As a native New Yorker, I have been known to commiserate with fellow Manhattanite Woody Allen who, commonly at odds with the great outdoors, unashamedly admits, “I am at two with nature.”
Aspiring to commune more comfortably with our planet, I decided to join the growing number of international enthusiasts heading south to Chile, the long, slender country in South America where one can still feel utterly alone in the wild, where nature is writ large, as it is in remote Alaska or the western fjords of Iceland.
Chile has been ranked by Lonely Planet as the world’s top country to visit as part of its “Best in Travel 2018” list, and National Geographic selected the capital and largest city, Santiago, as one of its “places you need to visit in 2018.” Those accolades did not surprise Debbie Feldman, general manager of Turismo Chile, who insisted that the accolades “are not just coincidences; they are cumulative results that have been building momentum for over 20 years.”
And although Chile’s bicentennial was celebrated in 2010 with festivities and fanfare, the country did not become officially independent from Spain until 1818, making 2018 the year to resuscitate and continue the party.
It looks like this is the year that Chile is ready for its close-up.
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