I'm sitting in an empty room, except for my bag and some luggage in the corner. Tomorrow, Nick and I take off for Buenos Aires, before continuing north through South America and eventually home to Minnesota. I am utterly and completely in shock that my time in Santiago has now come to an end. It feels like just yesterday that I arrived here at 5:00 AM, jobless and homeless.
As many (some) of you probably noticed, I've been pretty slow to post on here of late. The blogging definitely took a backseat in my daily list of priorities, and honestly I wasn't sure why. Maybe I tired of it, or maybe I couldn't find anything interesting to say. But what I think happened was, I found myself feeling less like a foreigner documenting his weird journey through a strange land, and more like a Chilean living the normal life of a 20-something guy down here. Things ceased to be strange, noteworthy, or blog-notes. I took less and less pictures, because things stood out less and less to me. This blog, created to keep me in touch with my friends and family back home, ended up being more of a tool for me to feel a connection to a world I knew. Blogging about the things I saw, activities I did, or experiences I had helped me maintain this connection to a world thousands of miles away, because I felt no connection to the place. But slowly, that connection grew and grew, until I suddenly no longer felt the need to pen my thoughts electronically. I had a world down here that I needed to maintain, and so my electronic world faded into the background.
This isn't to say I'm not excited to return to the US, and to live in a world I (more or less) completely understand. The US is, and always will be, my home. But I do feel now that my life has been split into two parts, and I have two countries I feel completely at peace in. I hope that I can take the lessons and perspective that I've acquired in this past year, and be a more complete and useful human being in the future.
Thank you, Chile. It's been a most enjoyable ride.