Travel Plans - Santiago, Chile

Currently I travel a lot, as in over 89,000 miles in the last 12 months or over 145,000 miles in the last 15 months. This time last year I went to Paris, Butte, Phoenix, Richland and LA (twice) all in the months of September and October. This year I'll rack up San Diego, Portland, Berkeley, Santiago Chile and St. Louis in the same two month period and that's after turning down 3 trips. This will of course no longer be sustainable once I'm in school so I'm taking advantage of it while I can. I hope to travel to India, Las Vegas, Chicago, LA and England before relinquishing my volunteer work and settling down into law school. By that time I should have enough frequent flyer miles to go just about anywhere and bring hubby along. Poor hubby, he's only gone with me on one trip to Boston for a week. Probably better off because as glamorous as all of this travel sounds, I'm really there to work and I rarely see more than the airport and the hotel meeting room. I'll fly out after work on Friday get in Saturday morning for a Saturday meeting and fly right back home afterwards. For a person who doesn't sleep on planes that is rough.

I try to have one trip that is about a week long twice a year and save my vacation time for those. I basically pick the most interesting meeting I've got coming up and then extend my travel plans at that destination, getting two days of hotel and the airfare for free. Last fall it was Paris, this spring it was Boston, and this fall it will be Santiago, Chile. I'm pretty excited about this. Excited and intimidated. When I went to Paris I had 8 hours of Pimsluer CD lessons under my belt. Thankfully I've got a pretty solid grounding in languages and this translated to being able to roughly navigate through Paris and get non-English cab drivers to take me where I want to go. It also helps that French and Russian have a lot of cognates so my vocabulary was artificially higher than it would have otherwise been. Spanish though, um yeah, I don't know Spanish at all. I fully intend on using at least part of my 34 hours of travel time that will be spent getting there learning a little Spanish, but I suspect it won't be enough. Thankfully two of my friends who are Spanish will be coming and hopefully their European Spanish will be enough to get me by during the times we're together.

This trip is creeping up very fast. I just booked my tickets today and the trip is in like 2.5 weeks. I don't know what there is to do there or anything. I'll have two days before the meeting to play tourist so I guess I'll be packing my guidebook and backpack along with my suit and laptop. If anybody has any suggestions for Latin-American travel, I'd be happy to hear them. I haven't even had time to do a good Google search for travel blogs to Chile yet.