Can history be bequeathed? Can moments and a life be passed on to your descendants? Is it possible that we do not only inherit physical traits – the colour of your eyes, the shape of my earlobe – but also feelings in a certain situation, preferences towards lifestyles? Can you have a country running in your veins?
It is a long journey. Over 12 hours of flights, us waiting in crowded airport halls, taking trains to the destination of departure. But it is worth it.
Just like last time (2008) I feel a mix of overwhelming emotions. Incredulity towards the history of this country and how deeply my family is connected to it. Incredible wanderlust and I am eager to explore. Weariness and exhaustion from the long journey.
The sensations hit me like arrows. The language, the smells, the sounds, it all feels familiar.
We spend our first days in Taganga, a tiny fishermen’s village near the Parque Tayrona, north of Santa Marta.
The bus drive takes a few hours, but we listen to colombian music and take pictures. I smile. We get lost on our way, but we trust the driver of the bus. Eventually we find the village.
None of us has ever been exactly here, but Mum remembers the beach nearby, where we will have to go by boat on the second day. We find out that only three families live in the whole village. The hotel is new and our room has the nicest view. We eat the typical food for lunch: arroz con coco y pollo. I spot a mother with two girls. I think to myself that they look beautiful and happy. My mum plays with the little boy, Filipe, that is running around our table. He smiles. My mum is happy. My cousins notices and points it out to the family. Everyone laughs. There is a festival going on in honour of the virgin of the sea. People laugh and dance and take their fisherboats out on the open sea in order to celebrate. The boats are decorated with balloons and flowers in various colours.
The next morning I wake up early, because of the jetlag. My cousin next to me is still asleep while the other one is reading. I take a photo. I smile, because I like the view out of the window. We eat breakfast on the rooftop terrace. Fruit, freshly pressed juice, eggs and toast. It tastes like my memories. My cousin and I decide to explore the hotel and take pictures on the highest rooftop possible. I take selfportraits and I hear her laughing out loud. I feel tired but I want to get better.
In the afternoon we go on a walk around the village. We will end up fighting about the choice of the restaurant for dinner, but no one knows it yet. I want to buy a mochila and a lot of bracelets but I can’t find any pretty ones. Not yet. My cousins take pictures with colombian tourists and we get shouted at by guys. My parents talk to the locals and my cousins complain that my aunts and uncles look like tourists. I nod but I don’t agree. I feel intimidated by the thought of taking pictures of strangers but I do it anyway, because they smile for the camera.
I leave Taganga in peace.