It’s like I’m almost still living there. Every day something reminds me of that place- of the music there, of Santiago, of our favorite spot on Viña’s beach. And every night I wake up there.
I love that I have dreams. I get to relive parts of my trip. And I get to experience new things. Things that never actually happened, but how incredible to be able to see my city again. And my family. And my friends. And that coastline.
I wake up the next morning and am reminded that I’m in the U.S., in smelly Iowa. Where exciting things rarely happen, unless you work to make them happen. You just have to put so much more effort. In Chile, everything was exciting- cutting down an alley to try to find your friend’s apartment, talking to strangers at karaoke night, sitting down at the dinner table to a meal you’ve never seen before. These exciting things happened to you just by walking outside, or down the hall, or to a coffeeshop. I miss experiencing new things. I haven’t experienced new in months.
In my dreams I sit down to dinner with my Chilean family and my Spanish is flawless (my first clue that I’m not in my real life anymore). I speed up and down the coastline at 4 am with new friends in an unfamiliar car, both a memory and a recurring scene in my dreams. I see my friends from the U.S., who I haven’t seen in a year and don’t know when I’ll see some of them again. I spend time in bars and museums and strange city blocks that I most likely invented myself. I’m back where I belong. I can explore and be free again. I’m happy and I’m whole again.