Sleepy Puerto Varas, time for relaxing (some insight into travelling alone)…

Every single thing in this world can be inspiring if you have the right perspective! 

After a busy 2 months it was time for a brief rest. 

Travelling on your own is rather exhausting, you are constantly aware of things going on around you, and looking after yourself (that’s life I guess), making new friends every day, having the same conversation over and over (where are you from? Where are you going? What do you do back home?), making decisions. It wears you down, and can feel repetitive.  

It’s good to be free, but it isn’t what I’d planned on doing this trip. I was originally travelling with my best mate, but as things go in life, it didn’t work out and he went home. So I found myself alone. I think I embraced it with enthusiasm and excitement – focussing on the fact that I was still in South America…. but as the enthusiasm wore off and I realised what had happened I slowly began to tire of being alone and I guess I started to feel a bit ‘homesick’. I had surrounded myself with new friends since my mate left, and every now and then I found myself very, very alone. 

I guess the thing with being homesick is I wasn’t exactly missing home, so much as I was missing familiarity, company, easy communication, being somewhere I could fix the thing that was broken between me and my best friend, but I found myself in South America. Lucky me, right? Look where you are! What an experience and an adventure I was having! It’s true, I felt so lucky and so pivelaged, but it was tainted with a bit of guilt and a lot of sadness for loosing a close friend. 

How to deal with missing family, familiarity and a bit of sadness when far away from home and support? 

Well, to be honest, I don’t have the answers. But what helped me was writing post cards to family, doing something new and seeing new things every day, cooking good food for dinner for yourself, eating cake, laughing and being silly in places (I pose like a whale in a lot of places, that seems to help!), and focussing on the place you’re in. Be open to new people, look for kind people, those with happy faces and open attitudes. Walk along parks, watch the sunset and feel happy instead – really try to! Lie in the sun. Eat an ice cream. Plan your next adventure. Talk to people. Laugh with people. Find familiarity in strangers. Focus focus focus on the golden things around you – it isn’t so hard when you put your mind to it! 

Be wild! 

Be outrageous! 

Be anything but ordinary! 

Be a sea of magic in a world full of deadened eyes! 

                    – the better men project
What really helped me as of late was being in a small place called Puerto Varas. A relaxed and laid back summer holiday feeling place on the edge of the sparkling Lago Llanquihue, opposite volcan Osorno, which sits imposingly watching over the town, and close to Volcan Calbuco which actually erupted in 2015 – not that long ago… 

this pretty place is heavily influenced by the German architecture. It feels happy, live music and church bells always on the wind, children laughing, splashing in the water on the lakes edge, sleepy cafes lining the shore, and surrounded by wilderness on all sides. I strongly recommend a stay in Puerto Varas.

I stayed at a homey hostel called Hostel Vermont, which sat across from an art centre which had a festival going at the time, free entry, yes please! 

The food trucks are down on the lake and provide good cheap food and excellent ice creams – definitely eat here one night and see the huge rusted fairy who reaches out to the volcanoes longingly and who has love padlocks linked all over her legs and wings… I like to think she protects the love that was placed on her. 

This is a good place to relax and regain strength and meet new friends. There are bars and live music all over the town – put yourself out there, laugh a little, live a little! Relax, you’ll be home and back to ordinary life one day, these memories should be filled with happiness and joy! 

Here is a happy poem for you (and me), by Dallas Clayton;

Take the time to stop and think, and watch the sky turn purple pink.  And watch the day become the night, and thank the stars for love and light. 

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