A Story of an Egyptian living in Medellin

sherif

My name is Sherif Sami, and

this question can’t be answered in a few sentences; it requires infinite pages of non-stop writing, which makes me sad because I really want to share all of my feelings regarding this wonderful city. I am an Egyptian national who left everything behind: A high paying stable job, my family and friends; all so I could travel to the other side of the world to experience and spend the rest of my life here in Medellin. I’ve travelled to 24 countries encompassing every continent, and I can honestly say that no other city can compare with Medellin. In Medellin, things just get better and better every day.

parque lleras

In the city of the “Eternal Spring”

The weather is always beautiful and I’m surrounded by greenery everywhere. The local people (Paisas) are nice, outgoing, helpful, talkative, relaxed, friendly and hard working.

The one “downside” to all of this and that is that punctuality and being time in the Paisa culture is non-existent. Paisas are so relaxed that they never worry about time. For those visiting Medellin for the first time this can be a source of great headache or joy.  If you are from the U.S., Europe or the Middle East, things might seem like they are moving in slow motion with no one having a sense of urgency.  For some, this is a perfect mindset and lifestyle, for others who waiting 2 hours in line at the bank or supermarket it can be extremely mind-numbing and frustrating. With paisa culture, this is just how you live and they never seem to be bothered by it.

For me, as a city, Medellin is a combination of the Middle East and Western Europe.

Paisa traits and characteristics are very similar to the Middle East in a sense that the people here are fun to be around, outgoing, relaxed, family-oriented, enjoy going out with friends, and don’t follow the rules by the book like robots. On the other hand, they are similar to Europeans in terms of cleanliness, order, quality of life/standard of living, and have well organized governmental, infrastructure and educational systems.

When I look back at the year I spent living in Barcelona, I realize that I never felt as connected to the city as I do towards Medellin. The energy that radiates from the city and its people is indescribable.  I had heard that any city in a valley between two mountains would have a positive energy and now I can wholeheartedly attest to that. In addition, Medellin is an inexpensive city to live in when balancing the quality of life against what you will experience in return.  I plan to get married and raise my family here. I honestly can’t see myself ever leaving this beautiful city.

festival-of-lights-parquepoblado

I met my girlfriend here at a local festival.

I was instantly drawn to her, so I had to go introduce myself and start a conversation. We talked for hours and shortly thereafter we became a couple. We have been together for a while now and even traveled to Peru together. Everything is perfect with her. In my experience, Colombian women in general are the kind of girls you always would want to be around. They are full of life but sometimes can be a bit dramatic.

For those with spiritual minds and souls, you will hear that Peru is the place to visit if you want to try Ayahuasca. However, I strongly disagree with this premise. Medellin has the same shamanic medicine but here it is called YAGE.  It has the  same effect as Ayahuasca with a similar if not better overall experience. There are regular YAGE retreats/excursions to Santa Elena which is 40 minutes away from Medellin and on located the high side of the mountain. For me, it’s my favorite place and one of my favorite activities.

If you have the entrepreneur spirit, the potential for creating great things and staring a business here is unlimited. Medellin is growing, tourism is flourishing, bureaucracy and taxes are low when compared to other western cities, so now is the time to be here and make that fresh start.

 

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