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The Bright Side of Travel

SANTIAGO, Chile- I have returned to Santiago. In travel, you leave places, perhaps never to return, perhaps to find yourself looking face to face at what you thought you would not look upon again.

The rain was a bit much in the south of Chile. Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, beautiful places but rain, rain, rain. So I am going north to the Atacama Desert to dry out a bit. Maybe after winter subsides, I will try again to go to Patagonia. For now I will happily retreat.


Sometimes a person may get down in travel. The loneliness, the frustration, not being with loved ones, the absence of a lover’s touch, the miss of that of a particular person. This weight has the potential to grow and you travel further, deeper into your journey. This weight truly has the ability to break a traveler down, and to send them right into the nearest travel agent, and come out with a ticket stamped with the name of their hometown. But then you see something amazing or simply humorous — like a man walking towards you on the street with his finger shoved so far up his nose that you are SURE he is fingering his brain. Then, like simple clockwork, the funk is gone, you are laughing, smiling, noticing the way the sun shines off of the leaves, the flash of legs from a pretty girl, a flower petal floating in a puddle, something that you know you could not see at home, some impression that you know could only got into you head from travel.


It is at this confluence between emotional doldrums and the shock of the Amazing that the bright side of travel exerts itself. It is here that you are shown, yet again, the reasons why you live the way you are, the reasons why you travel.

The energy the feeling, the spirit of travel may lie dormant through long stretches on the Road, but it is always there. You just need to stop your feet, tilt your head, and see what is right in front of you.

The bright side of travel.

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Filed under: Chile, South America, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3169 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Puketi Forest, New ZealandMap