Wooo welcome to the blog! I’m so excited to resurrect the travel blog this year as I adventure around Latin America, and I hope you enjoy joining me and reading about it all!
I have this desire to see every country in the world, to meet the people who live there and to experience their cultures for myself. I know I’m not alone in this. So many people now are taking a gap year to go travelling, but I am lucky enough to have that opportunity included in my University degree. As a student of languages, I get to spend my 3rd year in a country (or multiple countries) that speak that language. Cultural immersion is undoubtedly the best and quickest way to develop languages skills, as you simply have no other choice but to speak in the target language.
Having travelled to Spain quite a few times already, I knew from the moment I applied for my University course that I wanted to travel to Latin America and spend a year working there, in as many countries as possible! I chose to work because I thought it would be a valuable use of my time, learning skills and improving my prospects for the job I intended to pursue, which can be very competitive. After a fair amount of research, I discovered various internship companies which would help my find an internship in the field of work I am interested in and with reputed South American companies. It was certainly a little easier than trying to contact companies myself in search of jobs or internships, as they basically acted as an agency, contacting businesses in South America for me.
My first internship is in Costa Rica, where I will be spending 2 months living in the jungle in Puerto Jimenez doing a Media and Conservation internship. I will be working as part of a team carrying out environmental work, reporting on the project’s progress, writing blogs, vlogging and much more. I cannot begin to say how excited I am to spend two months completely immersed in nature. Costa Rica is said to be one of the world’s most beautiful places, and it is home to many amazing species, including Turtles and Pumas! Living in the jungle could certainly be a challenge – my Kit list told me I needed to buy Snake Gaiters…which it turns out are exactly like normal gaiters, but for snakes…to stop them biting your ankles when trekking (or to stop them from getting into your boots? Who even knows?!)…FUN. The average temperature in Costa Rica is 27 degrees, with around 80% humidity, so I think the fresh water showers will be needed!
After Costa Rica I am moving to Chile for 6 months. I will be spending 3 months in Santiago de Chile working for Magma Partners, a large Chilean company which sponsors startups. My role will be in Media and PR, helping the companies with their social media pages, writing articles and potentially even doing podcasts. This is such a great opportunity for me to develop my journalism skills, not to mention my written Spanish, as the majority of the articles I write will be in Spanish. Living in Santiago will also be a great adventure, experiencing life in a major city and Chilean culture.
From Santiago I will move to Valparaiso, a small seaside town on the coast, only an hour or two from the capital. I will hopefully be working with an NGO, but as this internship starts in February, it is too early to confirm where I will be. Pablo Neruda wrote a poem about Valparaiso, describing it as a ‘disparate’, and absurdity, and I am very much looking forward to living in this quaint Chilean town, full of life and history. Living in this town for 3 months will be also be a great opportunity to improve my surfing skills, as it is very close to one of the coast’s best surfing beaches!
So there you have it, 8 months abroad in Latin America, working hard (or hardly working…) and learning to be a true Hispanic – hopefully after 12 months of summer time I’ll look like one too! The adventure doesn’t end there though, as I am going to do some travelling around the continent, hopefully visiting Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia at least (depends on how far my savings stretch!).
Stay tuned for all my adventures and mishaps (there will be many) as I try my best not to become and extra in Narcos and come home in one piece!