World Vision 6K: Why I’m Walking and How You Can Help Me!

A little over 10 years ago I started supporting a child in India. It was a spur of the moment of the decision, but I knew I had (and still have) more than I need while children around the world go without. My experiences traveling around the world have only reinforced this view and made me want to continue to do things to help others. There a million different ways we can do something and sometimes it’s overwhelming, but doing just one small thing for someone DOES make a difference. And so World Vision is my cause. I have watched a little girl grow into a beautiful young women and I’m honored to have been and to continue to be a part of her journey.

In about 3 weeks I will be participating in a 6K (reminder, I hate running!) to raise money and awareness of the lack of clean drinking around the world. 6K is the average that people walk DAILY for water– that is often dirty and contaminated. $50 is enough to help provide clean drinking water for one person. I am committing to raising $300. I would love for people to join me in this.

Option One: Register for the 6K and walk/run with me!

Option Two: Send a few dollars my way to help me reach my goal!

I got some feedback that the donation page was a little confusing. So I put together a step by step guide to help you out and I tested it out with my own $5 donation to make sure it works!

Step 1. Click the link above which will take you to my page. Click on the orange ‘support me’ button.

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Step 2. Chose the amount you would like to donate. $50 provides clean water to one person, but even $5 makes a difference so if you want to chose a different amount, the last option lets you put that in.

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Step 3. Fill in your info. Name. Email. You can even chose to keep it private if you wish. Then click the orange button at the bottom that says ‘donate with card’. They accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

step 3Step 4. Billing Details. Pretty sure that’s easy enough to figure out.

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Step 5. Credit Card info. Again, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are all accepted.

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Step 6. Thank you!! No, seriously, I can’t thank you enough for being a part of this with me!!step 6

If you don’t want to donate online, I will gladly make a donation in your name if you would like to give the money to me via check or cash. Just let me know!!!

Exploring the Mystical Village of Pisco Elqui

Upon realizing that pisco is kind of a big deal in Chile, I put it on my list to try and visit the namesake Pisco Elqui (it’s a chicken & egg story…which came first, the liquor or the town…the world may never know…) Anyway, it was also close to Vicuña*, the birthplace of poet and nobel prize winner, Gabriela Mistral.
{*not to be confused with the cute little animal}

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Chile: La Serena & Around

There were two places I definitely wanted to go to in Northern Chile: San Pedro de Atacama & Pisco Elqui. In order to break up the long journey from Santiago to San Pedro and give myself a little landing pad before going to Pisco Elqui, I decided to stop a few nights in La Serena– a quiet beach town on the northern coast.

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Viña Concha y Toro

If you’re going to be spending any time in Chile (or Argentina) it’s basically a requirement that you go to a few wineries. In Chile, a lot of wineries are located around Santiago, but it’s really best to have a car to visit them. If you’re like me and only have a day and no car there is one winery that is totally doable in that time frame AND can be reached via public transportation: Viña Concha y Toro.

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Pichilemu: One of my favorite spots in Chile :D


I can’t help but say this word with a happy sigh. If there is a place in the world that I wish I could bottle up and carry with me whenever I needed a pick me up, this would be it. The nightmare of getting there (four buses + walking on the side of highway) were well worth it for the four days of bliss that I spent here. Crashing waves, melons full of wine, surf lessons and hot tubs. Pichilemu, take me back won’t you?

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9 Weird Milestones After a Year + Abroad

Returning home after extended travel is weird. There are all these modern and cultural conveniences that you’ve forgotten about: hot water with no danger of electrocution; peanut butter that doesn’t cost an arm, a leg and your passport; plumbing systems that can handle toilet paper; personal space is a thing; so is drinkable tap water. We take that stuff for granted but it’s not always a given in some countries. And you know what? It’s actually really easy to live without (except for the personal space thing; I never got used to that).

But once you stop sputtering about all the differences to anyone who will listen (it’s a traveler problem, we can’t help announcing loudly how different things are, except everyone around us has never been where we are talking about so they just stare at us like we’re crazy), you realize that there are some other weird milestones that you have to adjust to once you move back to where ever you are from.

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Travel Wins (sometimes it happens)

I traveled for almost 200 days on this trip and most it was incredible. However, there are a few points that really stand out as highlights for me and Valle de Las Trancas  was one of those moments. Not only did I get to spend a day in the hot springs but getting there was classic backpacker travels: sitting in grimy bus stations, hoping you’ve climbed on the right bus, multiple bus combos to make it happen, and lots of broken Spanish to get the information you need. One of those days that probably sounds like a nightmare if you’ve not traveled that way before, but gives you such a great feeling of accomplishment at the end. It was something I really needed after so many brick walls at the beginning of my trip. Continue reading

Chile: Valdivia & Concepción

Although I’m sure you all enjoyed my stories of all the ways NOT to travel in the south of Chile, from the moment I headed to Valdivia things tended to be on the upswing. I’m not saying stuff didn’t go wrong and I still had problems to bounce back from, but for the most part, travel was a lot easier and things worked a lot more the way I’m used to from previous travels.

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550 miles “on foot”

After my less than successful trip to Puerto Rio Tranquilo, I was ready to get out of the south of Chile. Have you ever studied a map of this country? The southern bit is a spilled bucket of lego land islands, fjords and few roads. There are two options to get through it: ferry through the ocean or overnight bus through Argentina. I ended up doing a bus/ferry combination but it was not an easy day of travel.


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Puerto…Why Did I Come Here?

Puerto Rio Tranquilo. With a name like that, you’d expect this to be a peaceful part of my travels. False advertising.

Like I said in an earlier post, I took a day tour to this town. It started early in the morning and was conducted entirely in Spanish. I followed as much as I could and then started daydreaming out the window. The good thing is the Carretera Austral (a highway that stretches from Puerto Montt to the very southern bit of Chile) is an absolutely gorgeous drive. A road trip on it would be divine.

Carretera Austral

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