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.
I teach English, speak Spanish at home and am learning French. In other words, my brain could combust at any moment.
The fireworks show in Valparaíso is simply unmatched and it was a spectacular way to ring in what should be an incredible year for me. Feliz 2014!
Before I moved abroad, guidebooks, blogs, friends and travelers raved about all the incredible people I would meet. No one warned me about how many times I would have to say goodbye.
Police tanks spraying tear gas barreled down the street; the water cannons followed quickly in tow. I ran for cover, ducking into a McDonald’s just as employees pulled the metal doors shut. The June scene, a once common occurrence in Santiago, is long-gone now as students buckle down to finish a school year extended so they could meet graduation requirements despite monthslong protests and sit-ins. At my school, however, the strikes have just begun.