Chile

View from the Top: Chile

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Nicolette Joakim is a student at Saint Joseph’s College and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently interning abroad with ISA Internships in Santiago, Chile.

Never in my life did I think I would be standing on top of the Andes. Well, it happened, and I am still in awe. These beautiful, majestic mountains will take your breath away–quite literally when climbing up then with very little air, but also figuratively. I believe that these mountains are one of Mother Nature’s finest creations. I couldn’t help but take a moment and process what I was experiencing. It was wonderful to breathe in the fresh, crisp air of the mountains. 

"I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains..."

“I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains…”

One thing I have come to know about Chile is that there are over a million stray dogs. Many are fed well and taken care of. I have fallen in love with a few during my time exploring. So far the one I have grown fondest of is a beautiful girl I met when I was at the top of the Andes. Even though she was all alone in the mountains, she has been able to keep herself from starving. That might be because she eats the horse dung that is everywhere. When I arrived at the top of the mountains, I was greeted by her. She was whining because she was very happy to have some human interaction. For the entire time I was there, she followed me around and would come whenever I called her. In a way she reminded me of one of my dogs back home. If I could have taken her back to my apartment with me, I would not have hesitated.

I named her Roxanne and she is so precious. I wish I could keep her

I named her Roxanne and she is so precious. I wish I could keep her

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I am a huge Lord of The Rings fan, and these movies were filmed in New Zealand among wide open fields, forests, and huge mountains. My visit to the Andes reminded me of the mountains in those movies. The scenery is so beautiful on such an epic scale. Since the Andes reminded me of the scenery in The Lord of The Rings, I couldn’t help but imagine that they were the same place. Yes, the scenery in New Zealand is very different than the Andes. For example, even though there were scenes from the movies shot in the mountains, the area was flat, unlike the Andes where there really is no flat spot and even at the top there are so many hills. To be completely honest, I geeked out a little bit and closed my eyes and pretended that I was there where the movies were shot and recited my favorite lines from the movies in my head. It was quite wonderful. It was like I was transported into Middle Earth. I couldn’t have thought of a more beautiful place to visit. It took my breath away and absolutely blew my mind, and it even let me escape from reality. 

Sometimes to take a great photo you need a different perspective. So I lay down in the road to take this picture. I wanted to get a shot that most people wouldn't think of taking.

Sometimes to take a great photo you need a different perspective. So I lay down in the road to take this picture. I wanted to get a shot that most people wouldn’t think of taking.

Find the balance in life. Being in such a beautiful place, you have to stop and take in your surroundings, tune out everything, and just be. When you do this, when you just let yourself be, you will notice that there is absolute silence, peace, and serenity. It is like nothing I have ever experienced. Reality was gone and everything was still. I was caught in a moment in time where nothing moved. To have an experience like that is very refreshing. It is so nice to get away from technology and all the noise of life and just be.

My Lokai bracelets embody the balance in life-- mud from the Dead Sea and water from Mount Everest, the lowest and highest places on earth. They resembling the lowest and highest places in one's life. Find the balance in life and just be. Everything will fall into place as it should.

My Lokai bracelets embody the balance in life– mud from the Dead Sea and water from Mount Everest, the lowest and highest places on earth. They resembling the lowest and highest places in one’s life. Find the balance in life and just be. Everything will fall into place as it should.

The world awaits…discover it.

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