My Final Days in Chile

I know I was supposed to make another blog post at the halfway point of my time here but to be honest it has taken me this long to come to terms with the fact that there is in fact an “end.” (Actually, I probably won’t believe it until I am on the plane home- but I guess it is kind of important to start the healing process early). Last night I had a dream- no, nightmare- that I rolled up to BC, caught one glance of lower and burst into tears. I know, kind of dramatic but the thought of leaving honestly makes me get all shaky and sweaty and I am currently in a public space so I am going to stop thinking about it now. On to only wonderful things (and more denial)!

I just got back from San Pedro de Atacama, one of the driest deserts in the world and I can honestly say that my appreciation for chapstick has reached a whole new level. I would like to find Burt and his bees and give them all a kiss on the cheek. It was my first time visiting anywhere remotely close to a desert and by the first day I became one of the many gaga eyed San Pedro praisers. We ended up renting a car to avoid pricey tours and huge gaggles of tourists and it couldn’t have worked out better. Our one hiccup was getting caught following a geyser tour at 4 in the morning but we just played the dumb tourist and ended up finding our own way there and successfully avoided the tours by an hour! We were nearly alone 4,300 meters up and among the third largest geyser field in the world. The only thing that made this view better was a little mood lighting from the sunrise. Despite a little bit of altitude sickness which hit me just as we were getting back into the car, it was one of my most favorite sights thus far. We were also able to go sand boarding in Valle de la Muerte, float in some beautiful crystal blue salty lagoons, watch a breathtaking sunset which transformed the desert around us into the surface of the moon, and meet some pretty cool travelers along the way. It was the trip with some of the best onda (vibes- definitely my favorite chilenismo I have learned) and I was very sad to see it go. But then something happened. Something that I felt after my first trip to La Serena. Landing in Santiago felt like coming home and I considered myself very lucky to be able to say that about a place that was once so foreign to me.

Right now I’m in the process of finishing my classes tomorrow and planning my final trips. I am hoping to make it to Buenos Aires in the last week of November and then onto Patagonia to spend a few weeks exploring before I fly back to Florida the 22nd. I am dangerously close to the end and trust me, I feel it. It’s a weird confusing mix of home sickness and fear of leaving. I carry my friends and family with me wherever I go and I only wished they were here to experience all of this with me. I know junior year is really stressful back at BC so I send my love to everyone back there. I also send my love to everyone abroad right now, it has been so interesting to read your posts and I hope you all enjoy the time you have left!

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