Wow! I can’t believe I’ve reached 200 posts! That’s crazy! I can’t believe I wrote all that! I used to hate writing! But, clearly I don’t anymore! I actually enjoy it! And, I look forward to writing a new post! I can’t believe how much has happened in my life through the past 200 posts! This blog has been a crazy journey! And, I can’t wait for the next hundreds of posts!
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The day I hit 200 posts: I’m currently in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I’m sitting on a couch in the common area in my hostel, where I’ve been volunteering and living for the past 3 months. It’s a cooler day outside (fall is in the air). The city is busy, as usual. Kids are getting ready to start school. People are coming/going to work! I’m getting ready to head to Chile (to visit my friends/family from last year). I’m listening to music while booking my bus to Chile! And, then I decided to look at my wordpress stats, and I noticed that I was 1 post away from 200, so I decided to take the time to write my 200th post.
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I also want to take this time to thank you! If you’ve been reading since I started blogging, or if you just started following my journey; Thank you for reading my random blog filled with random thoughts and adventures! I’m looking forward to writing more random content for you to read!
It doesn’t matter if you were a pro at all those things in your home country because everything will be different in a foreign country.
Yes, there will be similarities, and you will learn the differences quickly. But, you will still need to learn the best place to grocery shop, the best method of transportation to get around (bus, subway, taxi), and the currency (so you know when something is overpriced).
And, on top of discovering all those things, you will need to learn a foreign language.
AND, while you are learning ALL that, you also need to deal with homesickness and culture shock (at least for the first few months).
Now, I’m not saying all this to scare you. I personally have been loving my experience living abroad. I’m telling you all this so you know what’s coming: A LOT OF WORK AND DEDICATION! But, it’s 100% worth it.
Yes, there will be ups and downs. There will be days where you won’t want to speak the language (you’ll get tired of needing to train your brain in a foreign language everyday). There will be days where you’ll just want to do nothing. But, those days are the best because they will teach you the most. If you power through those days, you will realize how worth it, it is, to learn to adult/live in a foreign country. It will make it that much easier for your return to your home country. Adulting/living in a foreign country is an amazing, life-changing experience.
It really is LIFE-CHANGING because after you live in a foreign country for more than 2 or 3 months, your view of everything changes. But, the only way to understand this life-changing experience is to live it yourself! So, step out of your comfort zone & live this amazing experience!
Thanks for reading!
I hope this inspired you to step out of your comfort zone and change your perspective!
P.S. I just completed my second months of living abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina! CHECK OUT THE LINK BELOW TO SEE SOME OF MY ADVENTURES, WHILE LEARNING NEW THINGS AND LIVING A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE:
…So, this post is from 5 months ago when I lived in Chile… I finally decided to share it because it’s from the day I decided to take a spontaneous trip from my “hometown (Quillota)” to the town of Los Angeles.
So, it all started March 9, 2018 at 8pm when I decided to start exploring more of this beautiful country. So, I got up and headed to the bus station in Quillota, where I would take the 2 hour bus ride to Santiago.
I arrived in Santiago at 10pm, and waited to take the 11pm bus to Los Angeles.
That means I arrived in Los Angeles around 5am, and up to this time I had not thought of what I’d do when I arrived that early (I thought I wouldn’t arrive until at least mid-day), but I was still on a high from spontaneously deciding to take this trip, so I didn’t think much about it.
. . .
So, I arrived at the Los Angeles bus terminal at 5am, and nothing around was open.
So, I decided to copy the people around me (the 5 other people in the bus station – a family of 3, a women with a lot of bags and suitcases, and a business man).
So, I found a bench in the terminal, put my headphones on, and laid down to take a nap.
But, I wasn’t really tired, so I just listened to my music, and tried to keep myself warm – because at 5am in Chile, the temperature drops down below 10 degrees…It goes from 35 to below 10; which is a pretty drastic difference, and makes one feel the cold (so, I couldn’t fall asleep because I couldn’t stop shivering).
When I saw other buses and people arriving in the terminal, I realized I had been laying on the bench for at least 2 hours, and let me tell you, it wasn’t very comfortable.
