As my time winds down here in Chile, I have been thinking about the great experiences I have had during my journey. From the people I have met to the places I have visited; Chile has been a wonderful country to call home for these few months.
I will say that the relationships that I have built here will stick with me for the rest of my life. My host family now feels like an extension of my birth family. At the beginning I felt a bit nervous moving into someone else’s home, but now as we sit and play cards and chat about everything from politics to cinema, I truly feel like I have lived here my whole life.
I have also accomplished many personal goals since being here. My Spanish language skills have improved immensely. At first, I was nervous to order a coffee at Café Recreo, my favorite café in my neighborhood. Now, it has become second nature to order food and have a full conversation in Spanish with an Uber driver.
The most important goal for me personally was to dedicate time to my writing. Since being here I have made huge progress on my screenplay. Also, I have written numerous poems which was assisted by the fact that I took creative writing at my host university (in Spanish of course!). But as an artist I feel like I have improved my writing skills so much more. I think it was due to Chile having such a rich history of fantastic writers. Maybe Neruda’s spirit flowed through me.
To conclude, I truly hope I can return here and see the people I have met. I actually plan to come back here and teach English, so not as farfetched as I would have thought! I can also safely say that I have no regrets. Chile, te amo, hasta la proxima vez. Chau!
Graham Mackey is a student at Colorado State University and was an ISA Featured Castañeda Blogger. He studied abroad with ISA in Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile.
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