Student Blogs/Alex in Chile

Back to reality, and back to life. I am now back in Canada, more specifically back in Ottawa at Carleton University for my fourth and hopefully final year. Since I last posted, I have finished my year abroad in Viña del Mar, Chile, travelled more of South America and made the journey back to Canada and settling back into life here.

Mountain Range in Peru, near Cusco

Mountain Range in Peru, near Cusco

I was one of the last exchange students to leave as my exams fell at the end of the exam period. As I saw my friends leave and either go home or start their post-exchange travels, it made me miss home and had me more excited to leave. The end of the year projects and deadlines kept me busy, especially in my classes taught with Chileans, but I had to remind myself that my time in Chile is coming to an end and I have to take it all in and live day-by-day, because who knows when I will be back?

I spent the last two months of being in Chile eating at my favourite restaurants, visiting my favourite places, and doing those last trips to different spots for the last time. It was a bittersweet and overwhelming two months, but it left me leaving knowing that I will be back. To my surprise, I left Chile also knowing and wanting that I would like to live there for at least a couple years…

Salt flats located in the Valley near the town of Moray! Being an archeological Incan site, the locals actively harvest here, and the salt is used in many different local products. Salinas de Maras, Peru

After a successful completion of all my course (Yes mom, I passed!), I travelled. I was given the opportunity to travel to Peru and Ecuador, bringing the number of countries and places I have been super HIGH! Obviously, I went to Machu Picchu in Peru and that was worth the trip. Although it is now become a very popular tourist attraction, it was crazy and beautiful to see the mountain as it is now, learn about the history and what the Inca Empire had built. A little bump in the road in Peru was the canceled flight to the Amazon. In Peru, they have a bunch of low-budget airlines, but that does not mean that they are always reliable. Because there were no more outgoing flights for the next two days, the trip to the Amazon was taken off the list, but means that I just have to come back down to go!

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

After Peru, I ventured off to Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands. With a big eye to see the big tortoises and the beautiful sea creatures, I was so excited to be there. Security was very high because they’re a big island and there was also a fee that had to be paid to enter the island, which helps with conservation of those who reside there, the up keeping of the island, and the wildlife. For me, seeing and learning about wildlife and conservation was very interesting, as I have grown a huge interest in sustainable business, so to hear and meet business owners who have started their own business built on sustainability was very inspiring and cool.

After Ecuador and a few delayed flights, I arrived back in Toronto to hot and humid weather. Coming back home end of July and having to go back to school early for Fall Orientation Week, it was not easy to find a job for three weeks. So I hung out at home and organized some items, including an expired drivers license and health card! Time at home was well spent, but it was very hard to be at home with nothing to do. Coming back from exchange to where everyone was working, I found myself missing Chile a little too much. With nothing to do, it was definitely the hardest part of my year abroad. Re-entering back into your home country seems easier than it is and this process was the hardest to adjust to.

Now that I’m back into my second week of classes and it’s kept me busy, I have found myself not missing Chile as much. Everything with my courses seemed to all transfer nicely and if all goes well, I am on track to graduate! WOO! I have gotten involved with a few different clubs and societies on campus and have focused myself on graduating, which is keeping me very, very busy! What I found important when I came back was to jump right back into the swing of things, and involve yourself. After a year abroad and now going into my final year, I found that others can tend to get lazy and tend to not get involved, but I also bleed #sprottblue, so being back in the environment really helped me to do so!

So that’s a wrap of my year on exchange! A sad goodbye to Chile, but a new chapter of my final year has begun!

Chile, I will definitely be back, but for now Canada you are who I call home.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 in , ,
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