Which leads us to the ultimate question of today’s missive. What happened to living in Valparaíso, after so many months of talking about moving there? Rather than going into an even lengthier explanation, I’ll say that this has been a fine example of the delicate balance between lofty dreaming and basic pragmatism.
Many of these posts descend at certain moments (as this one is now doing) into indulgence. Imagining a life high up in a green tropical valley, in a cabin on some lost beach, or in a city more romantic than practical. Deep down, the habit of traveling and living in new places rather than just visiting them for a week might satisfy in some way this latent urge I seem to have. Anywhere I visit, my mind begins to turn, entertaining the notion of what it would be like to live in this place for longer.
Then the other side begins to emerge, as these imaginings begin to reveal certain real complications. The mundane concerns of every day life cannot be ignored. And so we have found our home in Santiago after all, where it’s simply easier for travelers to settle down and get started. Here, we have discovered pleasant parks and a level of organization I’ve never seen elsewhere in Latin America. After years of living in less regulated places, I have to admit there’s something satisfying about the added structure to be found here. We also have friends here who we met in Ecuador and who have since established themselves in Chile long before our own arrival, which has been a boon to our little family in so many ways.
In the end, I don’t feel as though we’ve settled for Santiago over Valparaíso. Since the day we came, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I like it here, in this city I had essentially ignored as a place to live. One of the greatest things about traveling is discovery, finding the places you like, and learning from yourself about what places you end up finding yourself at home in. Future musings will no doubt explore such notions in time.