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!
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.
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!
We stayed for one night in Vina del Mar – coastal city famous for its beaches – which I would later travel to multiple times! I 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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
I gave Canadian children everywhere a great reputation by wanting to help the maid with cleaning.
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!
Finally, I spent a lot of time having fun with my cousin Camilo – if you remember him from the last Chile post.
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.
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