It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
I spent the past week in the Valparaiso area of Chile having meetings with the Chilean Navy, including a session with the CNO. Of all the trips I have been on, this was one of the better ones. The food was pretty good, but the wines were excellent. The only real disappointment was the coffee – most of it was instant coffee.
I manages to get 3 good runs in along the coast and 1 bike ride in the hotel exercise area.
There were a few things that jumped out at me during my trip. The first is fitness. It is amazing how overweight Americans are relative to the rest of the world. I truly believe there are some serious health consequences in what Americans have accepted as “the standard American diet” and it shows dramatically when you travel outside the US.
I also saw people who were happy with less. We (Americans) seem obsessed with the next new thing. Our kids go from holiday to holiday looking for the next big present. Yet, in Chile, the average family lives in houses that are 1/2 (or less) the size of Americans. They don’t collect the stuff we do but they are just as happy. As I went out for my runs, I saw families walking together, couples holding hands, and people exercising every day.
We did have a couple of earthquakes during the trip. Of note, there was a 4.7 that woke me up on the 3rd night.
Overall, I found Chile to be a fascinating place to visit and I would definitely return, in particular, to spend time in the mountains.