And the seventh month, she took rest.
After six months of traveling, on the seventh month I slowed down. A lot. I spent half of it in Santiago and the other half in Coyhaique (Patagonia), the two cities where I have good friends, and did side trips to Viña del Mar, Valparaiso and lake General Carrera.
That month was about spending time with my friends and get back some small pleasures of normal life. These are the reflections of my seventh month of solo travel, with a summary of the places I visited, the best moments I had and what’s next.
Small pleasures of life
The first things I did when I arrived to Chile were to meet my friends, eat good food and go to the hairdresser. The kind of things I would do at home.
This is a quick way of telling that in Santiago I got back some basic, small pleasures of life that my life on the road made not possible. I “lived” Santiago more than “visited” the city. I met my friends to have lunch, go shopping, or stroll around. Mainly, we talked. It was like being back to Toulouse and catch up with the latest news.
Having a “normal” life instead of my traveling lifestyle woke up mixed and contradictory feelings: a sense of normality and at the same time lack of normality. I mean, meeting my friends felt normal but wearing my traveling clothes and hiking shoes did not.
One of my friends lent me a pair of jeans and that felt so cool. I bought liquid shampoo and conditioner to use instead of my solid shampoo bar. I got a new pair of earrings. With that, I felt more normal.
I had traveled six months with hand luggage only and I did not miss any of the things I had left behind. I felt light. I felt material things were not important. I could live with a 35L backpack only.
There I missed having my own private room, my clothes, my beauty products, my books, my stuff. Ok, maybe I had a materialistic side after all.
Things I learnt
- To appreciate the small pleasures of normal life
- Two cities that are physically different can have the same intangible essence
- Chileans are very friendly
- Speaking the local language makes a difference
- I do not get tired of walking the same streets once and once again
- To accept bad weather with good mood
- Mate is often shared as a signal of hospitality and welcome
- It is important to believe in something in order to find it
- Chile: Santiago, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Coyhaique, Puerto Aysén, villages around lake General Carrera.
- meeting my friends after a long time
- feeling at home in Chile
- finding a routine
- eating great food
- making a road trip with a group of local geologists
You might know already that I am late in the blog, but I am doing my best to recover!
Some quick updates on the next months:
- month 8: south and center of Chile, and Argentina for a few days.
- month 9: Canada for a family holiday, back to Santiago and north of Chile.
- month 10: Bolivia.
- month 11: Argentina and Uruguay.
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