Arrival in Chile

As I write I am flying over Peru, due to land in roughly three and a half hours.  Given that it is two in the morning in Santiago and the time change will be minimal I should probably be sleeping, but the reality is that I am not.  Anyway, the general fuzziness of sleep deprivation might help dampen some of whatever homesickness I’m sure I will feel upon arrival – or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Now that I am on my way to Chile, the various logistical hurdles of this travel experience seem to be, for the most part, over.  Navigating the airport and passing through customs in Santiago I’m sure will present its own challenges, but these are all things with which the program staff should be able to help, and frankly aren’t worth trying to anticipate.  At this point I am instead more worried about the experience, not the preparation, of living abroad.  From past travel experience I know that, while the first few weeks will seem crazy and exciting, once the immediate euphoria of travelling wears off I will have to deal with more long term homesickness as I realize how far behind – both physically and culturally – I have left everything that I feel comfortable with, and as the extent to which my grasp over the Spanish language does not exist becomes more obvious.

I’ve also heard that it’s impossible to get any coffee other than Nescafe, so I’ll have to overcome that challenge as well.  My dad laughed when I told him I packed my French press, but there are certain cultural differences that aren’t worth overcoming simply for the sake of “living authentically.”  And let’s be honest – there’s nothing authentic about Nescafe anyway.