Chi-Chi-Chi-

A little more than half way through my time here in Santiago, Chile and I’ve been feeling a much needed blog post. This city reminds me of New York City, the number of people on foot in all areas at all times, the diversity of foods, the smog in the air. The thing that has set aside this place is the beautiful mountains that are hidden behind the haze. I think it’s a good representation of what this city is like. The clarity hidden gets cleared up after a nice rainfall. Unlike New York City though, people here are much more patient. Despite the language barrier, people will make an effort to repeat themselves and perform different body languages in order to get their messages across. When it proves too difficult though, they forget about it because it’s not worth the extra confusion.

The many different neighborhoods in Santiago is where it has really made me fall in love. The simultaneous realities that one city contains has make Santiago very unique. Barrio Italia, Bellavista, the City Center, Las Condes, Providencia, Patronado – to name a few, are all known for their unique decorations, selling of goods, really run down or really built up feels. Like in many urban cities, the inequalities persist and is tucked away in the outer regions. This is what has hit me the most. As a visitor for a few months, it has made me realized that I’ve been blinded by the city’s facade of wealth while those that exist behind this facade are never to be acknowledged. But this, this is still part of the city’s culture and charm. It’s like their history that is to be forgotten. Rather than be forgotten, I feel the embrace of it would really help any city fully achieve its culture and beauty.

My visits to Valparaiso, then Cajon del Maipo, then Vina del Mar in this last month has really been diversified by not just the location, but the weather. While Santiago reminds me of New York City, the ability and ease to see the mountains and then the beach really reminds of southern California. Chile is such a massive country with massive roots and an array of things to see and do. It’s been nice to be able to see all of these with my own eyes. While I purchased a camera in hopes of capturing the beauty for memories later, I realized it has never been successful in capturing what I see. This is why I feel so fortunate to be able to capture these images through my own eyes and have them developed into memories in my brain.

Here are just some photos that I’d like to share.

The first sunset I saw in Santiago. This polluted air makes for beautiful sunsets.

This massive park discovered on lunch breaks.

The Andes

We trekked in icy snow to see this magnificent turquoise lake.

Valparaiso. With over 40 cerros (hills), kids make this their playground.

Viña del Mar, reminds me of the beachy San Diego that visitors only know

This experience of interning/working in a different city has really made me experience a new place in a different way than I’ve ever had. Though the internshipFor the remaining few weeks in Chile, I’d like to eat more food and see more things. It’s been so nice to be here and though I may not feel it yet, I definitely think I will miss this city and have made plans on returning. Thank you for the hospitality so far.

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May the months I’ve been away be updated.

Hola!

Since my last post, much has changed and evolved. I have broken the habit of writing monthly and though it sucks, I believe any post I have the time to write is still worthwhile.

First off, I finished my first year of grad school! The experience is definitely far from what I have imagined. Though through the difficulties in trying to figure out if this has been worth it or not, I need to remember the positive aspects and how it has provided me with connections and my second unbelievable news-

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to once again live abroad, this time for an internship in Chile! This by far has been the most spontaneous opportunity given to me. Right before spring break, when I felt down and blue about not being good enough or not being wanted as my emails and applications for job postings go unanswered and the interviews I go to is the first and last time I hear from employers led me to apply to this practicum posting, things started to turn around. With an immediate offer from the professor, I realized that sometimes things don’t fall into place so that others (possibly better) things can take its place. I am realizing slowly that this is how I must challenge myself and though I am at odds with grad school, I am grateful for its test on my patience and grit.

I literally arrived in the country just three days ago and it has felt so easy to live in the amazing city that is Santiago. Though the language barrier has been quite a challenge, I am quite proud that I flew in this country all by myself and survived a day here all alone with my limited Spanish vocabulary and knowledge. I cannot believe my desires to travel to South America since last year is actually in motion and I am beyond stoked and grateful for this South American adventure I am so fortunate to go on! I am definitely going to try and write more during my time here so I can remember this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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Hired on the spot.

This actually happened to me today. Makes me realize how a moment can really matter. Even though this job will be temporary, it’s something I’ve been wishing for, some paid work. And it came right when I needed it.

I’ve never felt more wanted ever in my life. I hope this is just the first of many silver linings from the worriment I’ve been feeling.

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NY of my 20s

This year has been one of the most filled year with new beginnings, new friendships, new places, new experiences, new foods, new surroundings, new, new, new. Moving across the country hasn’t felt so far thanks to technology allowing me to maintain connections and relationships with people via phone/text/social media. I’m thankful for this and thankful for the timing I have chosen to move. Starting to feel more like the vagabond that I’ve always yearned to be and realizing I’m fully capable, but not sure if I’m fully feeling this life.

I’ve been neglecting my monthly reflections because of the cautionary tale of lack of time. It’s more because I’m still figuring out how it feels day to day so it’s difficult to reflect how to wrap up this array of emotions and feelings over the course of a month. In that regard, writing more is one of my goals for this new year. This may be the first full year where I won’t be in California and I’ll have to see how it plays out and if that could potentially be where my life will take place.

Grad school has taught me I’m capable of school but intolerable of being graded. It’s been a great experience to meet everyone and I really don’t mind paying for the experience of surrounding myself with ambituous individuals, although sometimes it feels too idealistic and my realistic self cannot help but feel pessimistic about certain desires. This leads to my second goal of being more proactive. Speak less, do more. I want to produce something concrete and see actual things happen, no matter the magnitude of difference. Small things add up.

My heart and mind has not been communicating well and I’m letting my mind think negative thoughts while my heart pound for the excitement in my life. I plan to work on the communication between my mind and my heart so it can leave room for all the new experiences/knowledge I will consumed.

Happy and joyest New Year to everyone! Take this change in date as a starting point for something new in your life. It’s what we do with resolutions, but maintain it as part of your life and not just your year. But if it’s gearing your life into something you don’t like, take it out. It’s just as important to take out to make room for the new. Wishing for good health and happiness for all!

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Is this my costume or I’m actually someone else?

Two months into graduate school now and I’ve learned so much. Not just about the issues in health, but who I am and what I’m capable of doing. Haven’t had much time to reflect as I continually play catchup, but two more months and this intensity shall alleviate my stress and allow me more time to actually and carefully reflect here.

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Summer flip flop

Flipping on to a new month with changes in my life and hoping for no flops. Two weeks left of this sunny SoCal life I’ve come to adore and promise to keep in my heart. Changes allow me to appreciate it much more.

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Half Dome it.

My first time visiting Yosemite Valley (guilty California native) and I did this 14 hour hike up to the Half Dome. 

Making it to the guy who asked for our permits, I thought we were there, nope. Another brutal steep hike up to subdome tested my determination for another hour. 

Though underwhelmed by the view, the feeling of accomplishment made it all worthwhile.

No one told us the Mist Trail was like walking through a storm.

Does it look frightening?

Half Dome Cables!

Chilling at the cables and taking in the view of Yosemite Valley

My group of 5 determined and powerful women.

Definitely recommend the experience. Probably just a one time experience for me though. Just trying to experience what this world has to offer. 

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