What Living in Medellín Has Taught Me About Mornings

Head Morning Bird, Alice, has now been living in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, for three weeks. Here's what she learned about mornings so far.

1. There is no such thing as too much avocado toast

My jaw dropped when I saw Lorena avocados for the first time. These babies are larger, greener, and sweeter than the Hass ones. I’ve been making a ‘Colombian’ version of avocado toast by spreading nature’s butter on toasted arepas. I've also been excited about the foreign fruits for breakfast! Yellow dragonfruit, grenadilla, lulo, passion fruit, cherimoya, guanábana, maracuyá… the list is exotically endless.

2. Color causes cheerfulness 

Color is the new black. It has been refreshing to ditch my typically all-black wardrobe to blend in with the locals who sport bright, colorful clothing on the regular. Waking up to proudly wear neon is a fantastic way to start your day. This goes for the architecture too. Not only are the buildings cute and colorful, the urban landscape is incredible. In fact, Medellín won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize last year which recognizes efforts in furthering innovation in urban solutions and sustainable urban development.

3. Plants power productivity

Medellín is located close to the equator which results in perfect spring-like climate year-round. It is still in the tropics so there are downpours from time to time, but this has resulted in a sea of green in the city. I am surrounded by plants. Banana trees and mango trees line my street. Snake plants (which improve air quality!) are everywhere you look. I am even staying in a beautiful apartment which has a mini forest of its own. Waking up to eat breakfast and work while enveloped in plants, succulents and flowers definitely drives happiness and productivity.

4. Learning languages helps with focus  

Give me a ‘hells yeah’ if you have gone down a Selena YouTube black hole too many times… Anyone else like to bidibidibombom? Selena was my favorite movie as a teenager and I fell in love with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first masterpiece, In The Heights, on stage in New York seven years ago. Needless to say, it's always been a goal of mine to learn Spanish and my dream has come true. I’ve been thrown into the world of Español and so far... verb conjugations got me like .... With endless tenses, articles and sentence structures to learn, there's been greater time to learn how to truly focus. In fact, I’ve become so immersed that I even dream about verb conjugations! En serio.

5. Libraries are underrated

My worry of having access to fast internet connection was quickly alleviated upon arrival. I should have known better since Medellin is a popular destination for digital nomads. The greatest discovery?  The library! The local library opens at 8AM and closes at 8PM making it the perfect cost-efficient ‘office’ for client calls and GSD-ing. Poblado, an expat-filled area, also has tons of Western-style coffee shops where lots of nomads work during the day.

6. Sometimes... it's ok to sleep in

Really. I’ve learned it’s ok to miss sunrises because there are sunsets to enjoy. I’ve learned it’s ok to take a break from the gym…which is extremely challenging for a gym nut like me! Luckily, Medellín is king when it comes to free outdoor gyms so I’ve been practicing my deadlifts outside in the fresh morning air. Football (soccer) is huge in South America and extracurricular sports leagues hold games as early as 7AM before heading to work. Genius. Morning sports games should be more of a thing in North America (or is it already and I’m just missing out?).

Follow the rest of Alice's journey on Instagram.