It has been almost 3 years since I’ve travelled internationally. When I left in December 2019, I had no idea my christmas in Ethiopia, was going to be my last overseas trip for many years. Sure, in that time I did two road trips, a weekend in Adelaide, an even longer weekend on Norfolk island and even just 6 weeks ago, I spent a weekend in Auckland. It just wasn’t the same, as amazing as those experiences were.
Having to deal with long haul travel, the pain and annoyance that it is, might be the reason why overseas travel is rewarding. I also would not have chosen Santiago as my first big overseas destination either. It is easily not the highlight of Chile and my fondest memories of it are a Newfoundland dog called Mocha, that was the hotel dog on a vist with my friends Jane and Claire in 2013. Of course i didn’t choose Santiago, I chose Antarctica and its a means of getting to what i hope is an amazing trip.
Since arriving i’ve had a hard time dealing with the jetlag, somethign else you don’t deal with on aussie roadtrips. I wanted to walk up Cerro Santa Lucia, right near my hotel again. In 2013 it was a hot sunny day and i think it was full of people looking to sell us stuff or annoy us in some way. Its closed, there are still remnants of Covid policies here in Chile. I’m not sure if this is one of them, but another thing i’ve noticed is menus are literally gone from tables. You either read them on the chalkboard or scan the QR code on the table to get the menu. Also unlike Australia when paying I have to specify, “tarjeta de debito” or tarjeta de credito”. I’ve seen a few places also say they want contactless payments and “no efectivo” or cash.
Finally, i’m coping with my spanish language skills. Listening is still the hardest thing to do and sometimes conversation is difficult, because its easier to think about what you want to ask in advance rather than in mid-conversation. Sadly the ship will be all english, but hoping to continue to use spanish and improve my skills until then and on the stops.