The Mobile TeamSnapper, Part 3: Medellin

The end of month three of remote year is quickly coming to a close and I am shocked at how quickly the days and weeks are flying by. I have spent a total of two months in Colombia (last month in Bogota) and can’t believe I’ll be moving to Lima, Peru soon.

Medellin, Colombia has become my favorite location to date (though I feel like I might say that about each location this year). The weather is incredible—except when it is pouring rain during your first Colombian futbol match. The people and laid back atmosphere really remind me of home in Boulder, Colorado. It’s a pleasant surprise!

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I also enjoyed learning about the history of Colombia. Medellin has a very violent past, but has made incredible strides in a very short period of time to change that mentality. The innovative thinking has given their residents a new outlook on life and the resources to continue to improve. I was able to spend a few hours volunteering and helping serve the homeless and those that need the most help.

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Biggest Win: Running! One of my good friends was headed out on a run this past Sunday and asked if I wanted to join. Medellin has an amazing ciclovia where the roads are closed so the community can easily run or bike. I said I would run for maybe an hour and then head home to nap (nana naps on Sunday are a requirement). Safe to say my competitiveness got the best of me.

We had been running for a bit and were chatting about where my turnaround point was going to be. Naturally I asked how far the ciclovia went, which turned into running until we hit the end, then getting a taxi back. Safe to say the ciclovia goes a long way: 23.5KM later (14.6 miles). I had to throw in the towel. Longest run of my life, to date.

My friend continued on to complete 30KM while I stumbled into the closest McDonalds for two cheeseburgers and a McFlurry before crashing into a two hour long nana nap.

I have a feeling I might need to continue this tradition in the next city 😉

Best Weekend Adventure: Hands down my favorite adventure this month was hiking in the Andes Mountains, which ended with rappelling down a beautiful waterfall. At first I was hesitant to jump because the water was freezing. But once I heard the first person’s enthusiastic reaction, I was sold. The guides gave us a thorough training session complete with words of wisdom: “Keep your head down. You’ll feel like you are drowning but you won’t.” Interesting comments to hear right before climbing over the edge.

All was smooth sailing until I hit the middle section, which involved blindly going down a chute within the actual waterfall. The pouring water over my head plus not knowing what to expect led to a scary and challenging 90 seconds. My motto was go as fast as possible and forget the form. Pretty sure I put my head down and just pulled the rope through as fast as possible and wished for the best. I eventually flew out the other side with a handful of scrapes and bruises from hitting the wall. But at least I didn’t drown!

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Bucket List Item: I have quickly realized that I can’t be exploring and planning awesome side trips every month, as I need to have a normal life and my budget can’t support it 😉 I chose to lay low in Colombia and will do the same next month in Peru. I am saving my energy and funds for a week long vacation in Patagonia in May along with a visit to Mendoza (wine country) in June.

Challenges: This month was my first exposure to crossing roads without stop lights or drivers who care about hitting pedestrians. To be fair, I come from Boulder county, which is very considerate of walkers and bike riders.

For my first day walking to the office, I came across a three lane road during rush hour, without a stop light or crosswalk. I stood there for 10 solid minutes waiting for an opportunity to cross, which never came. I even walked up the street a block or two to see if I could find a better break in traffic. No luck. I decided I had no choice but to chance it. This was my internal dialogue:

“Okay Kelly, you have to get out there and go for it. Surely they will stop for you. Nobody wants to hit a pedestrian. You can do this.

“Here I go, I see a gap and the drivers see me. Wait, do the drivers all see me? I have made eye contact, surely they all see me.

“Nope, not slowing down! I better speed walk, wait, maybe jog. Yep, nobody is going to stop, time to run.”

I since changed my walk to work and went 15 mins out of my way so I could cross at a light. My new path did involve free hugs, thought, which was a big bonus!

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Where I worked: Hands down the best coworking space to date. I worked out of a local space called Atom House. It is a very casual and laid back environment in an old home or perhaps school. The furniture is a unique mix of new and old, which is a nice change of pace from the very corporate office in Bogota. I worked side by side with other local startups as well as many expats. It even had a ping pong table, though my skills aren’t up to par as many in the TeamSnap Boulder HQ can vouch for. (Pretty sure “improve ping pong skills” should go on my annual review!)

Next Stop: Lima, Peru (plus a visit to Colorado for the TeamSnap Company Summit to see my work family, and spend a day with my real family).

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Kelly Lanter is a technical account manager at TeamSnap. When she’s not globetrotting, she enjoys soccer, hiking, CrossFit, coaching kids at the YMCA and playing in adult sports leagues.

If you’d like the freedom to travel the world while you work, check out our careers page. We’re hiring!

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