Seriously. At the moment, one of my most immediate motivations for embarking for a five month semester in Chile is to escape the dreary weather that has been lingering around Nashville like an unwelcome house guest. Luckily for me, giving this figurative guest the boot doesn’t involve some elaborate Macaulay Culkin-style plan, but rather, provides that I jet off to the Pacific Coast of South America, where I will become a literal house guest; I will be moving in with a yet-to-be-announced Chilean family. I can only hope that they are as excited for me to arrive as I am. I even come bearing gifts! I am bringing them a book of pictures from past and present Nashville (home, sweet home) as well as a CD compilation called This is My America, a self-proclaimed “musical story of America’s history like you’ve never heard it before” and “heartfelt collection that evokes the true spirit of America.” I am not just bringing it as a representation of my true patriotism toward the land immortalized by Woody Guthrie, but also because my dad engineered four of the tracks featuring performances by the Nashville Symphony and the Fisk Jubilee Singers, so as a bonus I get to show off how talented my family is. Win.
Well, I digress. I leave in a mere twenty-nine hours and could not be more thrilled. It has been a long road getting to this point, applying for a passport and visa, purchasing luggage and other essentials for the trip, and packing my life (or enough to sustain it for the next five months) into just one checked bag and a carry-on, to name a few of the more trying points. But now that my pre-departure logistics are as meticulously tucked away as each item in my suitcase, the real journey can finally start. This blog is henceforth designated the official record of my 21-week adventure to Valparaíso, Chile, and I hope that through it, you, lovely reader, will take it with me.