As soon as I saw a small glimpse of sunlight through the bus terminal window, I got up and ventured out into town, and searched for breakfast. But, since it was barely 8am, (in Chile grocery stores don’t open until at least 10am), I couldn’t get breakfast for another 2 hours.
So, there I was, in an unknown town with nothing to do but explore, and watch the sun rise(which turned out to be pretty amazing).
And, that’s exactly what I did – I walked from one end of town to the other (it wasn’t a very big town), enjoying this exciting, and spontaneous adventure to Los Angeles, Chile.
. . .
Although, the walk was great, and the sunrise was beautiful, I was still a little cold (I was used to the 35 degree heat), and my feet were starting to hurt (really bad), I continued to explore this town at dawn (the beauty of a new town, this early, helped me forget the cold, and the pain).
So, with nothing open, and being a small town, the streets were very quiet, which felt weird (even in Quillota there’s noise at night), but it was kinda nice and peaceful to experience a small town in another country, this early in the morning.
. . .
After ~2 hours of exploring, just aimlessly walking around, and watching the sunrise (and getting kicked out of a hotel – …see below…), I found the first grocery store to open, and immediately went inside.
But, before even looking for breakfast, I just stood inside realizing how cold I’d actually gotten – being outside in below 10 degree weather since 4am I’d started to adjust.
I eventually started walking down the isles of the grocery store thinking of what I wanted for breakfast… (I had no idea, so, I ended up just buying some staple foods like: bread, manjar, bananas, water, and some Chilean treats…).
But, as I was walking to the elevator to leave, the front desk agents saw me and thought I was being suspicious. So, after they questioned me, I told them I was leaving, and that I just wanted to see the view. But, they still called their manager, which is when I realized I could’ve just asked before I went up (but from what other people said, it seemed like it was ok). After they called their manager, I patiently waited, as to not cause any more trouble, and then they escorted me out (I felt weird in the moment, but at least I got a story out of it from my trip to Los Angeles, Chile when I felt like a little rebel :D).
. . .
With breakfast purchased, I headed back outside.
It was now past 10:30am, so it was warming up with the sun, and people were waking up and going about their day.
As I was standing outside of the grocery store enjoying the warmth of the sun, my feet still screaming in pain, I set out to find a park (or plaza, as they call it in Chile) to sit down and eat my breakfast. And, although I had passed many during my walk this morning, it took me a while to find it again.
I eventually found a beautiful plaza where I finally sat down.
While warming up under the sun and eating breakfast, I just watched people go about their day. It was interesting to just sit there and watch people in this new, small town because for a moment, I forgot I was in Chile. It all just seemed and felt normal.
After I had warmed up and ate breakfast, I connected to the internet (in Chile every town has a plaza with free wifi). I took some pictures of the sunrise and posted them on Instagram, texted my host family to let them know I made it, and texted my family back home to show them where I was.
After finishing breakfast, and checking social media, I ventured out again.
This time I went to find the mall, and coffee.
. . .
A few minutes later, I walked into the mall (it was bigger than you’d expect for a small town), and immediately headed to the food court to find coffee (I was tired from only 3 hours of sleep on the bus).
I got a great cup of coffee and did some more people watching in the mall to see if the plaza was only a similar feeling because I was tired, but this also felt very normal (maybe even more).
By this time it was ~11am, so there were more people around, and more places open, and everything just seemed normal (I barely felt like I was in Chile – until I heard people speaking Spanish…).
Once I finished my coffee, I headed back to the bus terminal because my goal when coming to Los Angeles was to go to Saltos del Laja (the Niagara falls of Chile – that’s how my hostfamily explained it to me), which is 30mins from Los Angeles.
At 13:00, I finally got on the bus to Saltos del Laja (my bucket list item was about to be checked off!).
. . .
30 minutes later, I arrived in Saltos del Laja.
The falls were visible from the highway, but to get to the base of them, I had to climb down a hill. And, I made it to the falls (bucket list item: check).
