24 In Travels

Tiny Traveller: Chile Part II

Happy Travel Tuesday! My gosh – it’s been nearly a month since my last Travel Tuesday post – I missed it so much!

If you remember, a few weeks ago, in early March, I shared with you the memories of my mother and our photos from our first trip to Chile. I was still one year old back then, about to turn 2 upon my return to Canada – so as you may imagine I don’t have much memories from it.

But this brings us to my second trip to Chile in 1993 – this time with my dad and this time when I was about 3 and a half years old. I have very very vague memories of this trip, but at this point in time I was starting to form into a coherent relationship with this country. I had been before, I knew the people, and they knew me. I believe some of my earliest memories ever are from that trip – so it was very important! But of course – the retelling in this post is highly based on my dad’s memories!

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It was my dad’s first time returning to his home country in 7 years. 7 years! We complain a lot in the expat world of how tough it is to be away – but most of us will never have to go 7 years without going home. I can’t even imagine the emotions my dad must have had when he stepped foot again in his home country after an exil of 7 years. He recently mentioned that his gaze had changed along those years – that going back he had a totally different way of looking at his environment and the people around him. It was even the gaze of a tourist at times.

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with my seemingly beaming grandparents – I was in my gymnastics phase

We arrived and stayed with my grandmother’s sister in the capital of Santiago. We then travelled to a few places in the North – passing by my aunt’s hometown, Llolleo. My aunt and her sister look so much alike that I apparently was confused when we met as I thought she was the aunt I had just left in Canada. Oh the gaze of a child!

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We stayed for one night in Vina del Mar – coastal city famous for its beaches – which I would later travel to multiple times! chile 8I apparently loved it so much at the beach that I cried a whole lot when my dad told me we had to leave. Sounds about right ha!

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isn’t that the face of a happy child?

After which we travelled down south to my father’s village – again that he hadn’t seen in almost a decade! He admits that during that trip he really wanted to focus on staying with his parents, staying with the family as he hadn’t seen them in so long! How I understand that feeling now!

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In other news, after retiring, my grandmother went on to do what she loved most and become a baker – which she did for events and receptions until the year she passed away actually. Apparently I was really into it and wanted to eat it all for myself!

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here my aunt is helping with the piping of icing – and I look to be helping in eating most of it…

We went to the beach again and again – giving me much to love about this coastal country. I totally blame my love of St Andrews and its beaches on this early experience!

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at the local river beach

Puerto Saavedra is a town/beach just west of my father’s village and because it is in the volcanic region of the country – it means volcanic sand. It has a dark hue that resembles earth.

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volcanic sand

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with my grandfather – who seemed always neatly dressed for the beach

Back at the house – I was involved in many shenanigans, yes indeed more than just eating pastries meant for clients of my grandmother. I picked all of the petals from my grandmother’s beloved geraniums – and proving she loved me so much, she didn’t say anything!

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I gave Canadian children everywhere a great reputation by wanting to help the maid with cleaning.

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As you may remember from a previous post, I spent hours making my dad walk around the town following this chinchero who played music. I was clearly fascinated!

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Finally, I spent a lot of time having fun with my cousin Camilo – if you remember him from the last Chile post.

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in my father’s childhood room – I don’t think my cousin was digging the French books

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The funny story though – and the way I want to end this post today – is that when they arrived to my grandparents’ house, Camilo and his mother were carrying a gift, a stuffed animal for me, a dog. And craziest thing? Well this is the dog I received 22 years ago in my room back in Montreal in 2015.

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Just to show how much the past affects the present – how those trips back then really built the foundation for my love of travel, for my relationship with my family abroad, and for my love of Chile. I hope that you don’t mind doing these trips down memory lane with me because I swear that they will help give a good understanding of later trips and the different experiences along the way!

Do you have something from your childhood that you still have today?xx

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