Another South American nostalgia post. Chile (more specifically, Santiago), was a must visit while I was in Mendoza because it was merely a 6 hour bus ride away. It was my first international trip since being in Argentina and I had no idea what to expect. Thinking back on it, I did make a lot of rookie mistakes that could’ve solved some problems I encountered during the trip, buuuut anguish is part of the traveling experience, right?
1. I wasn’t friends with the people on my study abroad program (there were only 12 of us!) yet I latched on to the hostel that they were staying together in Vina del Mar because I had never heard of Hostelworld etc. (what a noob) and was a bit nervous to be alone. I realized quickly that it a “travel escape” is only complete when you are surrounded in a new setting with new people. Seeing other study abroad peeps go off in their own packs, I was constantly reminded of how I was alone back in Mendoza and alone in Vina del Mar. Ah well. I managed to befriend several Chileans while I was there anyway, and remain FB friends to this day!
2. I severely underestimated how much I would love Chile and wanted to stay an extra day. I also did not account for the long delay across the Chile-Argentina border, my own screw-ups with tickets, etc. I ate the price of two bus tickets because I did not provide flex room for travel. Oops.
3. I also did not realize how much you DO NOT sleep when you’re in a party hostel. When I was in Santiago, I was in a small motel that my Mexican friends found. I did not really know what was going on since we had a severe language barrier (come to think of it, I can’t remember how we agreed to travel together in the first place!). I took off to Vina del Mar, and that’s when everyone wanted to stay up 24/7 to socialize. I was dead exhausted.
4. I participated in a free walking tour around Valpariso and it was amazing. I would love to return….I have such fond memories of that quaint city.