Patagonia South America
There are perfect moments in life where you don’t want to be anywhere else but in the place you are.
I sat in a field in Patagonia, Chile outside Las Natalias (a hostel unlike any hostel I’d ever seen). The sky was devoid of clouds and there seemed to be more starlight than darkness. Satellites moved across space and shooting stars streaked and died out. Soft guitar music was being played and new friends sat around me as people discussed life and philosophy. I barely knew anyone more than twenty-four hours, but I’d never felt more a part of a group than at that moment.
I’d always wanted to see the beauty of Patagonia and it’s scenic landscapes didn’t disappoint. Grand mountains surrounded lush green valleys. Small charming towns were located between winding mountain passes. Aqua rivers rushed beside dirt roads. Hikes brought me to peaks where I looked out over lakes and farmlands. The air was so pure I felt like I could breathe deeply and clear my lungs of the modern world, and the water could be sipped straight from the mountain springs without fear of sickness. The produce picked from local farms was bruised and ugly, but filled with taste and nutrition while free of all chemicals.
But even with this majestic landscape there’s something more beautiful – the people. Within days of staying in Patagonia I was invited to barbecues. I joined friends around tables for home cooked meals. As I walked through town, I was kissed on the cheek and asked how my day was going. I immediately felt part of a community and at home.
It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and as I think about the early morning on the day I left, it still brings tears to my eyes. It never felt so wrong to leave a place, and never felt so right to know that I would return again some day.