You are here

Barely Packed, but Very Prepared

May 15, 2018

It's a week before I leave for Chile and I couldn't be more excited. My name is Madalyn Wiefering and although this is my first trip out of the United States, I consider myself a pro packer. This past week has been filled with last minute preparations and tasks that needed to be done before my lengthy trip to Santiago. Although I haven't officially started packing, I am preparing.

So here it goes, my number one tip for packing is to prepare to pack. You can look up as many packing lists on Pinterest and Google, but they will never get everything that you need. Pick a typical school or work day and jot down every single thing you do from the moment you open your eyes, to the second your head hits the pillow. Because I always have my phone on hand, I jot down the list in my notes and use the list setting so that when I do pack, I can check off the things I packed. Whenever I think of something "Chile specific" that I will need, I make a note of that too. Although it will be winter in Chile, the weather will still be beautiful compared to the frigid winters above the equator in Kentucky. I’m packing lots of jeans and layers for the slightly chilly weather in Chile.

With as much research as I have done, you'd think I would have a lengthy Chile bucket list. To be completely honest, however, I plan to take every day day-by-day and let the locals tell me the best places to visit. I don't want to be just a tourist; I hope to completely engulf myself in the beautiful South American culture that is Chile. Being the longest country in the world, Chile has so much to offer. Whether it's climbing the great Andes mountains or exploring the rich neighborhoods and cities like Bellavista, Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, and of course Santiago, this country is a traveler’s ultimate destination. I do have a few ideas of activities and places I hope to visit. I'd love to go horseback riding and visit one of the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America, Ambrosía.

Don't even get me started on the delicious South American cuisine! From the pastel de choclo to the infamous, huge, deep-fried Chilean Empanadas, I will eat all Chile has to offer. I am also a huge seafood fanatic, and with miles of coastline, glacial rivers, and lakes, I get access to all of the fried fish and seafood I could ever want.

I am profoundly grateful to have received this incredible opportunity to travel and study in Chile. We all know life begins the moment you leave your comfort zone! I can only imagine the experiences and adventures I am going to take, so stay tuned and I’d love to hear about some of the leaps of faith you are taking in the comments section below!

From Our Blogs

May 22 7:00am

Financing Your Foreign Fancies

by Maya

Here I am, terrified, 3 days away from my travel to an entirely new world (or so it seems to little old me). For most of my life, I’ve been rather stagnant – born in Houston, TX, moved a whopping two hours away to Austin, and remained there for college as well.

Learn more
May 21 10:52pm

An Alternative to Camping

by Madalyn

Ever heard of a DOC hut?

Learn more
May 21 11:35am

Studying Abroad as a Music Major: May 2018 Ambassador of the Month Alli Jones

by IES Abroad

Read on to learn more about Alli’s tips for how she studied abroad as a music major, how to make a study abroad location feel like home, and why she enjoys being an IES Abroad Ambassador.  

Learn more
May 21 11:16am

How to Manage the Before & After of Study Abroad: May 2018 Ambassador of the Month Sam Harris Reed

by IES Abroad

Read on for Sam’s insights into budgeting before going abroad, as well as tips for how to handle returning home after study abroad.

Learn more
May 20 11:03pm

Ramadan Mubarak!

by Rebekah

Months before even coming to Morocco, I got excited when I found out that Ramadan was supposed to start a few days before the end of my program. I knew that getting to see how this holy month is observed and celebrated in Morocco would be a special experience.

Learn more
May 20 4:58pm

Community is my Greatest Reward

by Bo

The day before I left Milano, I sat down with Elyse Resnick, the professor of the service learning class to learn more about the Fulbright program. Not only did I enjoy listening to her experiences and stories, but I genuinely feel like I made a friend.

Learn more