Home About me & my blog

About me & my blog

by Sabine


About me

I always was an adventurous girl who traveled to all corners of the world and dreamed of a life outside the Netherlands. At the end of 2014, I made that dream a reality. I left the Netherlands behind and emigrated to my now ex-husband in Colombia.

My name is Sabine (1985), originally a scientific researcher and born and raised in a small village near Amsterdam. My greatest passions are traveling, photography, web design and writing, which I do with a lot of enthusiasm.

I always follow my heart and love to take adventurous steps in my life. To create my own (travel) path. Emigrating was such an exciting life change that has brought me a lot of beauty in life.

After living in Bogotá for almost three years, I moved with my ex-husband at the end of October 2017 to a finca (farm) in the countryside near Sopó, a village about 35 kilometers north of Bogotá.

During my time in Bogotá, I worked for 2.5 years as a scientific researcher in the National Cancer Institute of Colombia. Here I engaged in research on smoking habits in Colombia, end-of-life medical care and sexuality and cancer.

In the second half of 2017, however, I decided to start working for myself as an entrepreneur. A second big and exciting life change. I quit my job and started my own business as a WordPress web designer. Now I create WordPress websites for entrepreneurs and give online blogging courses and coaching. Check out my company website here.

In addition, I write with great passion on this blog. Which by now has also become part of my work.

In October 2019, I gave and TEDx talk about creating your own path. How do I create the life I want? And why is that important? Do you dare to create your own path? Check out my TEDx talk here!

When love turned out differently than hoped

Unfortunately, my marriage to Jimmy did not work out. It was difficult fot both of us, as we separated at a time when we still loved each other. However, circumstances made it impossible to stay together. You can read more about why we divorced here.

However, the love for Colombia never disappeared. Therefore, I still live here. Until February 2022, I lived in my beloved village of Sopó. Together with my dog Juaco (a street dog I adopted in early 2018, at that time he was about 8 years old, Juaco sadly passed away in November 2023). Meanwhile, since February 2022, I have been living again in Bogotá, enjoying the city.


What can you read on BESABINE?

At besabine.com, I write about traveling, working and living in Colombia. As a local, I will take you to the top destinations in the country and know many beautiful undiscovered places. I also give my best travel tips to make your trip through Colombia even more fun and easy, and here you read all about safety in this beautiful country. On this page you will find all the information, tips and attractions together.

You will also find articles about emigrating or living in Colombia. What do you need to arrange if you want to emigrate and what is it like to live in this South American country? Includes cultural differences and helpful tips.

I also travel regularly outside Colombia. For example, since living here I have been to the U.S., Peru, Mexico, Curaçao, Hong Kong, Spain, Argentina, Iceland, Poland, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

I love slow travel and enjoy going off the beaten track to discover the non-touristy side of a country or city. For me, traveling off the beaten path also means creating my own (travel) path. Preferably a sustainable path. Here you can find all travel destinations worldwide and related articles.

Did the information on this website helped you and do you enjoy following me? Feel free to donate a typical chocolate milk with cheese. With that energy, I can continue to create this content!


How can you follow me?

Would you like to be notified about new articles? Cool! You can follow me on Facebook or Instagram. This is also where I keep you up to date about important events in Colombia (such as security issues) and post many other things about this amazing country in addition to my articles. I can totally express my passion for photography and breathtaking Colombia on social media.

Keeping posted through email is also a possibility. Subscribe here and receive every new post directly in your mailbox! (Dutch) No spam: promised!

Follow your dreams!

Would you like to work with me? Cool! Check the possibilities here.

Occasionally you will see me popping up in the media: read here what and where exactly.



Ayanna 22 January 2024 - 10:32

Hi Sabine, I plan to visit Medellin for 4 days in April for a short vacation with my family including my 10 year old son and 9month old baby. I plan on renting a car and visiting Pedro de Penol among other places. Plan on getting a airbnb. Are you able to recommend good communities near the airport and near Guatape (i would spend 1 night here).

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Sabine 12 February 2024 - 11:36

Hi Ayanna, great plan you have! There is a great place to go to, a community in the mountains in Cocorna, also good with children. It’s about 2 hours from Medellín. It’s a magical place. Check very well how to get there. Here you find more information: https://www.besabine.com/en/eco-hotel-soplo-del-tambo-in-the-mountains-near-medellin/

Steph Schirrecker 14 January 2024 - 20:36

Hello Sabine. Outstanding site! A brilliant demonstration of your web designing skills :-). This is the best advice I’ve read so far on Colombia and places to visit that are off the beaten path.
I’m travelling to Bogota for the second time (I was there with my son last summer) and will be looking at visiting some of the places outside of the city, maybe take a multi-day trip over to Villa de Leyva and more. I am from France, leaving in California with my family, and have been learning Spanish quite intensively for the past year. Beyond the typical Spanish courses in Bogota, I am wondering if you’d have any recommendations on things one can do to get to hear and speak Spanish, such as university classes, other types of courses, local activities?
Another question would be, if you had to recommend a parama/national park for a 1-2 day trip outside of Bogota, which would you recommend, and would you say it’d be better to do it with a tour guide?
Again many thanks for your site!

