Now, that summer in Chile is coming to an end, why not scribble a bit of reflections on the overall experience?
I think it’s very clear for everyone who follows me, how happy I’ve become of live here in the Chilean center of Santiago.
When arriving, I had no idea of what to expect - I knew only my partner and had some ideas of what to do with my time and how I’d approach my art here, but that was pretty much it.
It’s always like that when I travel. A very vague idea and then, loads and loads of experience to follow.
I’ve been lucky. I quickly ran into groups of other expats, made new friendships and work partnerships. When we moved to Bellavista, I made Chilean friends, who thank God would slow down when talking to me, so I could improve my Spanish along with them. That’s what you ought to do, if you wanna learn a new language - go where they only speak that language, and you’re forced to throw yourself into it. All that stuff about making a fool of yourself completely vanishes, once you’re forced to connect, get help, buy food and whatnot.
I so appreciate the patience people have had with me. I honestly find it hard to imagine that anyone in Denmark would sit for minutes and hours with a foreigner learning Danish and wait for them to find the words and put together sentences. Chileans - I salute you! Thank you so much.
I’ve fallen for Bellavista completely. Living only a couple of blocks from Neruda’s house and right where the parties take place, I’m amazed by how our little patio manages to keep out sound for those moments of peace and rest. Patio Bellavista is my all-time favorite place to go when I want to be surrounded by people, enjoy the summer vibes and nights and just have a good time with my friends. But the area offers various restaurants, cafés and bars with different themes and live music as well. It’s hard to believe this was completely closed few months ago due to the pandemic. It’s all back now, and I’ve enjoyed myself quite a lot.
The rock music scene has captivated me. In some way, I made friends in the more artsy groups of the city, and they’ve opened up my eyes for not only reggae influenced rock, but also introduced me to a group of visual artists, with whom I’ve connected and had the pleasure of creating with. I hope to make just a little exhibit before leaving - feeling on a roll with local gallery representation and an art workshop, so why not a short exhibit before flying out?
But apart from exciting work, new ideas and feeling on top of the world in my life here, I feel more centered than ever. This way of life as it is, that my surroundings master so well. Take it easy, surrender to interruptions and just have faith that it’s all coming together is finding its way into my routines and mindset. I think we can all agree that Scandinavians are rather busy people with a slight tendency to praise workaholism. It’s definitely in my blood, and I guess that’s why my lessons here are integrating more clearly. There’s more balance. Definitely more balance.
And I need balance, because I want it all - the hiking adventures, the day trips, the work, the art scene, the company of good people, the entertainment, the me time, the study time, the sunset yoga, and I could go on. Santiago has it all, and you gotta pick - and have fait that balance finds itself.
Oh, and I discovered the Chilean substitute for the Danish word “hygge”, which is “playa” - beautiful isn’t it?
Knowing that I’ll return in September, I can look forward to returning to Denmark for some months over the summer - with so much joy.
This is what I got from following my heart.
Lots of love,