Infused exposures is back!
We’re back! It was my first time taking a ‘vacation’ to go ‘home’ so that was kind of weird but it was also pretty amazing to be able to make this opportunity happen. It was a bit of a whirlwind and time flew by for both of us but it was great seeing so many friends and family. I discovered I don’t miss New York that much but I miss its people. Okay, so I missed burgers, pizza and bagels!! And real coffee! Now we are back to ‘No es cafe’ (Nescafe).
So it must feel great to be back right? Well, I know it will sound strange to most of you and believe me, it felt really strange to feel it but we had a very difficult time adjusting back to life on the road. It was kind of depressing actually.
Don’t get me wrong, we still love traveling! And I’m not complaining here, we are still unbelievably grateful for our opportunity to do this. It is a once in a lifetime experience, I have not lost sight of that! I am just sharing how unexpected it was to feel so low when we returned to Chile.
Once we were home I think we both embraced not only familiar faces but more importantly a familiar way of life. For six months we have been constantly in unfamiliar places with an unfamiliar language and to suddenly be back in comfortable surroundings was well, it was comforting! Then boom, 3 weeks later we are back in the unfamiliar.
I met Laurent in the airport in Santiago where we had left each other. It was a great reunion, I had truly missed him. Well, not the first few days! But after that, I missed him a lot. We decided to stay in Santiago for four days and explore the city a bit more.
We visited the Vega fruit market. The market is bustling and chaotic. The produce is outstanding and you can also purchase fresh olives out of huge buckets, spices in every color lined up in big sacks and fresh hunks of cheese, all excellent quality.
We ate lunch in the middle of the market serenaded by a woman wearing a boom box around her neck awkwardly singing Spanish love songs at a volume fitting for a Guns n Roses concert. Ah, welcome back. I had a delicious ‘cazuela de ave’ which is like a cross between a chicken soup-stew. The chicken is served on the bone along with chunks of potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and corn. The broth is full of the flavor of all these things.
We tried to get used to life back in the hostels which was initially difficult. Sharing bathrooms, kitchens and small spaces with people no longer felt friendly and communal. Now I felt frustrated and annoyed. But that was soon to change.
We met up with Laurent’s friend who lives in Santiago and he inadvertently turned things around for us. Laurent met him when he lived in Vancouver and he is really just the nicest guy ever. He took us to his house for a barbeque with his family followed by a drive to the nearby mountains in Santiago and that’s when things started to feel really good again.
This is what it was all about. Meeting new people, getting to know how they live and enjoying new places and savoring each day. We watched the sunset and even the ugly smog that hangs in Santiago looked beautiful. I felt revitalized!
We have a lot of work ahead of us though. We need to improve our Spanish and we have to actually start writing our book. Our plan is to take Spanish classes for a few weeks in Bolivia due to its low cost and we are going to spend a few months in France where we can have a quiet space for writing the book. Stay tuned for new plans!