My heart took a turn in Santiago, going from "OK, I'm terrified"... to “Yes, I will be alright.” When you plan a new life over 5 years and receive a multitude of confirmations that this IS the direction you are to take, there is a peace of mind. The night before I left the USA, I said to a girlfriend, “I wish I just had 1 more week to wrap up details”...that statement came calling when I landed in Chile with loose-ends hanging around like old batteries in the kitchen junk drawer. Still, you reach the point where you just need to get-on-the-plane and have faith that everything will work out, as it has.
In Santiago, days were filled with learning every detail of life; all over again. Sleeping in a twin bed with earplugs, climbing 6-flights of stairs (my "assets" thank you), and how to spend my time now that I’m not a self-employed real estate agent. Speaking of time, much of it is spent finding food, getting to and from a destination (no more jumping in your vehicle at your leisure) or just basic communication, either spoken or read, becomes an “is it worth it” moment. After living alone for 10 years, learning to share space with others, formulating my new career, endless webinars to learn bits and pieces of a new business, and embracing a slower lifestyle. Some of my best decisions were to take time to read, walk the streets of Santiago and just get my mental feet on the ground.
So, as I prepare to leave Santiago, enjoy a couple adventure VIDEOS from my final week:
Parque Metropolitano; plan a full-day for this 3-square mile area. Developed between 1903-1927, stand on top of the world with panoramic city views, ride the historic, clanking funicular, take time for reflection at the Virgin Mary, embrace your fear of heights with the cable car ride, and wander around all its beautiful trails.
La Vega Market-Bring your shopping roller cart, a fierce appetite, and your sense of adventure. This sprawling indoor/outdoor market has everything you could ever want, and then some.😳 Enjoy a roof-top lunch on the outdoor eating pavilion with restaurant barkers courting you with menus and foreign language invitations, fired off at such a rapid pace, there’s no hope for interpretation. Just smile, and eat!
Some of the people who inspired me: (yes, I changed their names)
Leo-This young man took it upon himself to learn English. He shared that when he was a boy, playing a video game, the other players were mocking him because he couldn’t speak English. So, he decided on his own, that he would learn...and did. He is now in his 20’s, articulate in English and a gentle giant of a man. He will go far in life. Bravo Leo for taking charge of your future at such a young age.
Maria J-She saved the day! I was failing miserably at ordering a table for 1 in a café, when this bright young lady sprang into action, negotiated not only my seating but my selection of “rice or salad”...or both. Well, both of course! Within moments, I changed tables and joined her for lunch. We hit it off over Pollo, Carne, and Sandía (Watermelon). She, wanting to improve her English, I curious to learn more about Santiago. When our lunches were boxed up and we parted company, not only had we connected as new friends, but I had agreed to get into her car in a couple of days to explore the La Vega market. “I got this.” We chatted like old friends, reminding ourselves that women in every culture have the same concerns, hopes, and dreams; how to balance life and career, children, our goals...and laughed over how similar idiot men are.
There are more, but I promise to keep this post simple.
Good-bye Santiago; it will be my pleasure to visit again. To see your bustling plazas, explore chaotic open markets, visit friends. To leave behind the stomach gurgles 🤢 and immediate trips to the toilet, the noise that burglarizes my sleep. To again experience the grit, beauty, and dive deeper into your diverse culture.