But neither the time nor miles seemed to matter. I reconnected with many friends and family and we picked up where we had left off, so to speak, and caught up on all our misadventures. When we weren’t swapping stories, the best part was to just be — like old times.
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.
With just 7 hours in Panama City, I toured the capital’s colonial neighborhood, new town, and of course, the world-renowned canal.
For my mom’s big 5-0 birthday, we all wanted to celebrate together in a special place none of us had been. We decided to go “somewhere in the middle” and found ourselves in the paradise of Costa Rica where the season is always summer.
This summer, I traded in my oversized suitcase for a backpack and went on the road for two months (without a single regret about what I packed!). A lot of people have asked me how I comfortably lived out of a backpack for two months (and still looked cute in all my travel photos…obviously).