So last night, my brothers and cousins were watching The Parent Trap. Yes, the Lindsay Lohan version that was a cornerstone film of my childhood. And I happened to drop in on the scene where Hallie is reunited with her mom. I was this close to crying.

Have I mentioned that I’m really bad at saying goodbye?

BUT, lest you think I’m just a jumble of nerves and tears and worry right now (okay, that might be half true), I also have a ton of things I’m really super-pumped about that are helping me get through my monster-sized butterflies.

I am looking forward to:

Riding the metro. There is very little public transportation in my area. And I fantasize about train rides. Am I being wildly idealistic? Probably.

A BIG city. I’ve been told it’s akin to Chicago. I am more than down with that.

Dreaming in another language. Because that will mean that I’m coming along with my Spanish fluency.

Meeting my host family! One of my good friends was their first-ever exchange student, and I’ve heard nothing but good things. AND I’ll have a sister for the first time in my life.

Torres del Paine. Which will kick my never-hiked-before, I-like-hotels butt.

Buenos Aires. Which is in Argentina, not Chile, but can be seen in just a weekend away.

Viña del Mar. Two words: Beach. Weekends.

Valaparaíso. Two words: Cerros. Funiculares.

Mass in Spanish. Because it is closer to the root Latin and will make more sense to me than the current American English Mass.

Chilean Independence Day. Three days of parties during the beautiful September springtime? Yes please.

Summer in November and December. Followed by misery when I return to the cold, snowy Midwest for the holidays.

Discos. Meaning clubs, of course. I will get to experience nightlife for the first time ever!

Wine. One of our field trips is a wine tasting at a vineyard. Truth.

Pisco. Local aguardientes are always an adventure.

Mountains and hills. Like, actual terrain. I’m pretty sure there’s one hill on my entire campus here. Hills are big enough in Santiago that they’re landmarks you use to orient yourself.

Empanadas. And bread. All the bread.

Possibly teaching theater to little kids!

Everything brand new.

In the meantime…shopping. And packing. And attempting to speak Spanish with Chileans. Or spending all of my free time avoiding those very things.

With love,


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