think any PR organization needs to be confident enough in their product to give you some leeway.

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Krista August 20, 2009 at 8:54 am

I’d accept it if I felt I had enough space to design my own itinerary and that I could get away from any scripted bits on a very regular basis. I think any PR organization needs to be confident enough in their product to give you some leeway.

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crambox August 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Dave if my life was like yours of course I would, but once you throw kids and a full time job its hard to say yes I hope you take it thats so cool good luck.

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crambox August 20, 2009 at 9:18 am

Dave if my life was like yours of course I would, but once you throw kids and a full time job its hard to say yes I hope you take it thats so cool good luck.

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Mike August 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Krista. If you’re locked into someone else’s schedule of what you’re going to do every hour of every day, why bother going?

I have a feeling Dave would never accept such an offer though.

Best of luck with it, Dave!

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Mike August 20, 2009 at 9:19 am

I couldn’t agree more, Krista. If you’re locked into someone else’s schedule of what you’re going to do every hour of every day, why bother going?

I have a feeling Dave would never accept such an offer though.

Best of luck with it, Dave!

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lauren August 20, 2009 at 2:43 pm

i have pretty similar feelings about colombia, and medellin (who doesn’t though, really?). i think it’d be kinda fascinating to go a PR trip through colombia. you’ll certainly see another side or it…

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lauren August 20, 2009 at 9:43 am

i have pretty similar feelings about colombia, and medellin (who doesn’t though, really?). i think it’d be kinda fascinating to go a PR trip through colombia. you’ll certainly see another side or it…

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JHS August 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

The answer is “yes, for sure”. Nevertheless, if you don’t take it, please count on me to replace you.
If you take it, I will be expecting a fantastic detailed coverage about every place you and food that you try.

Are you taking it or I have to start preparing my bag?

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JHS August 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

The answer is “yes, for sure”. Nevertheless, if you don’t take it, please count on me to replace you.
If you take it, I will be expecting a fantastic detailed coverage about every place you and food that you try.

Are you taking it or I have to start preparing my bag?

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Dennis August 20, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Dave… I just got back from a (mostly) free trip to Colombia with four other journalists and I loved (almost) every minute of it! I only got to stay a week and I wish I would have had more time to explore Colombia’s many charms, so I’m jealous!
The people who sponsored our trip did give us a lot of flexibility in what we did and tried to accommodate our various desires as best they could. We had a fair amount of time to ourselves (part of which I used to get lost in Cartagena at night).
I fell in love with Medellin immediately. As the great photo at the top of the page shows, it has a spectacular setting and it’s a city working hard to overcome its violent past. I felt perfectly safe there and everywhere I went in Colombia.
Can’t wait to read your posts… best wishes for a great trip!

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Dennis August 20, 2009 at 10:50 am

Dave… I just got back from a (mostly) free trip to Colombia with four other journalists and I loved (almost) every minute of it! I only got to stay a week and I wish I would have had more time to explore Colombia’s many charms, so I’m jealous!
The people who sponsored our trip did give us a lot of flexibility in what we did and tried to accommodate our various desires as best they could. We had a fair amount of time to ourselves (part of which I used to get lost in Cartagena at night).
I fell in love with Medellin immediately. As the great photo at the top of the page shows, it has a spectacular setting and it’s a city working hard to overcome its violent past. I felt perfectly safe there and everywhere I went in Colombia.
Can’t wait to read your posts… best wishes for a great trip!

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Stu August 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I could pass up on a free trip right now ;) We are expecting little boy 32 in november and there is much to be done (Like saving for my wifes unpaid maternity leave)…

tempting but obligations take precedence :/

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Lol, clearly we’re kindred spirits Shree.

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Lol, clearly we’re kindred spirits Shree.

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Congrats Stu – that’s awesome news!

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Congrats Stu – that’s awesome news!

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Good point Krista. Since this is my first experience with such travel, I’m probably going into it on the naive side, but I have a good feeling that it’s going to be a cool project when all is said and done. Hope you’ll continue to follow!

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Good point Krista. Since this is my first experience with such travel, I’m probably going into it on the naive side, but I have a good feeling that it’s going to be a cool project when all is said and done. Hope you’ll continue to follow!

