I decided I want to blog trips that are bigger than the "normal" ones. There's something really sweet about keeping a daily journal for everything that happens each day. Disciplining myself to blog every night on the PCT was extremely difficult but SO worth all of those tired nights and hours uploading in town. I am incredibly happy I stuck to it the whole time I was out there. Once it became a habit, it was just like blowing up my sleeping pad each night.
So what's the deal with this random trip to Patagonia? Well, I had originally wanted to go in November after I finished the PCT but was injured, so that never happened. It's somewhere I've been dreaming about for awhile now--nothing compares to the mountains down there. However, traveling overseas is something I've been quite nervous to do on my own. I haven't left the country (besides to Canada) since I was little. I'm scared to be in a foreign country where my cell phone won't work and I can't read/speak their language. In fact, I find it quite frightening and it's something that's held me back from travling internationally.
A few months ago, I took the opportunity to join the guys (and Steff!) from Zpacks to go to Patagonia, so I wouldn't have to do the trek alone. I am so grateful and honored to join their team for this trip. We are all SO incredibly stoked to travel here together--a place we've all been dreaming of. Basically, this is my vacation that I've been needing. I haven't gone anywhere since I got off trail and never took advantage of unemployment. I literally jumped straight into full-time work right when I got home and have been super busy ever since. I'm so eager to just hike again and do multi-day treks. There is nothing like being out for a week and carrying everything you need on your back.
I'm really excited to try out my new pack. There are not many opportunities you can take before a thru-hike to "test out" packs. You kind of just have to pick one and buy it online and hope it works out. I decided to go with the Zpacks Arc Haul because mainly it was pretty in this color, jk. I wanted dyneema for the durability and they have this huge air gap on the back to keep you cool which is going to be super nice since the ULA Circuit basically just sits on your back the whole time and it gets really sweaty. I'm also just happy to have a pack that doesn't smell gross.
So far I've been doing some research on how to charge my things when I get there. I googled a bunch of adapters on Amazon and finally went with this cube thing. It's kinda bulky/heavy at 4 oz but I figured it would replace my current dual charger and that way, I can charge all 3 things at once. I've also been kind of nervous trying to figure out how I will check in my trekking poles. We are not allowed to bring them as carry-on, so I need to find a way to check them in. It just seems kind of annoying to check in something so small but I'm going to just have to do it. I just got brand new poles finally, so I can't risk them being taken up.
For food, I've decided to buy everything there. Still debating on bringing a stove or not...but I might have to because I don't really know what food options I have. I've kinda been into the warm meal thing lately. Will told me he bought like 14 mountain houses to bring over. :o Matt says he will go stoveless, I'm a little nervous about doing that, but may just end up doing that too. We're stoked to see what grocery options will be available!
So, my plan is to meet everyone in Florida and finally check out the Zpacks offices--I'm pretty stoked about that! Then we will all fly out together to Chile. I think I'm on most of the same flights with everyone, I was nervous about not being able to find them when I get there! Can you tell I have a million things I usually worry about? This is why it's good for me to finally get out of my comfort zone. We will then trek the Torres Del Paine Circuit and head to Lima for a few days of relaxing. Then I'm off on my own again to visit the Swiss Family Shafers in Zurich. It'll be winter there, so I'm not going to do much trekking--just spending time with the girls, Ian/Stella and exploring on my own. I have to figure out winter clothes when I get there too. :|
This isn't a huge trip by any means in comparison to a thru-hike, but I'm pretty darn excited, nervous and ready! I've never traveled overseas with just a backpack nor have I ever stepped on a trail in another country, so it'll be quite the experience for me. Little bebe Wang in the big world. I'll try to keep daily entries going about each day in my notes and transfer over once I find good WIFI. EEP! Until next time. :)