chile

Fall Trip, Booked: Chile

I’m so happy. I just purchased a flight to Santiago—I’ll be going to Chile for nine days in October!

This trip was a bit of a whim. The last few months have been a bit crazy, with so much going on. And I’ve just noticed that the year is half over—so I’m overdue to plan a big trip to look forward to.

I’ve wanted to go to Chile since I flew through Santiago on my way to Buenos Aires.В I remember looking out the airport windows, seeing the mountains, and thinking that the landscape looked pretty awesome. Plus, it’s a fascinating country—long and skinny, with so much between its northern and southern points. Accordingly, it has a lengthy coastline. And you know how much I love the beach.

Right now, I’ve yet to plan my itinerary. But I’m considering a few days in Santiago, and then the rest of the time hopping around various coastal towns.

If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

…and in the meantime, it’s time to start brushing up on my espaГ±ol.

(Photo of ValparaisoВ via Pinterest)

So What Happened to Patagonia?

perito moreno

For the past month, I was fixated on going to Patagonia. Whether they wanted to or not, anyone I spoke to during that time had to suffer through hearing heard my plan:

LAN was having a fall fare sale, so I was going to fly into Santiago and spend one day exploring the city. Then, I’d fly to Punta Arenas in time to meet up with a group that would be hiking the Torres del Paine “W” Trek for five days; there, I’d see the picturesque Valle France, the massive Grey Glacier and the iconic, granite towers that give the park its name. (And since I was planning to go in October, the park’s shoulder season, the tour was 30% off.) After that, I’d fly back to Santiago and spend three days bumming around the coastal towns of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Then, I’d take a red eye back to NYC and show up for work that morning.

Pretty sweet, right? So what made me change my mind?

The night before the LAN fare sale ended, I mapped out my trip: how much it would cost me, how much time I’d have at each place. Even with the discounted airfare, trek and staying at inexpensive hotels and hostels, the trip would cost about $3,000—more than what I was hoping to spend. But that wasn’t the dealbreaker. It came down to how I really wanted to experience Patagonia.

In an ideal world, I’d spend a month…or two…or three…traveling Chile from top to bottom.В Unless I quit my job (insanely unlikely, at this point), that’s not happening. So next best case scenario would be having a little over two weeks to explore southern Chile and Argentina—not just Torres del Paine, but also El Calafate,В Los Glaciares National ParkВ and the Perito Moreno glacier;В Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego; the lake district to the north, and more.

I may not have enough vacation time for that next year, or even the year after, but I think it’s worth waiting for.

In the meantime, I will be more than consoled with my time in Buenos Aires and the many other shorter, but just as amazing trips I plan to take in the near future.

(In case you’re wondering, I actually chose BA solely because it was another option on that LAN fare sale. I figured going to Santiago would remind me of what I wasn’t able to do this time around, but a BA trip wouldn’t have any of that baggage! And now that it’s booked, I can’t wait to go.)

(Perito Moreno photo byВ Jordi Oller MaciaВ via 500px’s Pinterest)

Fall Travel Fantasies

For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling “meh”—struggling to feel excited about anything, bored with my everyday routine. (Well, except for ballet—the sole bright spots.) Looking at my calendar, and counting down to some upcoming, fun summer events, helped a bit. But the looming shadow of fall and the endless weeks filled with the same old routine just seemed overwhelmingly depressing.

It took me a while to realize I’ve gotten stuck in a rut.

A non-traveling rut.

Last year, at my old job, I had five weeks of vacation—plus five summer Fridays—and I used every single one of those days. At this time, one year ago, I’d already spent a week inВ Panama, had a girls’ weekend inВ Chicago, another one inВ Boston, tookВ a three-day running trip, and was taking lots of three-day weekends to visit Mal and Peter inВ Maryland. Plus, I had two weeks inВ GuatemalaВ on the horizon.

I’ve just realized that this year is half-over and I’ve only taken three days to go toВ Eleuthera. And I have no big trip planned for the fall. Part of this is due to having a new job and far fewer vacation days, and feeling hesitant to take any. But I’ve realized that because of this, I’ve been reading less travel articles, daydreaming less about where to go next—and dragging myself down, as a result.

My blog tagline pretty much sums me up: I love travel, ballet and my hometown of NYC. I need them all in a way that’s hard to articulate and, I assume, difficult for other people to understand,В unless they feel the same way about something. I can’t be without any of the three for an extended amount of time without feeling off. (When it comes to travel, I don’t need to go far or spend tons of money—if that were the case, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere during the last 10 years. I just need to goВ somewhere…every few weeks, if possible!)

So yesterday, I decided to pull myself out of my travel rut. I decided I would definitely plan a fall trip—even if it ends up being another solo journey. And IВ started to think about all the places I could explore. I took a Chile travel guide off my bookshelf and read it on the subway. (I’ve still yet to go there.) Just envisioning Torres del Paine and Parque NacionalВ Los Glaciares lifted my spirits. And since then, I’ve felt more energized and optimistic than I have in ages.

Pretty amazing what a little determination and positive thinking can do.

torres del paine

…if you have any ideas about where I should go, please let me know! I’m still figuring it out and would love some suggestions.

(Torres del Paine photo byВ Steffen Sauder via Wikitravel)