The falls were incredible, and I couldn’t believe I actually made it! (the long journey, and little bit of pain & cold were SOOOOO worth it)! If you’re ever in Chile, I really recommend going to Saltos del Laja!
When I got to the base of the falls, I just sat down staring at the falls eating my last banana from breakfast.
I think I must’ve sat there staring at the falls for a good hour because when I left the falls I was a little damp from the mist coming off them, and a big group of tourists were making their descent to the falls.
After saying “Hi!” to the English speaking tourists (it was nice to hear English :D), I decided it was time to get up, and check out the vendor shops I passed on my way down the hill. (I ended just buying a sticker of the falls, and a Chilean bracelet).
. . .
It was a few minutes past 16:00 when I arrived back in Los Angeles, and since the next bus back to Santiago wasn’t until 18:00, I decided to go explore a little more and buy a / some snacks for the bus ride back.
. . .
That night/morning, I arrived in Santiago SO LATE/EARLY (1am), and the next bus to Quillota didn’t leave until 7am (this is when the spontaneous high started wearing-off…I just wanted to get back now that I checked the falls off my bucket list…I was tired…to say the least).
So, what could I do for ~6 hours, this early in the morning in Santiago?
Yup, you guessed it, I walk around and explored Santiago at night/early morning.
My feet were still in a little pain from Los Angeles walking, but I couldn’t stay at the bus terminal because they were closed, and taxi drivers were insisting on driving me to a hotel (and I think they were raising the price). So, because I didn’t want to pay for a hotel room for less than 6 hours, I told them I would just walk to a hotel (that was my “little white lie” for the day…my bad – But, I just wanted them to stop asking me where I was going…so I left). Spoiler alert: I didn’t walk to a hotel!
Luckily for me, Santiago is still pretty alive at night, so I wasn’t the only person in the streets (let alone the only traveler / backpacker in the streets). While walking around for a couple of hours enjoying the Santiago nightlife, I only found one corner store open (where I just bought a bottle of water for my night exploring in Santiago), not much else was open. So, guess what I did next… You’ll literally never guess…
. . .
While exploring, and discovering a lot of landmarks in Santiago, I found a Starbucks!
…It wasn’t open, but…
I sat down outside of it, and used the internet for a few hours (at least it’s not as cold in Santiago, so I didn’t freeze sitting there).
And, I was only an hour away from the bus terminal I had to go to, to take the bus to Quillota in a few hours.
So, I sat there (at this Starbucks on a random street in Santiago) for a couple of hours (from ~3am to ~5am) using the internet (checking social media), thinking about the past 24 hour adventure. And, I started writing this story because this was a very crazy, spontaneous, and memorable experience.
If I had planned this trip, Iprobably would’ve stayed at a hotel somewhere, and had a better itinerary with more stops.
But, it was so last minute that I literally just put some stuff in a backpack because I wanted to check the waterfalls off my bucket list once and for all.
Sometimes the best trips are the ones that happen spontaneously. (And, this is what that was because I will truly never forget this trip!)
Happy ending to this crazy trip:
After using the internet at Starbucks, the sun was starting (just barely) to rise, so I made my way to the bus terminal, and took a bus back to Quillota, and I made it back to my host family’s home at 11am (just in time for a nice, delicious breakfast – which was cereal…but it was the best cereal ever :D).
And, after breakfast, I immediately went to sleep (I was super exhausted from only 3 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours, and sore from all the walking). I slept that entire day, until 20:00 (but it was so worth it!).
It might have been a crazy / unplanned / painful / exhausting / spontaneous trip in the moment, but, I will never forget this trip because it was one of the best, and most eye-opening trips I’ve ever taken (alone).
If you read this until the end; Thank you for reading this long post about my adventure to Los Angeles / Saltos del Laja, Chile!
I hope it inspired you to take a spontaneous trip somewhere new (I recommend doing at least a little bit of planning).
What was one of your craziest adventures? (comment your story below)
-LiveForAdventure! 🙂 (I definitely lived for adventure on this trip!)
Have you ever just sat somewhere and just observed your surroundings?
