I am planning on going on a 3 week solo backpacking trip of Colombia in July and i am completely torn between whether it is a good idea or not. So my main concerns are...
1) Safety- i think i have read every single blog and article from the first 10 pages that come up when you Google "Colombia safety" so i have a good idea of what its all about...don't walk about by your self at night, check every area before you go to make sure you know which parts are safe, don't hail taxis, don't take the metro or buses....so with all these things to consider, i'm thinking i will constantly on the look out for potential dangers and i wont actually relax and enjoy my time there. Also i have read a lot of cartagena is unsafe and you shouldn't be walking around alone due to robberies and thefts, i plan on spending most my time on the coast so this so does not fill me with confidence.
2) I do not speak any Spanish- now if i decide to go to Colombia i will be spending the next few months cramming as much of the beautiful language into my head as possible. However, i realise that even with this cramming, my Spanish is going to be very limited.
3) Taxi situation- all the advice says not to hail a taxi from the street and to instead ring for one each time. Like i said, i do not speak Spanish so if i'm out and about and i've been exploring a town and then decide to head back to the hostel, how on earth do i call i Spanish speaking taxi firm and explain my exact location and where i want to go to...let alone understand what they may say back? does this not really affect your ability to explore and have a flexible itinerary?
Colombia just looks so beautiful and a place i REALLY want to go to after reading some amazing reviews but as an inexperienced solo traveler (i do plan on meeting as many people as possible in hostels etc however) my lack of Spanish and the amount of warnings i have read about, I'm wondering if it is a good idea?
any advice on the points above would be greatly appreciated and my apologies for the long post...i am very much the novice when it comes to backpacking or traveling outside of Europe.