The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are. – Samuel Jackson
We woke up Saturday morning to perhaps one of the most perfect days in Patagonia. The birds were singing in full glory to welcome the rising sun above the serene Patagonian landscape. The sky was as blue as the sea and clear except for a few lazy powder puff clouds lingering off in the distance.
We packed our belongings and ate our last meal at the Eco Camp with our friends. Despite the amazing week we had experienced, I felt a deep sadness and distress at the thought of leaving. I knew that leaving the park represented a return to reality: Work, stress, life in the fast lane, and no more “smelling the roses” each day.
As our van pulled out of the park’s main entrance and we looked for one last time at the breathtaking landscape around us, we realized that the view was the exact opposite as when we had pulled into the gates of the park at the start of the week. When we had arrived, our first sight of the park was completely hidden by clouds. When we left, it was nearly cloudless and spectacular.
Like my soul, the clouds had lifted and we could see the phenomenal beauty of the park in all its glory. As I took in my last sight of the park, I made a promise to never stop marveling at the beautiful world we live in and more importantly, to relax more often, enjoy life to its fullest, and most of all, be happy. Out of everything that I had gained from the trip, these few words of wisdom were the most valuable of all.
Last view of the park.
On the way home, in Punta Arenas, I made sure that I had a chance to stop in the Plaza de Armas and rub the toes of the infamous Ferdinand Magellan monument. That means I’ll be back. I certainly hope so!
(Prepared by Jill Barth)