Finding My Mind In Chile: When The Travel Bug Bites

 

 

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“I used to live in Chile” is the line I frequently spout out when the subject of travel comes up in conversation. It’s usually followed by the questions ‘Why Chile?’ and more often than not met with the bewildered reaction of ‘But, on your own?’. This is because it isn’t the norm and it usually isn’t known to be as lovely as it actually is.

In December, Facebook softly reminded me that two years prior I had been sitting on a beach with friends sipping pisco sours in the sunshine. It was a memory I had so easily forgotten as the time since that period has passed so quickly and I’ve made so many non-Chilean memories during that time.

This reminder spurred on a trip down memory lane with texts being sent to my nearest and dearest across the pond on the other side of the equator – the ones still enjoying pisco sours on the beach in December.

Thankfully, the memories are positive ones mostly of adventuring around the city of Santiago, exploring the beautiful beaches and the odd baby earthquake. Delving a little deeper, the characters who showed kindness get a mention and as for the others, well their quirkiness won’t be forgotten.

Reflecting back (as always), questions such as ‘Any regrets?’ pop into my own mind.

Would I do it again? No.

Would I change anything? Definitely not.

For those considering taking a literal leap across the oceans of the world and into nations afar, I say stop considering and start doing.

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Bury the excuses, I’ve heard (and used) them all.

*Sure, those countries aren’t going anywhere but what about you? Careers are taking off, opportunities are popping up and that settled feeling will continue to feel well, even more settled. From the age of 23 (when I graduated) to the age of 26 when I finally bit the bullet, I kept thinking of travel. As I was about to book a flight, various changes in my life occurred that served as an excuse not to go. Eventually, I just did it.

*Scariness doesn’t go anywhere my friends and of course, it tends to be bigger than ever when we opt to make a big life change. The day I booked my flights to Chile, my nerves were shot. They were virtually non-existent the day I flew out. It was all worth it as I got to push myself well and truly out of my comfort zone and into a new chapter of my life.

*Six months before I headed abroad, I was broke. I had about 5oo euros and knew I’d need at least 4,000 for the trip I had planned (and that was just the start of it). Within that time-frame, I managed to save the money by working three jobs, getting little sleep and stashing away all the money I earned. I lined up a job for when I arrived in Chile so I could feel comfortable and save for my trips. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Put a plan together and follow through.

*At one stage during my stay, I uttered the words “Perhaps I’ll stay here long-term”. That changed in the months that followed as I became home-sick and felt disconnected from those I loved. I left after a year which suited me fine but all the while I knew that leaving earlier was totally an option. Remember, if you head away and don’t like it, the option is always there to come back home.

* The world is your oyster. Seriously! Think of all the places to visit in the world and if they interest you, go adventuring. You never know what you might discover.

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