Friday, December 28, 2012

Home for the holidays

¨Where will you be for Christmas?¨ became the most common question we received from family, friends, and fellow travelers as we approached the holiday season.  Most of us head home for the holidays and, as we no longer have any home, people were curious as to our plans.  Since our first day without a permanent base, we have pondered what ¨home¨ really means to us.  We have always known that at its essence, home is so much more than a roof and walls.  Rather, it is a concept about comfort, security, love, and people.  Home is definitely ¨where the heart is¨ which means for us, as we tote our backpacks around the world, that our concept of home is more closely aligned to those described in nomadic cultures.  Our homes are the places that provide us a sense of mental and physical security and comfort.

The actual locations or places we call home during this peregrination are incredible in their variety.  We have stayed in simple hostels without water, heat or WiFi but with a bed and friendly staff.  We have stayed in incredible two-story luxurious handmade condos with kitchens and views of mountains, glaciers and lakes.  We have been in small hotels, eclectic bed and breakfasts, and slept in buses with and without reclining seats.  Each has often met our personal definition of being home as we find comfort, security and love.  Some have introduced us to new friends such as Karen and Stuart, a wonderful couple we met in Arequipa.  All have introduced us to new people, cultures and ideas.  Only one had bedbugs.

A few days before Christmas, we found ourselves at a bed and breakfast called Pire Mapu Cottage in Puerto Natales in Patagonia.  From the moment we walked in, we realized we were in an exceptional home with exceptional Chilean and British hosts.  We had found the place to stay for Christmas (which was not our original plan).  Fabiana and Bren made us feel as if we were long lost friends rather than two strangers intruding into their home.  They offered us their kitchen, fireplace and gorgeous dining room table as our setting for a salmon meal on Christmas Day.  Perhaps even more special, they gave us their company for our Christmas meal.  While we missed friends and family during the holiday, we found a very special home for the holiday.

Top image is of the dining room at the Pire Mapu Cottage in Puerto Natales, Chile; middle image is of the table we shared during our homestay on Taquile Island, Peru; and last image is of a simple hostel bed in Costa Rica.  

Posted in Punta Arenas, Chile

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