TOP 5 REASONS TO LIVE IN MEDELLIN OVER RIO
I recently posted an article on just how perfect the weather is in Medellin. Paisas may complain about rain, cloudy days, or a day that has a high of “only” 20.31634 degrees Celsius, but the reason they complain about slight deviations from perfect, is because it’s near always perfect. Rio in winter isn’t a time for beach parties. It’s not Canada cold, but Paisas would be looking for a parka. It can get as cold as 10C in Rio, and this would be enough to send a Paisa packing for Bogota, and no Paisa wants to go to Bogota!
2. Cost of Living
This is probably the single largest reason to choose Medellin over Rio. If you have the money of Donald Trump, without his ugly hair, you’re probably going to have a better time in Rio. The most expensive neighbourhood in South America is within Rio’s city limits, which brings with it the restaurants, clubs, shopping, and other conveniences that someone with that kind of money is looking for. The rest of us, however, may want to be in a place where we can afford to leave our house. My apartment in Rio cost more than my apartment, three Spanish lessons a week, partying three times a week, eating out for most of my meals, transport, and all other expenses combined in Medellin (including hospital costs for being stupid.) To live the same way in Rio as I do in Medellin would cost me at least 4x as much. I don’t think many people can afford to live the lifestyle that I live in Medellin, in Rio.
3. Friendliness of the People
The people of Rio, Cariocas, are friendly people. They are not, however, as friendly as Paisas. I have not once been thanked for visiting Rio. Nor, have I had a complete stranger give me two hours of stroke lessons to improve my swimming. The Cariocas are accustomed to foreigners. People have been visiting Rio since it was the capital of Portugal (yes it was once the capital of Portugal.) In Medellin you are a welcome site. Most of Colombia has been too dangerous for foreigners for a long time, and from this Colombia has a poor name internationally. This has only recently started to change, and Colombians are very open to inviting foreigners to travel their beautiful country. They’re proud of their country, and want to welcome you the best they can. ***Sidebar: After more time in Rio, I have to say that this one is a dead heat. The Cariocas are extremely friendly. I can’t really choose a winner here. One thing that Medellin does definitely have, however, is a cleaner city.
4. Spanish is More Useful Internationally
Spanish is the official language of 20 different countries, including most of South America, the Caribbean, all of Central America, as well of course the country of it’s namesake: Spain. Over 450 million people speak Spanish, while about 250 million speak Portuguese. During your time in Colombia you will have the perfect opportunity to learn this beautiful and useful language. Portuguese is no doubt useful in the world today, with Brazil growing as a world power, but I’d argue that Spanish is more useful. I’ll let you debate on which language is more beautiful.
5. A Bigger Cycling Scene
This may not mean much to some of my visitors, but for me, this is a big reason. I love cycling. It’s a big part of my life. In Medellin they embrace the sport like few other places. In Rio, it’s an oddity to see someone on a bike, especially a nice one. I would love to explore the surrounding mountains of Rio on a bike, but there are definitely less people here to explore with me. With world-class climbs right from your doorstep, it’s really hard to beat the cycling in Medellin Colombia.
Rio is a fantastic city, and I recommend you visit, but here I outlined my thoughts on the reasons to live in Medellin over Rio. Believe me, if you have the opportunity to choose between living in either city, you’re already in a great position.