Tomorrow is the day that I fly 4, 727 miles south to live for a semester in Santiago, Chile with a host mom named Winnie and a spirit of adventure. I've been itching to get to South America for a few years now and it has always appeared to me as the ultimate travel destination. Long and narrow Chile borders the South Pacific ocean and hosts the towering Andes, the driest desert in the world, deep, green valleys, active volcanos, and large lakes and rivers. It's a nature lover's paradise. And if you're into the city, the capital Santiago bustles with over 5 million people at the foot of snow-capped mountains. I'm interested to see how nature and urban life intertwine in my new home. In addition to taking four Spanish classes at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, we have trips scheduled to Buenos Aires, the Atacama Desert, Patagonia, and Machu Picchu in Peru. If I can manage it, I'll find a way to get over to see the mysterious ancient stone statues on Easter Island, too. With a GoPro strapped to my head, a camera around my neck, and hiking boots on my feet, I'll leave as little of Chile unexplored as I can. Oh, and I guess I'll study a little bit too.
I love the feeling of the unknown stretching out before me in wide blue skies and roaring oceans. It has always taunted me, urging me to leave everything behind and just go. Chile called and I am following her. Here's to the journey and learning what it means to be Chilean.