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I’m too naive to be jaded about the inner workings of PR and the tourism industry! I think once I can share more details, it’ll show this isn’t your average travel junket. :)

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I’m too naive to be jaded about the inner workings of PR and the tourism industry! I think once I can share more details, it’ll show this isn’t your average travel junket. :)

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Right – all the sides I was too tired to see when I was there earlier in the year! The tropical beaches of Parque Tayrona, islands off Cartagena, snow-capped volcanoes, and maybe even my first glimpse of the Amazon jungle!

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Right – all the sides I was too tired to see when I was there earlier in the year! The tropical beaches of Parque Tayrona, islands off Cartagena, snow-capped volcanoes, and maybe even my first glimpse of the Amazon jungle!

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I’m absolutely taking it! I’m glad you’ll stick around for my riveting coverage of a country I couldn’t be more excited to further explore. :)

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I’m absolutely taking it! I’m glad you’ll stick around for my riveting coverage of a country I couldn’t be more excited to further explore. :)

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Hola Dennis – thanks for sharing your experience. I’m really excited to be part of this project, and I hope to share more details soon. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to write about.

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Dave August 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Hola Dennis – thanks for sharing your experience. I’m really excited to be part of this project, and I hope to share more details soon. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to write about.

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Gurran August 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Yes and Yes!

Some opportunities, you just can’t pass up. You are living the dream, man!

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Gurran August 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Yes and Yes!

Some opportunities, you just can’t pass up. You are living the dream, man!

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Erin August 20, 2009 at 6:36 pm

You only live once! As I sit in my cube and long for my next adventure, I’ll live vicariously through your tales!

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Erin August 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm

You only live once! As I sit in my cube and long for my next adventure, I’ll live vicariously through your tales!

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Gurran August 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

I too am a cube dweller and this website has been a good friend of mine the past couple of years.

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Gurran August 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I too am a cube dweller and this website has been a good friend of mine the past couple of years.

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Wally August 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Is this one of those free trips to Colombia where you have to carry their bags across the border? I smell a new Locked Up Abroad show brewing.

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Wally August 20, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Is this one of those free trips to Colombia where you have to carry their bags across the border? I smell a new Locked Up Abroad show brewing.

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Andi August 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I don’t know if I could be friends with someone who could turn this oppurtunity down. I LOVE Colombia. What a country!!! I sure hope you take this oppurtunity! :)

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Andi August 21, 2009 at 2:58 am

I don’t know if I could be friends with someone who could turn this oppurtunity down. I LOVE Colombia. What a country!!! I sure hope you take this oppurtunity! :)

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Chris August 21, 2009 at 7:47 am

Free?!?! Just about anything FREE and I am in! Haha, congrats Dave! I will be looking for some new awesome posts about Columbia!

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Chris August 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Free?!?! Just about anything FREE and I am in! Haha, congrats Dave! I will be looking for some new awesome posts about Columbia!

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CS August 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Of course. I’d accept a free trip to Newark….and I don’t even like Newark…hahaha!

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CS August 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

Of course. I’d accept a free trip to Newark….and I don’t even like Newark…hahaha!

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Ivan August 21, 2009 at 11:11 am

Seems like yet another interesting way to experience travelling. Like it or not, it’s two weeks and you’re going to have a load of amazing stories.

Congratulations on the offer and good luck with the travels.

Cheers,
Ivan

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TravMonkey August 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Hi Dave,

That’s brilliant news!

How come you decline? I’d certainly take the offer and enjoy writing about it. How many people get that opportunity!

Paul @
TravMonkey.com

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TravMonkey August 21, 2009 at 11:45 am

Hi Dave,

That’s brilliant news!

How come you decline? I’d certainly take the offer and enjoy writing about it. How many people get that opportunity!

Paul @
TravMonkey.com

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Ivan August 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Seems like yet another interesting way to experience travelling. Like it or not, it’s two weeks and you’re going to have a load of amazing stories.

Congratulations on the offer and good luck with the travels.

Cheers,
Ivan

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Anil August 21, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Yes, yes, and yes.

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Anil August 21, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Yes, yes, and yes.

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