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Gap Year Abroad

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a different type

Sometimes I have a small surge of guilt go through my mind. When I am in my bedroom reading a good book, hanging out with my family, or taking a nap, sometimes I feel like I am not doing everything I could be doing. When I wake up from that nap I automatically think ‘oh my god I’m in a different country why am I sleeping through the day?’. After all, I am traveling, but this is such a different concept of traveling I have ever done before. 

Traveling to a country for a week and traveling for five months is a different definition. My ‘traveling’ right now is having keys to a house, not to a hotel room. Having a room I can call my own, with all of my belongings from my old room, plus new ones from the month I’ve been here. I have parents that have rules. I am not traveling; I am living.

So as today, where I sat in bed with my host mom watching Chilean TV, talking, knitting (yes that did happen) in our PJs is that really bad? Should I be going to every museum and running around Valparaíso every day checking the sites off the list? 

This type of travel is new and unfamiliar, but it’s beyond interesting. Every little activity I do with my family, no matter how small is showing an interesting part of their culture- and I am living it. Living this culture is the traveling, and the touristy activities are strung along through my time here, wrapping it up as the best traveling experience I could have ever dreamed of.


A little recap of what I’ve been up to in pictures: 


Had tea with Smith in Plaza Sotomayer in Valparaiso after volunteering:



Went to the ceremony of my host sister’s new uniform for her nutrition school!: 


Went skiing at Portillo in Los Andes (one of the most amazing experiences of my life): 




And this is just a picture of beautiful Valparaiso right next to my house (Smith featured)!

The orange house, Brighton Hotel, in the far left was where we spent our first night in Valparaiso



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