This has been a challenging year on several personal levels. Without diving too deeply into it, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be here right now, writing this blog entry, if the planets had not aligned to make this moment possible. Just when I thought I’d be unable to travel this year, good news started rolling in and I started planning this trip like a madwoman. I’m glad that the planets did align, mostly because it meant that the fortunes of others’ had improved, but also because by then I was in desperate need of a break—from my day-to-day life, my routine, and yes, even from my home country. (Sorry to inject a hint of politics in this blog, but I suspect that sentiment is true for lots of folks, regardless of which side of our political chasm you’re on.) There’s also something to be said of escaping the seasonal onslaught of pumpkin spice everything, which is surely a sign that a society has reached a point of decadence if there ever was one. If the phrase “first world problems” had a smell mascot, it would reek of pumpkin spice.
But I digress, as usual.
Travel has always been a respite for me. It’s the cozy blanket around my shoulders while a storm rages outside. It’s the fire warming my feet. It’s the hot soup in my belly. It’s my version of “self care.” So, here I am, sitting in an old Chilean customs building that’s been converted into a B&B, attending to my self. Yes, Chile—that painfully thin country along the western side of South America where you can hike in the mountains and splash in the Pacific all in one day, if you had the notion. I am still gainfully employed in a non-consulting job—thus, forced to abide by the laughable amounts of vacation time normally allotted to Americans—so this trip will be another chapter in my digital nomad experiences. Last year, when I was in Bolivia for 6 weeks, I left the country feeling like I could have used a few extra weeks, so this trip will be 8 weeks, starting with two weeks of actual vacation. David is joining me for this portion of the trip and we’ll ski in Portillo, Chile (weather permitting), head to Valparaiso for some beach and Casablanca Valley wine tasting, then head to Santiago for a few days of city sightseeing, after which David returns to the U.S. and I settle into my Santiago apartment to kick off the work portion of my trip. Toward the end of my trip, I will trek in Chilean Patagonia, which will cap off my two-month adventure. Like last year, I will post less during the work portion of my trip to save everyone from the work drudgery. Working abroad is a lot like working from home—what’s different is everything in between.
And now…it’s time for a nap. Trust me, it’s necessary after 19 hours of flying. The weather is beautiful right now, which does not bode well for our ski plans. We’ll just have to sort that out later.