Yesterday, we were graced with the opportunity to go trekking in the Andes mountains. Believe me when I this ten mile "trek" was nothing short of one of the most magnificent, beautiful, and enduring adventures I have even done and bared witness to. The pictures I have taken can never do it justice. For miles upon miles, all that consumed my vision were beautiful, absolutely mesmerizing nature. I felt I could stand in one place for days and never be able to take it all in. I felt like it wasn't real, that every little bit of it was a figment of my imagination, that there was no way something like this so incredibly beautiful is completely surrounding me. That I am here. It was beyond surreal.
My excursion to the Andes has honestly inspired me to continue traveling, exploring the world, and see just what else nature has in store for me. I cannot wait to venture out and see it.
I told myself from the very beginning that I would do my best to stay at the front of the group, as a personal challenge for me to accomplish while exploring. The first mile or two were very steep, but with perseverance, strength and stamina, I conquered my goal, managing to stay at the front of the thirty person group throughout its entirety.
We traveled with my roommate's military group and several others from our Spanish school. Along the way, I am happy to say (and not to anyone's surprise as named the "Social Butterfly"), I made so many new friends. To be honest, I truly believe that that aspect of the trip made my experience trekking the Andes that much more memorable. So many men from the U.S. military, an awesome woman from Taiwan traveling here on her own to learn Spanish, as well as my classmates from Canada and Australia I met and became closer with.
But above all, the person that really stood out to me was an absolutely amazing gentleman from Mexico. He told me all the absolutely incredible accomplishments he has made throughout his life. He told me I can do absolutely anything I want to if I work hard and put my mind to it. Absolutely anything. I began telling him about my passion for what I do with my life, telling him essentially my life story (also to no one's surprise, but because we are on this five hour trek, why not?), and I was in awe with his reply.
He told me, if there were more people I this world like you, so passionate and so ambitious, the world would be such a better place.
His words stuck to me, and will continue to stick with me.
My night concluded with an awesome night in town with the girls and some of our new friends. It felt great to hang out with new faces, getting to know other people, enjoying each others company, and enjoying the memories we were creating at that moment. Yesterday, was truly nothing short of remarkable. It was perfect.
My time here in Chile thus far has opened my eyes to so many different aspects of life. It has expanded my knowledge and appreciation to different cultures, to the Spanish language and lifestyle, to nature, and the main reason for this trip, to know how it feels to be like so many children in schools in the United States, alone and confused. I understand how these children feel (and its very frustrating). But most importantly, it has given me a better knowledge, appreciation and understanding of myself.