″A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.”
I came across one of the best quotes that I’ve seen in a long time, and I decided that I really want to try and make it theme of this journey for me.
It goes a little something like this-
“The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies. You may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins. You may miss your only love. You may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it, then: To learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing, which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you. ”
~The Once and Future King~
I actually think this quote should totally be the moto for my life and hopeful future career as a foreign correspondent or photojournalist. I’ve been listening to NPR and BBC a lot lately trying to stay connected and there was an interview with a french photojournalist who just recently escaped from Syria, and all of the atrocities he filmed and witnessed for the rest of the world to see.. and how he lives with what he saw, makes me realize what I am in for, and how learning and turning these horrible, immoral acts into motivation for change is a huge part of what I want to do as a journalist.
Relating that back to my travels here in Chile, I really want to take this opportunity of me being so incredibly far from my comfortable, happy place back home to take these occasional feelings of sadness, loneliness, foreign-ness or just being blatantly lost- into something bigger. I know that nothing worth having comes easy, and as my host mom roughly told me the other day at dinner- ” You already have the hardest part over with, you had the courage to come to a foreign country where no one speaks your language and to start over for half of a year, it takes a different kind of girl to do that, and I’m proud to call you my host daughter, you are more brave than a lot of people.”
Every time I feel sad or weak, that is just more of an opportunity for growth! One of the girls here from Chicago, Teresa who I’ve grown really close to, is kinda in the same boat as me when it comes to struggling with the language barrier.
Every single time we have no clue what is going on because every one is speaking so fast we just have to remind ourselves, that this is just an opportunity for growth, and not to let it get us down.
Teresa’s mom back home told her something that really stuck with me the other day, to fully experience this trip you can’t live with one foot in the USA and one foot in Chile, you really have to give these few short months your all and immerse yourself in the language and culture.
I definitely took a step towards that this past weekend because I bought a bike! It is so great and convenient to have this thing. I rode my bike to and from school yesterday, it is a little far- about 8 Kilometers from my house, or almost 5 miles, so there and back is a 10 mile ride, lets just say my legs and butt are definitely feeling it today! I feel like such a local riding my bike around and I can just see so much more of the city on bike than on the metro crammed in between crowds and crowds of people rushing to work.
This past Saturday my host mom, Teresa and my friend Cassie went to the coast to escape from some the heat for a day. We took a bus to a beach called Agarrobo, but it turns out we picked a bad day to go because the whole beach was inside a cloud! It was so foggy! But it was still warm out, and we had fun walking around and relaxing on the beach! When we got back that night, the metro was closed off because a man had fallen onto the tracks during rush hour from all the people and died. It was scary to see all the crowds of hectic people and ambulances. So we had to take another bus home, and I saw my first storm in Santiago. It wasn’t exactly a storm because there wasn’t any rain, but there was a crazy amount of lightning in the mountains.
I am planning on riding my bike back to school today after lunch, and we are buying our bus tickets to go to a beach in the south about 3 hours from Santiago to take surfing lessons this weekend!!
So excited to give it a go, and I promise there will probably be pictures and embarrassing stories to go along with it.
Miss you all so much!
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard