What sets the Epistle to the Colossians apart is a sense of personal distance, with not so much as a suggestion anywhere in the epistle that Paul was writing to people he knew personally, at least not until the final verse, 4:18, and then only to say that the Colossians knew of him:
Colossians 4:18: The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
In Colossians 1:7-9, the author refers to Epaphras as telling Paul about the love of the Colossians, as if Paul would not otherwise have known of this, thereby implying that Paul had not been to Colossae:
Colossians 1:7-9: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
With this in mind, the best interpretation of verse 2:1 is that Paul is once again being portrayed in Colossians as not having been to Colossae at the time of writing.
Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer agrees, saying it is plain from our passage that Paul had not been in Colossae and Laodicea, although he acknowledges others who disagree. The Expositor's Greek Testament says that almost all commentators say that the Apostle was personally unknown to both of these Churches. Among contemporary, twenty-first century commentators, Paul J. Achtemeier, Joel B. Green, Marianne Meye Thompson say(Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology, page 417) that although Paul had never been to Colossae, he might have been to Laodicia. There is not a total consensus, so that one could hold the view that Paul might have been to Colossae, and indeed some commentators do hold that view.