Barranquilla, a city on the Northern coast of Colombia, has the second largest celebration of Carnival in the world, after Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Carnival is a celebration that began in the 1700s in European Roman Catholic countries as a way for people to get all the devious deeds and vices out of their systems before the start of Lent. Today, it is a worldwide celebration that consists of three days of parades, intense partying, costumes, and lots and lots of alcohol. We have our own version of it in the United States, called Mardi Gras. I have always wanted to go to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro but I wouldn’t be traveling to Brazil on this trip. I decided to go with the next best destination of Barranquilla, Colombia.
While traveling in Mexico, prior to Colombia, I met a woman from Austria named Hedi. She was interested in joining me for Carnival in Colombia. Also, I had recently reconnected with a friend from high school, Evan. We hadn’t seen each other in over 10 years. We met up at our 10-year high school reunion. I told him my plan to head to Carnival in Barranquilla and he decided he would join me, along with his friend Ben, who had already been to Colombia many times. So, now as a group of four, we joyously coordinated our plans to meet in Barranquilla for Carnival.