. . .
Ya, me neither. …Until a few hours ago…
And, that’s what I’m gonna talk about in this weekend’s coffee share because a few days ago I saw this one-word prompt idea, and the word was surroundings. So, during that day, I couldn’t help but observe my surroundings. And, here’s what I noticed:
. . .
1- I was just sitting on the bus, when I realized that I never actually notice my surroundings. I’m usually just looking out the window, listening to music & waiting to arrive at my stop; just like most of the people I’m noticing right now.
2- I’m seeing all these people on the bus, heading to different places, with a different purpose. They’re all, either, reading the newspaper, reading a book, texting, listening to music, sleeping, eating breakfast, etc.
3- I’m hearing some people talk about their week, if they know each other from seeing each other everyday.
4- I’m realizing that we are all sitting (or standing, if it’s crowded) on this bus for the same reason(to get somewhere).
5- All I can really understand is that we all need to get somewhere, & we don’t want to drive, or we don’t own a car.
6- I feel weird watching people because no one really interacts (except for the handful of people that do). But, I guess everyone is in their own world, so they won’t even notice someone starring at them (I’m not really starring, just glancing at people around me). They probably don’t even know I’m looking at them.
7- From watching everyone, I’m starting to just realize that we’re all just tired from our day & we just want to get home (Or it’s too early to interact with other humans).
All this, noticing my surroundings in this bus, got me thinking; What if the bus was free, & the only catch was that you had to talk to someone until your stop (at least just say hi)?
Just for some insight… Where I live, the bus cost is $2.50. And, most people take the bus twice a day (to and from work), at least 5 to 6 days per week. That’s $25-$30 dollars every week. Which adds up to $100-$120 dollars per month.
So, in other words, everyone on this bus spends around $100 every month to sit and stare out the window. But, I now realize that it’s cheaper than gas for your car; and you’re technically saving the environment.
So, observing my surroundings made me realize that even though everyone seems to just be sitting in their own little bubble on the bus waiting to get to their stop, they are all contributing to saving the environment. And with gas prices now, they are actually saving money.
So, everyone I’ve observed on this bus actually have more in common than I thought.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post was insightful and gave you some food for thought about perspective on the little & overlooked things in life.
*Your surroundings are important; don’t overlook them; they can teach you a lot!*
So, first of all, if we were having coffee right now, it would be 6 am because that’s the only time we could meet, as I work all weekend until the end of the day.
. . .
So, it’s 6 am.
It’s so early that the sun hasbarely risen. But, at least it is sunny. Spring is finally catching up (hopefully it continues).
. . .
If we were having coffee right now, I would be asking you about your week and plans for the weekend (and i’d probably be a little jealous). I’d ask you how school or work is going. I’d ask you how your week went…
I’d honestly probably just ask you questions, until you asked me something (I’m not one to just talk about myself voluntarily).
But, for the sake of this post, let’s pretend you’ve already asked me questions.
. . .
Then, I would tell you how tired I am this morning. I would tell you how much I just want to be sleeping in today, instead of working.
I would tell you how much I miss living in Chile, where I didn’t have wake up so early or wait for the sun to come out everyday.
I would show you some picture from my trip and tell you that you have to visit the country one day.
I would tell you that I’m so tired that this coffee isn’t even waking me up.
I would tell you that I just want to be sitting on a plane right now, instead of waiting for my bus to work.
I would tell you how much it means to me that you woke up at 6 am on your day off just to talk, small talk, for a few minutes.
I would tell you that I should get to work, but I am really thankful for the short time you took to talk, this early on a Sunday morning.
Then, we would probably hug.
I’d say: “have a good day off” and you’d say: “you too”.
And, then, we’d laugh and you’d correct yourself and say: “…good day, at work, I mean. See you next time!”
I’d smile, and say: “ya, next time…Maybe not so early, with more time to just sit.”.
And, finally, we’d wave goodbye!
That’s what it would probably be like, if we met this morning for a cup of coffee.
Thanks for reading this post!
