Today’s post was originally posted on my previous blog back in March of 2011.
I’d been living in Chile less than a week when I took some cooking classes. Included in them was a class explaining how to make a Chilean cocktail, the Pisco Sour.
This drink is not easy to reproduce back in the US because pisco, a grape brandy produced in Chile and Perú, is not readily available there.
After last week’s blog post, I received the following message from a friend. She’s a repatriated expat, who lived in Turkey for two years.
Like me, she has many doubts about being back in the US. Many “Is this where I belong?” questions. Many moments of “The grass is greener” somewhere else…or is it? What’s it like to go back to find out?
Here’s what she wrote:
Dateline: Santiago de Chile
It’s Saturday night. I’m watching a cooking show on Chilean TV and catching about every third word. My Spanish is a little rusty. The show’s hosts are down in southern Chile, in Puerto Varas, sampling Torta de Murta. It looks pretty darned good. Not sure that I’ve ever tasted murta berries, but they’re as Chilean as Pastel de Choclo, which was yesterday’s lunch.
I arrived here last Wednesday, early in the morning. With only a 30-minute connection in Dallas, I barely made the second plane. My suitcase wasn’t so lucky. It was delayed in transit. After some drama, I finally received it on Thursday evening.
Two more sleeps and it will be “wheels up” for me. Buh-bye, New Mexico. I’m returning to Chile, two days after my permanent residency visa has expired.
I’ll be entering Chile as a “tourist” for the first time in six years. Whew. How’s that gonna feel?
I guess I’ll find out on Wednesday morning. Since there’s no one renting the AirBnB apartment the day before my arrival, the owner is graciously allowing me to check in early that day with no extra fees.
Ever since working in the travel industry, I’ve had a theory about travel.
Today, a friend invited me on an impromptu drive up toward Santa Fe. It was a bright, sunny day, perfect for a nearby jaunt.
She asked about my French class. Last week, the teacher had told me that I was “courageous.” Apparently, I’m in a class meant for more advanced French students. Considering that I knew nothing more than “Bon jour”, “Merci,” and “Au revoir” when I started, I’m not doing too badly.
Last week, on the first anniversary of my son’s death, I took a little trip.
I flew to Kansas City to visit friends. They showed me warm hospitality and took me on a tour of a place that I’ve wanted to visit for a long time, Unity Village.
I haven’t written out a formal bucket list, but if I had done it, “Visit Unity Village” would have been on it. Their gardens, labyrinth, and nature trails offer tranquility. Their five chapels offer peace. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be on that day.
Guess where I spent last weekend.
In case you don’t recognize the location, I was in beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That’s a photo of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
I was in Milwaukee to attend the Women in Travel Summit, #WiTS17, produced by She’s Wanderful. I’ve attended various conferences over the years, but none that amazed me like this one.
A few weeks ago, I joined a new (to me) group called She’s Wanderful.
She’s Wanderful is an “international membership community of independent, adventurous, globally minded women who travel,” says their website. Ding! Ticks every box for me.
They have chapters, events, and trips. Far as I can tell, I’m the only person in New Mexico who has signed up, so at the moment, there are no regular events or meetings near me, but I have signed up to be a Wanderful hostess.
With the upcoming ban on using laptops and tablets on flights to the US from 56 routes, I’ve heard many laments and questions about how to pass the time on long flights.
In a online group, I saw the question posed, “What do I do with my 4-year old on our 12-hour flight?”
Keeping young children busy on a long flight is a real challenge for parents. Back in the Dark Ages, pre-computer days, when I used to fly with Phillip, I always went shopping ahead of time. In the carry-on, I packed his favorite snacks, books both familiar and new, and a special grab bag of never-before-seen (or played with) items that I’d bought especially for the trip. Little items picked up at the dollar store could entertain my hyperactive child for a long time.
Adulting is so tedious. And I find myself with so many “adult” things on my To-Do list.
There’s paying the car insurance that is due on March 12. Thanks to an encounter with a motorcyclist that was driving in the bicycle lane, my auto insurance is now $300/year more expensive than last year.
It wasn’t even my fault. How did I know that he was going to try to dash around me in the bike lane just as I was attempting to make a right-hand turn out of a traffic jam?