It’s hard to believe that the big 2-5 is the only birthday I’ll celebrate with my family in five years. I spent the last two birthdays in Chile and will be in Gambia for the next two. I feel so lucky to have celebrated this milestone with my family in one of the world’s most beautiful places.
To be honest, I was ready for it all to be over before the race even started. About four months into my training, and just two weeks before the big day, I got tired. I was tired of counting kilometers, tired of canceling happy hour, tired of skipping late night social events and tired of waking up before the sun. I was tired, so very tired, of running.
Adjusting in Chile didn’t come without its challenges. In fact, nearly everything was hard. But after more than two years, by far the hardest thing about living in Chile is leaving.
I trekked 71 kilometers (45 miles) and albeit far, I only saw a small part of the huge region that spans two countries. As in nearly all of my South American ventures, Nora was by my side. For 5 days, we hiked the popular W-shaped trail in Torres del Paine in what felt like a beautiful fairy tale ending to this chapter of my life.
What’s at the bottom of the world? Penguins, of course. From Punta Arenas, Chile, the world’s southernmost city, I sailed the Magellan Strait to visit the largest penguin colony in the region.