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Andrew

Hey, I’m Andrew!

Bogota, Colombia · Member since September 2012

I proudly hail from the Magic City of Miami but I am of Colombian descent. In my lifestyle and my personality, I tend to incorporate all of the most fascinating elements of the many cultures I've encountered while living and visiting various places abroad—sometimes I feel like a human version of a Jackson Pollack painting, with every color and stroke representing a different culture.

I'm a water and sanitation development professional (basically, helping low resource communities gain access to potable water and safe sanitation), having worked in international development for over 10 years. My work has taken me around the world, to places such as Thailand, India, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and now Colombia. There isn't a higher honor than to be able to contribute to your community's health and well being, particularly through water. Water is life and access to the resource is a human right, yet the inequality in access persists. So I've dedicated myself to reduce such injustices.

Apart for work, I travel recreationally quite often and can do without hotels unless they appeal to my generation. I tend to search for small guesthouses, flats, and B&Bs if I can find a decent one in the destination of choice. There's nothing like feeling you're at home while thousands of kilometers/miles away from your bed. I travel light and attempt to immerse myself as quickly and as long as possible before breaking away from the destination and beginning the journey once again. However, I now typically travel to places where I know someone or there's someone to host me, lucky for me, my friends tend to live in interesting places. The human interaction and comfort from someone opening their home or small establishment reminds me of my family and culture, so I attempt to replicate it as often as possible. I consider myself to be an excellent guest (of course!), considerate/respectful and personable, but to be honest, I much rather be the host.

As an Airbnb host, I go to great lengths to ensure the comfort and safety of my guests. Even though I've lived in Bogota for a couple of years, it still feels fresh and new, treating the city as if I'm still a newly-arrived traveler seeking the latest and great cultural and historical experiences. So ask me about Colombia, I might have a few ideas depending on the traveler. While as a guest in my home, almost every detail has been thought of, and if I missed something, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm always trying to improve the guest's experience.

When I travel, I travel in "comfort", whatever that means considering the circumstances. If you were to search my bag, you would always find my iPhone with a few new music mixes to keep me entertained, a brand new book, sunglasses and a hat, the latest magazines I have yet to read at home, lots of healthy snacks (and sweets!), and a small sack filled with travel essentials (tiger balm, lip balm, emergency toothbrush and toothpaste, etc.). A camera is a great travel accessory but can occasionally become a distraction or an imposition.

It's difficult to pin down any number of favorite destinations besides Colombia. I've traveled enough throughout the country, and spent enough time with its people, that I can confidently express my adoration and admiration for the country and its revival, shedding its past lawlessness image. Viva Colombia! Okay, I can say this: some of my favorite places to visit in any city/town are always going to be the local open-air or supermarket and record store, and of course the best, most typical food place the destination has to offer.