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Sabine 12 February 2024 - 11:32

Hi Steph, thank you for your comment! Nice to hear you come back to Bogotá soon. The best advice is speaking and listening Spanish in the streets. Practice your Spanish with the Colombians who don’t speak English, that’s one of the best ways to learn it. I don’t really know courses or anything, but I do know that there are regularly language exchange activities. Check for example the app MeetUp, there you will find some. And maybe also at Internations.

The park close by Bogotá is Chingaza, where you’ll find Beautiful páramo. Most routes you can do by yourself, but there are also tours to do with a guide. Here you’ll find more information about this: https://www.besabine.com/en/hiking-in-colombia-the-paramo-route-to-lagunas-de-siecha-in-chingaza/

Kind regards,

Bjarne Zachariassen, Noruega 18 December 2023 - 06:57

Hi! I immediately trusted your advises. Things are not black or white. After backpacking for 37 years you know that most people are friendly, but you’ve got to have some knowledge, and take care of yourself. (I would never ever rent a motor bike in South Asia. Rather, walk in dark alleys. There.) So thanks! I will check your «mini tours»!

I will travel to Colombia early January for 6-8 weeks, probably including either Peru or Ecuador. Do you answer questions? I have one:
I think I want two weeks of intensive and hard Spanish lesson 1 to 1, 4-6 hours a day. To refresh my rusty average minus lat-Am Spanish. By independent studying, away from English and young travelers. I am 54. Been there, done that. So no partying with young backpackers, but seeing architecture/history, go to the food market etc, and learn your language a bit better by reading News, literature, and walking Bogota. Which part of the city should/could I stay, and where to find a school who understands that I can work independently and know a lot of french grammar? I am not afraid of poor people, as I think a lot of tourists are.

And, although I work in journalism/pr/lobbying, I have worked as a chef for half a year, and around 10 weddings. Chopping/slicing 30 kilos of onion/potatoes and clean up comes naturally. Do you think I can work somewhere 2-3 weeks somewhere for board and lodging to meet locals, and learn culture/food/language? This is just an idea.

I will read your advises, and give Feedback!

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Sabine 18 December 2023 - 11:07

Hi Bjarne, thank you for your message! What a great idea you have, that’s the best way to learn the language. I have to think inmediatly of my ex partner, who is a Spanish teacher and has a unique offer: he teaches Spanish in a cultural way. So takes you into the city instead of (only) in a classroom. You can contact him through whatsapp on his website: https://www.learnspanishwithanativespeaker.com/. This course I am mentioning is not on his website. He doesn’t live in Bogotá, but I know he sometimes travels for students.

I don’t know other teachers here who do this… but I do know there are many Spanish teachers in Bogotá.

Then your second question: where to stay. If you want to immerse yourself in Colombian culture and stay away from English speaking people, then Teusaquillo could be good for you. This is a very typical Bogotan neighborhood with few foreigners. I myself live here too and never see other foreigners. Like the Pablo VI neigborhood, what is great and very typical. This also means that you won’t find any activities for expats here, therefore you have to travel withing Bogotá. Those activities are in neigborhoods like Chapinero or El Chicó. Those are also great places to stay, bur more international, more luxury and more expensive. Teusaquillo is close to Chapinero so easy to get there.

Working in Colombia without a visa is officially not permitted. But sometimes with some talking you can manage it. You could do volunteer work, you can look for that on workaway. Or just go walking around the neigborhood and ask somewhere if you could work for free to learn about the culture and language. I am sure that with some effort you can find something, but where exactly I don’t know…

I hope this helps you! Just ask me if you have any other question.

Kind regards, Sabine

Rob Breckenridge 17 December 2023 - 12:56

Thanks Sabine for your passionate presentation of my beloved Colombia. I am a US citizen that lived there for the decade of the 1990s while developing extensive projects in the performing/eco arts, including work as a Senior Fulbright with the Ministry of Culture. I’m in the process of coordinating my return to the Andes and would appreciate any/all information you have about your experience with the emigration process. Unfortunately, my Cedula de Extranjeria has long since expired and I’m currently researching everything I can to help facilitate my eventual move back to Colombia. Please let me know how best to communicate with you directly – I’ve listed my email below which works fine for me. Many thanks and happy travels thru the Joya de los Andes que es Colombia!

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Sabine 18 December 2023 - 10:44

Thank you for your kind comment! Great to hear you want to live again in this beautiful country. In the last years, the immigration process got more strict and more difficult to get your Visa. I can only provide you with basic information, as I am not specialized in this. I myself has been through the process 3 times, and the last time (for my second resident visa (I needed a lawyer to get it done). There are actually only 3 possibilities to get a visa: marry a Colombian, invest a lot (about 100k dollars I think) or find a job to get a visa. I think this website can help you: https://expatgroup.co/english/. They have lawyers to help you with the process. I hope this helps you!

Ras Bahadur Rai 9 July 2023 - 06:07

Your travel blog has become my go-to resource for planning my next adventure. The way you describe and share hidden gems really makes me feel like I’m there. Keep up the fantastic work!

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Sabine 24 July 2023 - 03:25

Thank you for your kind message, Ras! I am glad that my website is of great help for your travels. I wish you great travels!


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