Road Wisdom: Life without Keys. My key to happiness?

It’s been 7 months now but I still do it fairly often. It’s embedded in my subconscious, or in my muscle memory. As I stand up to leave a place I reach back to feel my left back pocket to make sure I still have my keys on me. It’s a pretty typical routine for many people. Thing about it is though… I just don’t have any keys any more. My three house keys are gone with my house. My four work keys, gone with my job. My two car keys, also gone with my car. I think back now as I separated myself from the previous life I lived and gradually gave up each key, one by one, until all that I was left with was an empty little aluminum carabiner with nothing on it. That carabiner still hangs on my backpack today, partly as a reminder of what I left behind but also because it turns out carabiners are extremely handy for more things than just key rings. It’s nice not having keys, its nice not having attachments, but honestly it also can be a very uncomfortable feeling. Getting the keys to my first car, the keys to my first apartment, the first time a job trusted me with the keys to the place… these are all big moments in our lives and symbolized personal accomplishments for me along the way. It was a tough choice leaving it all behind knowing that I’ll have to start all over again. But it was a choice that I know now was all worth it. I do wonder sometimes if it will feel the same way the next time around as I start collecting keys again. Or I wonder if now that I’ve gotten a taste for keylessness it will be hard to go back to so many attachments. This whole trip has been about challenging ourselves and learning about what makes us truly happy. I guess I’ll just have to see how I feel 7 more months from now.

Cities and Vines: Chile

Ah Santiago, a beautiful cosmopolitan confluence of tradition and modernity with some of the best museums in Latin America, wide open parks and greenspaces and a bohemian nightlife similair to a small scale Buenos Aires. We arrived in Santiago with relatively few expectations but were soon embraced by the beauty and energy of the city. On our first evening in town we were looking for that Santiago “experience” and boy did we find it. Following a locals suggestion we headed to the first ever bar in Santiago, La Piojera, the oldest and still the best dive bar in town. Literaly translated as ¨The fleahouse¨, this dingy and lively indoor/outdoor spot is famous for (among other things) its bizarre concoction known simply as the ¨Terramoto¨, or in English… the Earthquake. A combination of white and red wine, Frenet Branca, bitters, grenadine and topped with a ball of pineapple ice cream, the Terramoto is designed to make the ground shake bellow you as you stumble out of the bar. Continue reading