Self-exploration comes in the form of a journey thousands of miles outside
of one’s comfort zone only to retrace the steps within.
Sometimes when things get overwhelming I have to remind myself that we all share the same fate. When I think about that, no problem seems too large. In November of 2016, I faced this reality when I traveled to Magallanes, Chile with my best friend, Marc. We went in search of adventure, scenic views, and a sense of meaning after the loss of Marc's mother and the subsequent breakdown of his family unit.
After arriving to Santiago, Chile, we missed our flight to Punta Arenas and immediately felt the start of our own breakdown. We made it to Southern Patagonia behind schedule and without a place to stay, forced to rent a car for 200 USD from a taxi driver we met 20 minutes earlier. We packed our portable stove, some food, water, and coffee and strapped an extra 30 gallons of gas to the trunk. After driving 650 miles we reached our destination in the dark, unknowingly camping out in a puma-infested alpaca cemetery. The views, the people, the relationships made, the self-analysis and thoughts about our futures, our pasts, our present, and the journey of life as a whole, truly made this experience one of growth and self-revelation, and one that would be undeniably unforgettable. We were forced to relinquish control of who we thought we were and as a result, we gained a stronger sense of freedom.