Field report


I was particularly impressed by Colombian cuisine. I can't get all the delicious things out of my head. The food is so fresh, so varied and so different. Empanadas and fresh mango juice for breakfast - an absolute dream.

December 2019 - February 2020

Our participant Pascal was looking for adventure and found it in a small paradisiacal place on the Caribbean coast of Colombia: In Palomino. There he took part in the program Hostel Experience and spent an unforgettable time with a new language, many new impressions and new friends. Today he tells us personally about his time at the Hostel Experience in Palomino, Colombia.


The first days

It took me a few days to get over the jet lag and the slight culture shock before my adventure really began. I spent the first few days in Cartagena with my contact José and had a great time before I finally went to the hostel. He showed me around the city and we went out to eat together. Colombia is a different world. No matter how long you spend getting to know the culture and conditions beforehand, you are overwhelmed by this country when you get there. It was great fun to gradually get to know the many facets of "de la vida colombiana".

A day in the Hostel Experience project

The hostel where I worked is in Palomino, a magical little village right by the sea. My main task was the hostel bar, which I really enjoyed and where you get to know other people very quickly. But I also helped out in other areas and was able to gain lots of different experiences. The day was divided into different shifts so that everyone had time off at different times and could enjoy the surroundings. It was only a few minutes' walk from the accommodation where I lived with my colleagues to the hostel. But I also spent a lot of time at the hostel outside of work, for example to eat, but also just to be with people.

I had two days off every week, and even on working days there was plenty of time for leisure. I often did things with my new friends and acquaintances. We went on trips to the neighboring villages, went swimming at the river or in the sea and enjoyed the fantastic weather. Or we went to Santa Marta, about two hours away. It's very easy and cheap to get there by bus. There's a lot to discover here and it's a great way to pass the time.

But I also spent a lot of free time in the hostel itself outside of working hours, because that was always fun. I chatted with the hostel guests, got to know lots of new faces and stories, played with the dogs and cats and relaxed in the hostel pool. There is something for everyone in Palomino - it never gets boring. In the evening, we enjoyed going out again and eating a bunch of fantastic empanadas. Or you could just relax in the volunteers' house and chat all night. The time in Palomino flew by for me.

My most beautiful moments

My best moment was also the saddest of the whole trip: The day I left. I was so sad that my time in Colombia would be over and I knew that I would miss everything. My new friends, the sea, the food, the hostel dogs, the work and so much more.

But when my friends took me to the bus stop from where I started my journey home, I was able to say a heartfelt goodbye and reflect on all the unforgettable experiences I had gained during my time in Palomino. The time left its mark on me, and I also had the feeling of leaving a piece of my heart in Colombia. An indescribable, fantastic feeling.

My favorite place

Many of the places I visited left a fantastic impression. Positive impressions, but also some that gave me food for thought. I particularly loved the hostel and the house where the volunteers lived. Almost everything happened there. It was a place to work, relax, meet friends, eat, learn for life and just generally such a cosmopolitan place where I enjoyed spending a lot of time. I also got to talk to people from all over the world there, whether Australians, Brazilians, Israelis, Americans or even people from Germany who live just 30 km away from me. And the great thing is that I'm still in contact with some of them and have made valuable friends for life

Why I love Latin America

I simply love everything about Latin America. The cultures, the nature, the people and animals, the food, the language, the diversity and the good atmosphere. Admittedly, I had a bit of a culture shock in the first few days in Colombia, but that quickly disappeared. Colombian culture is simply infectious, so open and warm. Music comes from everywhere, people dance and are in a good mood. I was amazed that the Colombians seemed so much happier than the Germans, as some of them live in somewhat simpler circumstances. Simply fascinating! The best thing was that I was always able to share my impressions with my local friends, we exchanged ideas, inspired and motivated each other.

I was thrilled by Colombian and Caribbean cuisine from start to finish. I can't get all the delicious things out of my head. The food is so fresh, so varied and so different. Empanadas and fresh mango juice for breakfast - an absolute dream.

I was also captivated by the language. Spanish is wonderful, especially when you learn it with and from the locals. You discover this language from a completely different perspective and learn so many idioms and colloquial expressions from the native speakers. My Spanish has improved through play. The language has taken a big place in my heart.

How the trip changed me

The trip has broadened my horizons through and through. I can now put many things into perspective better, as I now also know how other people, cultures, animals and nature are doing. The open-mindedness of this program has only increased my desire to explore the world further, as I have seen so much that would otherwise have remained hidden from me. And what I also learned is that you should be who you are and simply enjoy life, without stress and without worries. You have nothing to lose on a trip like this and a whole lot to gain.

My tips for future participants

Whether it's to Latin America or anywhere else in the world, my #1 tip is: go ahead and start an adventure, because nobody can take it away from you. It will feel unfamiliar at the beginning, as it did for me, and there will always be phases in between where you are confronted with challenging situations. But all in all, you can't do better than this, especially if you're still young and have the time and desire to explore. You learn to speak new languages, understand cultures and other people better and, most importantly, in typical Latin American fashion: "No matter what, it will work out somehow." This insight will often help me in life.

And why exactly Latin America? For me, before I started my trip, it was mainly because of the language I wanted to learn. In retrospect, however, I can say that nowhere is there such an exciting, cheerful and open-minded culture and impressive nature as there - the best reasons for a trip. Sometimes you just have to open your heart and get involved in things. And if you (still) find that a little difficult, then you will learn to do so on a trip like this at the latest.

Would you like to find out more about our programs?



Sophia, founder of Wanderworld Travel

Lisa, Coordinator & Participant Support 

Amanda, Support and advice before departure


Here we can plan your trip together and talk about your ideas.

Sign up now for our WanderWorld consultation. We look forward seeing you!

All without obligation and free of charge.