Chile was my first foray into a culture that was significantly different to the one I grew up within back home in Australia. I knew that it would be at once challenging and exhilarating but I booked tickets with an enthusiastic fervour because I had a world to see! My wanderlust to set off across the Pacific in search of something different was well rewarded. I now look back fondly on one of the most emotionally fulfilling journeys I have been fortunate enough to experience. Better yet, I am thankful to be able to say I now have a family on the other side of the planet!
I spent a month staying in the company of a gentleman by the name of Fernando, a relative of my then girlfriend. The incredibly generous hospitality of Fernando, his family (and many girlfriends) and an array of wonderful friends is something that left a lasting impression imprinted deep within my heart. I feel certain that this imprint will stay with me until the end.
From the enormous length of Earth that makes up Chile's landmass - all 4,300km of it - it is a landscape of extreme diversity, with everything from the bustling, modern metropolis of Santiago, sandwiched in between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains. It is home to the driest place on Earth in San Pedro De Atacama, a barren landscape to the countries north that boasts some of the worlds best stargazing. This is in stark contrast with the deep south of the country, a place of stunning natural beauty, home to Torres Del Paine National Park, a wilderness lovers dream, replete with sky piercing volcanos and gargantuan glaciers. Regardless of the landscape, Chile is a place of love, light, sound and colour. I have now spent two months in Chile, spaced over two separate visits. Each visit has left me yearning for more.
The more I reminisce of the place and, more importantly, of the relationships forged there, the more I want to book in another visit.
It may be sooner than I think...
¿Por qué no?