Before I go…

Chile is a country of startling contrasts and extreme beauty, with attractions ranging from the towering volcanic peaks of the Andes to the ancient forests of the Lake District.”

I’ve now ‘studied abroad’ two times and am fast approaching the third time in a few weeks. On February 27th, I’ll be crossing sea and land once more, spending much more time than I’d like in an airplane and in airports in Chicago, Miami and Santiago, in order to start my next trip in Valparaíso (pop. 270,000), Chile. I’ll be living with a family of three, Mother, Father and daughter during this time in a sister city to Valpo, called Viña del Mar (pop. 280,000) the two cities are often referred as Viña-Valpo, or so I’ve read). I’ll be attending classes at the Pontífica Universidad Católica de Valparaíso or PUCV, going to the beach (7 block from the family’s departamento) and just in general, soaking in life in a foreign country….mmmmm…

No longer a ‘debutante’ traveller I have mixed feelings as the date approaches: sheer excitement and anticipation that I am going abroad once again to live life in high intensity, a bit of stress for what I know is inevitably coming as it has every time I’ve started a foreign experience, this is what is known as the “Holy-Crap-what-was-I-thinking,” “The first-night-of-sadness-and-sheer-terror episode,” sadness at leaving family, friends and frankly, the current ‘Erika’ behind for a new one, and complete awe and gratitude that I am blessed with these opportunities and am able to realize my dreams.

In essence, I hope that you all will enjoy reading about what I discover in Chile because I love to document it!