P.S. I actually did write this post on the bus at 7 am. And, I’m thinking about maybe doing one every weekend as something new to try on this blog, so please let me know what you think in the comments.
So, recently I took a trip to Valparaiso, Chile & I had the best day there, just wandering the city! Here’s an “itinerary” of that trip:
1- I took the bus (1 hour) to Valparaiso alone, and didn’t get lost once!
2- I explored and wandered the beautiful city of Valparaiso!
3- My eyes were truly open to everything I saw today!
4- I was completely present in the moment today, which made my adventuring, wandering & exploring so much better!
5- Like the title & the picture hint: I got perspective thrown at me in multiple ways today!
. . .
Perspective: The appearance of things relative to one another, as determined by their distance from the viewer.
So, the first picture you saw at the top of this page is a view standing from the top of a staircase in Valparaiso. And, the next picture you saw at the top of this page is a view of the same staircase, but this time, standing right in front of it (instead of above it).
. . .
You see, this is why perspective is such an important concept because things are always different from where someone is standing.
Just like in life. People see things differently because they’re in different places in their own lives, this means that everyone has a different perspective about some/most things.
Nothing is the same for everyone because we all perceive things differently, which means that we all experience life differently. That’s perspective! Being different & accepting different perspectives of the same things.
The picture from above the staircase could be someone’s view of that staircase for their entire life. Whereas, the picture in front of the staircase could be someone else’s view of it for their entire life. But, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t both seeing the same staircase, they are just looking at it from where they are currently standing. And, most people would be fine with just seeing it from their perspective for their entire life, but, what I’m trying to encourage you to do after reading this post is: to always try and look at things from different perspectives because you never know what you could discover, just by shifting your focus.
“Don’t stay in the same spot for your whole life (don’t stay at the top of the staircase for your entire life)! Change your perspective (come down & look at it from a different perspective)!”
Change your PERSPECTIVE! It might just change EVERYTHING!
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you to search for a new perspective in your life!
P.S. Valparaiso is truly a beautiful city, & if you’re ever in Chile, I highly recommend taking a trip here to see this beautiful city for yourself! You won’t regret it, it will definitely help you understand the concept of perspective!
In today’s post, I’m going to give you 15 things to think about before going abroad.
. . .
Don’t be afraid of going abroad!
Don’t think about what you’ll be leaving behind, think about what you’ll get to experience. (you will learn and gain much more than you will be leaving behind)
There’s a big chance that the climate will be different (do some research before packing). This will make your experience abroad much more enjoyable.
Don’t think about what it’s going to be like too much. Let yourself be surprised by things. It will make your experience much more enjoyable, and you will be more open-minded, which will help you learn even more.
Enjoy the journey there, at least as much as being in the country because you might even learn something on the trip there (in the airport or in the bus/plane).
Learn some important words/phrases in the local language. Not everyone will speak your language, and you might want to be able to speak to people instead of always acting things out.
Charades is fun at the beginning of your trip, but later on you will want to be able to say something, so just learn a few things before you leave (this also makes it easier to learn more while in the country).
Don’t be afraid to speak the local language (it will be one of your most valuable memories, especially if you make a funny mistakes).
A foreign language is an amazing assets to have to show future employers. (every mistakes you make while learning will be worth it).
Culture shock is real (but not scary). It just means that you are aware of your new surroundings and you are adjusting. During the culture shock phase, you can learn a lot about yourself and the country.
Don’t plan too much (just go out and explore anything and everything).
Don’t be too much of a tourist (speak to locals, ask them about fun things they like to do).
Don’t take too many pictures (unless you’re a travel photographer). Try to live in the moment and capture the important things.
Try to overcome jet-lag as soon as possible. This will make your trip (long or short) much more enjoyable.
Stay connected with friends and family back home (talk to them at least once a week). It will make culture shock less painful, and you will be able to tell them the exciting things that you experience the day of, instead of waiting until you get back (but save some stories to tell them about in person).
And, lastly, answer this question: WHY are you going abroad?
Thanks for reading! I hope this post encourages you to travel abroad & take advantage of your next adventure abroad!