Chile n' spice and everything nice
Finding my expectations
In my first month on the road with Remote Year I realized my expectations. It sounds silly but I couldn't figure them out till the first stop in Chile. I knew I had them but didn't know what they were.
Expectation #1: I think this was the first most glaring one and it was the fact that I thought I’d have more time and capacity to see the city or do more of the activities. If you know me I like to try and experience "what a place is known for." I’ll try and do everything. But that's nearly impossible both because of the clock, work, and my bank account. So I learned to embrace the joy of whatever my schedule allows. Which allowed for some amazing weekend trips to Patagonia, Valparaíso (a lovely Chilean port city) graffiti art and history touring, local mini mountain hikes, Santiago city market and street vendor food sampling strolls, and homemade empanada cooking workshops. Which when I say all those activities out loud sounds like much more than at times it felt like because I was logging regular work hours. In summary, I need to enjoy the opportunities that a year on the road allows big and small.
Expectation #2: I thought I'd be more inspired to post more or share more but so far I haven't been motivated. Don’t get me wrong I’m still documenting. I’ll share some more soon hopefully and I hope you enjoyed the small video snapshot of my experience in Chile (video above).
Expectation #3: I wouldn't suck so much at Spanish but I do. So I'm going to try and get a little better and capitalize on the fact that I'm in Latin America for three more months. I do know how to say, “me gusta bailar en la disco.” You can Google translate it. It’s a power phrase that all should know and breaks the ice with strangers. My goal is to be able to roll my R's by the end of my time. It's really bad. Send me videos or tips on ways to learn Spanish if you have any.
I worked on figuring out my routine this month as well. It is no routine. In full honesty, I found myself getting frustrated with myself here in these early weeks of travel because I lacked as much personal structure as I was used too. My morning yoga routine and eating somewhat healthy went out the window. We’re settling and I think I’m finding a happy medium, integrating the yogi and other morning routines back in.
To clarify, I do still have routines because I work my marketing job on a daily basis but I don't have to work in the exact same spot and take the exact same route to and from our co-work offices. Unnecessary routine I’ve found strips a fundamental stimulation of my senses and ability to experience a city I’m getting to know. To try and put a city into my routine robs it of some of the flavors and beauty it might have to offer, which I became wary of because on day four I already found myself doing the morning walk commute on cruise control. You know that feeling when you come to and you think to yourself, “How did I get here? Was I asleep?” I don’t like cruise control so I’ve reinstated my walk-a-different-path-then-you-came rule as much as possible.
It’s crazy though how my tendency is to start trying to go to the same food spots and take the same walking route home from the co-working space. I realize I have a shorter period in each country so I need to continuously branch out to try more. Embrace the anti-routine routine is what I’m telling myself. It’s like those hip shirts that say, “anti-social social club.” That’s what we’re shooting for here. I’m still trying to break my routine tendencies and embrace the anti-routine routine. I want to learn more and experience more.
Excerpt from Jedidiah Jenkins and a case for the Anti-Routine Routine
“The routine is the enemy of time. It makes it fly by. When you’re a kid everything is astonishing. Everything is new. So your brain is awake and turned on. So every passing second your brain is learning something new, learning how the world works. And so, the muscle of your brain is activated. And as you get older and your brain has figured out the patterns of the way the world works. This is how you make money. This is how you graduate school. This is how you get a mortgage This is how you have kids… and once your brain establishes a routine, the alertness goes away, the fascination with the way the world works. And I think that is what travel in general does. It wakes up your brain.”
Hope Mr. Jenkins inspires you to mix it up a bit and try something new this week. I actually watched this a couple years ago and it has stuck in my noggin to try something new each day even if it’s something small. Interesting fact, this video was definitely a catalyst for my deep desire to trek into the unknown with remote work for a year. I hope you enjoyed the video.
My biggest question mark
My biggest question answered, "Who are these people that I'll be traveling with for a year?"
My co-hort group turns out to blow my mind in the best of ways. They are thoughtful, weird, hilarious, and consistently waging nerf wars in each others apartments.
You’ll see more and more of them in my stories. Travel is much better with good people, especially with the diversity of cultures, careers, and life experiences that this misfit crew brings.
The group features folks from 25 to 58 years old from 5 different countries from doctors to accountants. One common thing that I am finding that is bonding us is that we are all in pursuit of distinguishing a next step for life whether it’s locale, career, or global perspectives. It’s pretty neat. There is a deep desire to learn and grow from each other and the places we visit.
For Remote Year, each group is assigned a co-hort name and ours is Imani, which is fitting. It is a Swahili word for belief in the unseen and the power of community. There is significant amounts of unseen and belief needed for this year. I’m excited to press deeper into this and unpack what this might look like.
Photo Journal - Chile
Welp, I don’t know how to end this thing. So that’s it for now. Check out the Chile Photo Journal once it goes live. I’ll post it here.