Story: A few months ago I found myself in a region where January is summertime and eighteen-hour days are the norm. After a journey of 7,397 miles, twenty-two hours, three planes and a shuttle bus, I had arrived in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. This was an escape from the ordinary.
One of the most stunning highlights of this whirlwind adventure was the Grey Glacier, a mammoth ice-scape spanning over 104 square miles. We floated in the water below the glacial mass, the Patagonian winds threatening to blow us away like a piece of paper. Drifting dangerously close to the falling fragments of melting ice, our average-sized ferry boat was dwarfed by the massive expanse.
The Patagonian landscape is characterised by rugged beauty. A sort of wonder arises when taking in the bright-blue skies, treacherous mountain ranges and icy grey glacial spread; it is unlike anything I have experienced before. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, where stunning landscapes are commonplace, I am almost de-sensitised to the exquisite nature of the outdoors – I cherish natural beauty regularly, but simultaneously seem to believe that there is nothing novel to see.
Patagonia caused me to look at the world with new eyes, realising that the greatest solace is found in the most unexpected of places; in another hemisphere, on the other side of the world, I found home in the fresh air that I have always known. But I rediscovered it there, remote and removed, without wi-fi or phone reception, away from the distractions of my established life which continued to march on however many miles away from me. This is ultimate peace of mind.
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