Of all the destinations on my list, my parents were most concerned about Colombia. Not without reason, but I heard so many good stories about Colombia from fellow travelers that I was determined to go… And may have let my guard down a bit.
When I arrived at the Bogotá airport at night, I made my way to the official taxi stand but was intercepted by a suited man who asked if I wanted an Uber. That would be easier and cheaper, but don’t I have to call one with the app? No, no, this one is with cash! Well, alright….
The man led me to a car in the parking lot, where he helped me into a waiting car and the driver subtly tipped him some cash. Oh, so he wasn’t the driver, just the recruiter? This wasn’t looking so good. All of a sudden I remembered the stories of unofficial taxi drivers in Bogotá picking up their friends and mugging passengers together. I didn’t even want to think about what else could happen to solo females. I usually tell people who are concerned about travel safety that you’ll be fine as long as you use common sense, but I clearly did not have any that night.
I was on high alert during the entire ride, but thankfully made it to the hostel without any problems. In the end I paid 20,000 pesos and saved 5,000 pesos, which adds up to the grand total of….. *Drumroll* $1.78. Not my brightest moment. But I resolved to be more careful, and I’m glad I didn’t have to learn the lesson the hard way!