Covid-Related Travel Update, July 2022: Chile is open to international tourists. Visit the Chile government’s official website for travel-related information and regulations. Don’t forget to read the government’s rules to be followed in public spaces here.
I went to Chile in July 2016 to teach English in a state school. I’m not a trained teacher, but I was volunteering as part of the English Open Doors Program, an initiative of the Chilean government.
All my friends, family, relatives, and acquaintances asked me what made me go to Chile. I told them I didn’t think much. They asked me if I could speak Spanish; I replied I would learn Spanish in Chile.
My family concluded my idea to travel to South America was an immature escape as the journey would leave me all alone and financially unstable. I was sucked into a whirlpool of emotional hurdles stirred by my loved ones who asserted they cared.
I was fired. I had just ended a two-year relationship I believed was my long-lasting love. The Titanic sank. I was going to be twenty-nine soon. Friends were getting married. Babies were being born. I did not know anyone in Chile. I did not speak Spanish.
Before I left, an uneasy feeling lingered in my stomach. Like the one that makes you shuffle through your pockets when you walk out of your home. Later I understood I was scared: of being alone, of unknowns, and of not knowing Spanish.
I did not know that in a couple of months I would learn the foreign language and speak it fluently.