Thankfully the holidays in Chile feel like they are never-ending so I made the most of it and went home for a couple weeks in February. Before I arrived I joked with friends that it would be fun if it were to snow but I didn’t actually think it would happen, and unsurprisingly the country went into breakdown. However, I love the snow and the cold was a nice change compared to the 35 degree heat in the city. I made the most of my birthday and pancake day with lots of food and drink that I have missed!

Orchids, Kew Gardens

Coming back to Santiago was exciting but nerve-wracking all at the same time. I got back five days before the YARP draft chapter was due which meant that I couldn’t really appreciate how nice it was to come back and feel comfortable somewhere where I had already spent 6 months! I landed and knew my way around without having any uneasy communication breakdowns! I arrived and got all my stuff into my new room downstairs in the house. It’s a little smaller but cheaper because I want to save a bit to go travelling after this year ends. Also, it’s coming to the end of the summer months which means it’s going to start getting cold and the windows are more like double glazing so hopefully I won’t freeze this winter!

One of the problems with staying in only one country for your year abroad is that many friends you make leave to go to another country for the second semester. So on the one hand you are somewhere familiar with some close friends but on the other, you have to put yourself out there all over again. Also, the bureaucracy in this country does not get better! To sign up for a class you have to go to each department, queue up, and then see if there is space in the classes you want (this is just for foreign students). People were queuing up at 7am on Monday morning and I get there at 9, see the queue, and leave! There was nothing keeping me there so instead I went in on Tuesday and had no problems. Eventually I managed to get on to the classes I wanted and my classes have started which means I can get back into a routine! Something which I find is really important here is having a structure. Otherwise it feels like I’m just living day-to-day with nothing pushing me to do anything and trust me, I don’t get a lot done like that!

On a positive note, I now have a plan and structure. AND I have planned a couple trips to keep me going! Pichilemu next weekend for some surfing, Buenos Aires, and Easter Island after the YARP is due. Wahoooooo ✌️

Bittersweet return

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