Contrary to what the title might suggest, this is not an apocalyptic prediction. Rather, it has come to my attention as of late that my days are numbered here in Puerto Varas, and this realization has left me feeling a bit confused, a bit scared, and wholly sad.
I leave on March 6th to begin my three-ish week voyage To The North: Easter Island, Valparaiso, and Atacama. I am so excited for this trip I could perform a number of bodily functions; but at the same time, the arrival of the trip means The End Of Our Time in Puerto Varas. We are all excited for our various pursuits and Next Steps, but there is an inherent sadness in seeing the “summer” come to an end. (I use the quotation marks because there were approximately 30 days of sun and the other 90 days have been clouds and frustratingly chilly breezes and drizzle.)
We arrived here knowing no one, with only a general idea of our living arrangement, and a decided lack of plans. Now, almost four months later, we have a circle of friends, jobs, a routine, favorite hang outs, and too many memories to count. It’s always like this – just when you’re settled, it’s time for the tides to change.
Amanda and Leslie will be heading back to the States for various endeavors. I will be heading north to Valparaiso in April sometime. I want a bigger city, full of vibrancy and art and life and chaos, and I definitely don’t want to weather a rainy cold winter down south. But I am profoundly aware of how nice my life has been here – the comforts of a place like Puerto Varas shouldn’t be overlooked. Though it’s small, it offers an intimacy that can’t always be replicated. I walk downtown and run into at least 10 people I know. Every night at the bar, it’s a gathering of friends, old and new. While sometimes this very fact can be irritating, especially on days when I most want to be invisible and anonymous, it’s a reassuring, invigorating aspect of the community here. Sure, we may not all be best friends – but you can go anywhere knowing that you will find someone you know, and the friendliness of Chileans assures that you will be welcomed and greeted no matter where you show up.
Perhaps it’s a bit too early for the Goodbye Puerto Varas posts, but this has been on my mind recently. I have about three weeks before my bus ride to Santiago for the trip to Easter Island, and I plan on fully enjoying the rest of my time here (obviously, since one doesn’t plan to spend time miserably or half-assed).
Speaking of taking advantage of my time down south, I took a trip to Puerto Montt today with a friend, and we visited the fish market of Angelmo. Here’s a photo journey: