I have been thinking about a lot of things lately. I know, my profundity amazes me sometimes. Yet with less than two weeks before I fly back to America to face my 21st birthday and senior year of college [both of which I have long awaited, neither of which I’m confident I will survive], I can’t help but feel melancholy as the nostalgia for this trip begins to set in. It is important to note that as I’m writing this it is dark and rainy, and I am sitting on my bed with the electric blanket on high as I exhale tiny white puffs of smoke and sip my tea, and in this situation melancholy kind of comes with the territory. By tomorrow morning I will no doubt be back in full Chilean YOLO mode, stoked for the first important World Cup game on Friday [Chile vs. Australia] and maybe more so for the World Cup themed Ssssssaint Jueeeves on, well, jueves.
I understand that I haven’t updated this blog in an excessively long time, but I was just out trying to live life and get engaged in the world around me and stuff [sidenote: this is also what I told myself when I accidently shattered my iphone and became utterly useless in the aspect of communication – still sorry about that one Mom and Dad]. Anyway, here’s the short list of cool things I’ve done, visited, seen, eaten, and a bunch of other applicable verbs since the last time I wrote about Chile.
Peru: The Supertramping Delinquents [Myself, Camille, Beatrice, and Kaitlin – not a group of infamous prison escapees as the name might suggest] traveled to Peru in May to fulfill lifelong dreams of visiting world famous Incan city Machu Picchu. We laughed, we cried, we slept on the floor of the Lima airport, but thanks to Bea’s meticulous planning everything went according to schedule and we actually made it. Even at 6 am on the off-season, the area just outside of the entrance gates resembled an attraction at Disney world [although the line for the Harry Potter Hogwarts ride was much longer because PRIORITIES]. Admittedly once we got inside we went a little bit #selfie [see: my facebook profile photo] but we also stopped to admire and contemplate the magnificence and otherworldly beauty emanating from the impossibly intricate city. It may lose points with some people for being a tourist hotspot, but it was truly and sincerely one of the most incredible things I could ever have hoped to experience firsthand. In the afternoon we hiked down the mountain [thankfully not up in the morning, three months of Chilean empanadas, pastries, and bread is really catching up with me]. Other highlights of Peru include bartering in the Cuzco markets and overpaying for a photo with a llama in a Peruvian hat.
San Pedro de Atacama: As I was typing the name, I accidently spelled it Sand Pedro, incorrect but not inaccurate. San Pedro boasts of its mars-like landscape, salt flats dotted with colorful flamingos, and numerous adventure opportunities in the driest desert IN THE WORLD. I’m sure all of those things are there, but I was a bit distracted by the sandstorms, windstorms, rain, and snow. Perhaps it would be more aptly named the most extreme desert in the world. Experiences here include biking directly into a sandstorm [it didn’t seem like a bad idea at the time, although I was still finding sand in my pockets/lungs two weeks later], stargazing in the middle of the desert [shout out to Camille for pointing out the Southern Cross, Mars, and how insignificant we are compared to the vastness of the universe, f’real], and having a snowball fight in the middle of the street while singing Christmas carols [and then trying to finish all the alcohol we overbought with drinking games at the hostal]. We didn’t get to follow our planned itinerary, but given all that went wrong that weekend I think we managed to make the best of every situation, and for that I’m grateful for the group of nerds I get to share these memories with.
Buenos Aires: This past weekend was our last group trip to Buenos F*cking Aires, as was emblazoned on many a tourist souvenir we passed by. This city rules. When we weren’t tourist-ing [to the Casa Rosada, Recoleta Cemetery, Caminito, San Telmo, and Palermo] we were eating – big surprise. In fact, the way I look at sightseeing is a way to burn off your last meal so that you can eat more [judge me if you will, I’ll be eating another prime Argentinian steak while you do]. We also went to a Tango show on Friday night [dinner included of course], which was actually worth every penny and made me wish that I had been put in dance classes as a kid [not mad, Mom and Dad, just uncoordinated]. Leaving BA was not easy [literally] because we hit turbulence over the Andes on the flight back and several people recounted the story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes in the 70’s and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. Obviously this flight had a less morbid ending, and we arrived safely in Chile by Sunday mid-afternoon.
I chose to come to Chile simply because I didn’t want to study in Spain, and it has been the best decision I ever made. The people I’ve met [in the Arizona group, at the University, and in this country] are some of the greatest, weirdest, best people I know, and it is thanks to them that I have not for one second regretted my decision to study in Chile.
There is so much I am going to miss about this country when I return to the US, but the best part about leaving is that I can look forward to coming back.
Much love to everyone involved in making this trip the incredible adventure that it has been.
P.S. CHI CHI CHI LE LE LE VAMOS CHILE