A month in and I’ve hit my stride. I’m at that point in my journey where I feel comfortable and natural as a traveler…but also completely removed from life back home. I’ve been so focused on the present moment that I can hardly be bothered to write a simple email. I haven’t even taken many pictures in the last few weeks, choosing to see and experience first-hand rather than behind the lens of a camera.
Chile is unlike any country I’ve traveled to before. I expected it to be similar to Peru (which was very reminiscent of countries in Central America, which reminded me of India and Indonesia…the list goes on). But Chile is different. It was obvious the moment I stepped off the plane, as I was hit with slight but unexpected culture shock.
I adored Santiago. The city felt familiar and comfortable, and I almost forgot I wasn’t staying forever. I met like-minded travelers at the most welcoming little hostel and I just…fit. For that week, it was perfect.
I wish I could explain what happens when I am in full “travel mode”. I become a chameleon. I blend. I fade away into the scenery. That bored look on the metro; the indifferent gaze from unwanted whistling as I cross the street; my purposeful stride, regardless of whether or not I actually know where I’m headed at the moment.
I can almost see my sisters rolling their eyes at that last paragraph because they will think I’m exaggerating. Or maybe they can’t picture it, because they haven’t witnessed it themselves. No one has. I can be shy and uncomfortable in unknown surroundings, or loud and embarrassing with my closest friends. But I swear I’m different when I’m alone, walking the city. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite so vibrant and alive.
So please don’t fret if I go quiet for a few days or a week here and there. I am doing just fine. I have simply disappeared for a bit, wandering the streets and taking in the sights and sounds of some South American city. But don’t worry…I’ll be back soon. Love, K:)