Bogota Airport is Beautiful… and Misleading

Flying into Bogota Colombia for the first time I passed over beautiful farmland and dramatic mountains on the outskirts of the city.

As we approached the edge of the city I saw clusters of buildings that I assume must have been greenhouses. At least that’s what they looked like from the air but there were many hundreds of them all clustered together like some gigantic commercial greenhouse farming operation.

I didn’t really study the city out the plane’s window since I was involved in conversation but a few glances confirmed what I had read online; that it is a large, densely packed city.

After landing and getting off the plane, my first real impression of Bogota was of its airport. It is beautiful, with lots of marble and stonework. Downright pleasant, as airports go. Except for the line at Immigracion, it was also open and uncrowded.

The city of Bogota is the exact opposite.

Some quick research reveals that, on the whole, Bogota has about the same area and population as New York City. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The central part of Bogota is very densely packed with surrounding areas becoming more and more sparsely populated.

The effect is that Bogota is a very busy, bustling city.

If you like the Big Apple, it’s very likely that you would love Bogota. (The Big Mango? The Giant Coffee Bean?)

For me, Bogota was a terrific place to visit, just like New York makes for a nice day trip, but it wasn’t really my cup of tea as a relocation destination. Big cities just aren’t my thing.

I like living near enough to a city to occasionally enjoy the culture and activities but far enough away to have some serenity and tranquility in my daily life. Since truly big cities have a way of gobbling up their suburbs, what’s perfect for me is to be in a suburb of a more modest-sized city. Small towns can get a bit too sleepy so I also have a minimum size that appeals.

Knowing this about myself is a pretty big deal.

Any of us could consider living in any one of millions of places in the world. Only by zeroing in on our preferences and on what makes us happy can we narrow those options down to a list that is more reasonable.

Since I was only in Bogota for a five day mini-vacation, I made the most of it and enjoyed every day that I was there.

I visited friends, made new friends, saw the sights, explored, sampled the cuisine and the culture and bought lots of souvenirs. I’d certainly visit again. But I wouldn’t live there.

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