The excitement of waking up everyday in a foreign country ended three weeks ago to the day. We have moved back into our apartment, we are back at work and we have caught up with almost everyone we hold near and dear. The reality of being home is finally beginning to sink in!
In an effort to sort through the thousands of photos from our South American adventure, and to inspire me for the next trip, I’ve decided to undertake a series of short posts on some of the places we visited over the last six months that didn’t get a mention in my earlier posts, and of course some that did.
Thinking back over the last six months brings me joy. I think back to some of the people we met along the way, the funny things they said, their quirkiness and the closeness we shared. I remember the feeling of freedom when we hiked into the Los Glaciares National Park with nothing but a tent, sleeping bag and a supply of simple food. I smile as I reflect on the glorious 10 minutes when I felt weightless hang gliding over favelas and beaches of Rio that I had for so long dreamt of seeing with my own eyes.
This trip was life changing. After years of travelling and feeling guilty for not being as career-oriented as my friends, I finally accepted that I will forever find myself with an inclination to pack my belongings and take off to some far-flung corner of the world. I am now happy in my own skin. I have accepted that there is nothing wrong with wanting more, to see more, to experience it all. I now use this as my motivation now that I am back behind a desk using my brain for things other than writing and taking photos.
In this post, I’m taking it alllll the way back to the beginning. After we packed our bags and farewelled family, we jetted off from Sydney to Santiago, Chile. After a few days finding our feet, getting over the jet-lag and exploring Santiago we boarded a local bus and travelled the few hours south to the coastal port town of Pichilemu. With its cactus-lined cliffs and rugged coastline, Pichilemu felt like the Chile I had dreamt of before arriving. The locals lived life in the slow lane and nothing seemed to be worthy of doing it in a rush. People were passionate about their food, even more passionate about their wine and life centred around the ocean.
Our days consisted of riding bicycles through the rolling hills outside of town to Punta de Lobos. We would sit on the headland watching surfers, taking photos and eating. Late in the afternoon, we would meander back into town stopping for a beer or two along the way. Life was simple. We made our way north via the graffitied town of Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama. Desert living presented us with some unique experiences and vast open spaces. We rode bicycles for 40km through one of the driest deserts on earth, taking in scenes we would have missed if we had made the journey by car.
I chose these photos as they remind me of the emotions and feelings I had when I arrived in Chile. It was a mix of nervous energy, excitement at what the next six months would bring and pure elation at once again being on the road for an extended period of time.
Enjoy and safe travels, Louie.