We all carry
a map inside
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We all carry a map inside, 
a set of coordinates... That make you who you are.
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How to make a website: Page 92
We all carry a map inside, 
a set of coordinates... That make you who you are.
I grew up in   the Andes, 
a chain of mountains that 
meanders up through seven 
countries in South America.
Once in Colombia,
the Cordillera de los Andes splits into three branches.
Through those branches, Colombia sprawls up  from zero to 5,000 metres above the sea level.
So we’ve got snowy mountains, 
volcanoes,  plains, moors 
(páramos), deep valleys,
sandy beaches. 
Our climate and vegetation isn’t determined by seasons, but by altitude over the sea level.
So where you live pretty much determines who you are.
I’m from tierra fría (”cold land”).
Bogotá, my city, has an
altitude of 2,600 metres.

It’s perched on a flat plateau,
surrounded by hills
called cerros.
The cerros are part of our sky.The day dawns behind them.The city is a numerical grid.Calles descend, perpendicularto the hills. Carreras runparallel to them. 
You can find your bearings by just looking at the cerros and counting streets.
They are our point zero, our constant, 
our reference. The cerros are our North.
So much that, from                     very early on, our official maps have been 
flipped so that the cerros are on top. East is North.
I don’t live in Bogotá anymore. 
Whenever I’m flying back, 
I’ve never been able to hold the tears 
as the flight starts to descend 
and the mountains 
start crawling up the 
It is then that I realise how badly I miss 
having green and blue hills as my backdrop.
I miss my childhood holidays at tierra caliente (”hot land”), nearby places that are warmer because of their low altitude. I miss driving down curvy roads bordering rivers and valleys. The sweet, warm scent coming through your window. The scandalous vegetation.
My dad drew a map showing the route to their house up in the mountains. 
I travel across it with my finger
and picture each one of the stops along it.
The arepas in Ventaquemada.
The bridge over the deep blue waters of the dam. 
I smile at the wrong turns he included to prevent me from taking them. He knew me well.
(He's still in that map)
Whenever I take this road, 
and see place after place appear, and still get lost and take all the wrong turns. 
I say hello to my inner geography
And think of the maps 
we carry around.
Cause yes, maps are imperfect.
Grids and coordinates 
cannot possibly untangle
the mangled lines of memory.
But they allow me to be 
both traveller and watcher
of those places, making 
past and present visible.
They tell the story
of the paths that I took,
and the paths that I didn’t.
Of the wrong turns 
I took, and those
I’ll take again.
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