Its crazy to think that Ben and I have already been here for almost a month! It's gone by pretty fast, and Chile has been fantastic. Our Spanish is slowly improving, and we usually only speak Spanish to the people here.
Many people have asked me how different it is here, but really it hasn't been too different than back home. There are a few differences though; one would be the dogs. There are many street dogs here in Chile, in every city we have been to there are always dogs running around.
Another difference is the police; they are everywhere, and there are even armed ones in the grocery stores. In Chile there is a long history of violence between the police and the people, trailing back to the dictatorship of Pinochet. The cops only recently took responsibility for their actions during Pinochet's rule, and so understandably there is still a lot of tension between the police and the people.
So far in our trip, we have visited Santiago, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, and Puerto Natales. We only plan on going to one more place in Chile: San Pedro de Atacama. The Atacama desert is supposedly the best place to stargaze in the world, and so we plan on stargazing when we are down there.
After that, we are headed up to Peru for the remainder of our trip. The entire trip we never have solid plans for more than a few days ahead, with looser longer-term goals. I've never traveled like this before, and so it's taking some getting used to.
It is very liberating to not have any plans because if things don't work out exactly the way we want, it's always okay in the end.