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Journal #34: Chillin' in Chile

This is from a journal written on April 7, 2022, in Santiago, Chile.


Writing from the rooftop of our Airbnb, nestled between the unique, old, almost medieval, graffiti-covered buildings of Barrio Lastarria.


When we arrived here late on Saturday night, I was alarmed by the amount of street art on the walls lining the narrow streets around our new home for the next month.


Did I pick a sketchy area? I thought I did enough research to suss this place out... I thought.


But, after we dropped our luggage off in our apartment, we headed out for dinner and found a bustling street lined with outdoor restaurants and cute street vendors right around the corner.


And then we paid USD 40 for two sandos and three beers...


"Wait, Santiago is expensive?" we laughed in astonishment.


Through all of our Latin American travels, we've had very similar experiences with each country regarding travel requirements and cost of living.


However, Chile has surprised us on both of these fronts.


As far as travel requirements related to Covid, Chile is the only country that has asked us (foreigners) to submit proof of vaccinations to an online portal for the government to verify and return to us a "Mobility Pass." And from all the forums I read online about obtaining this Mobility Pass, the process can take up to 30 days.


We found out about this three days before our flight.


Obviously, I panicked and started scouring the internet for blog posts, Reddit threads, anything that would tell me the 30-day thing is not real and that it only takes a day or two.


No luck.


The only concerned travelers I read about were worried they got their Mobility Pass too early! Hah! Like they were wondering if it would expire. I wished desperately to be in their position.


But, I was able to track down the email of the Chilean government agency that runs the vaccine portal. So we sent them a couple of emails, and within 24 hours, we were verified!


PHEW.


So we did make it to Santiago and weren't expecting it to be so expensive. I guess I did pick a neighborhood that's a little more touristy, and, as it turns out, Chile is the most developed country in South America. I had no idea!


We've only been here a few days, but I already love the vibes.



Plus, tonight we get to meet up with our friends we met on that island in San Blas, Nico and Cristobal.


P.S. I've recently become interested in point and shoot film cameras. So, yesterday I tracked down this guy, Daniel, through Google searching and WhatsApp-ing a few local photography stores.


Dani had a pop-up shop in this cute-ass coffee shop with about seven different vintage cameras. He tried explaining the unique qualities and characteristics of each one to me in Spanish and broken English. I settle on a 38mm Minolta Freedom Zoom 140.


I know nothing about film photography except my limited experience with disposable cameras. So, this should be fun. :)



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My boyfriend and I started our digital nomad journey in December 2021. We're just starting out and want to share all the ups and downs with you!

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