While going through pictures from this past weekend in Santiago, I realized there’s something pretty special about traveling and allowing yourself to find comfort outside of your comfort zone. Maybe that’s an oxymoron, but I think you get the point.
I didn’t realize this until I was sitting around a table with people from all over the world, having conversations and listening to stories in multiple languages at an open-mic night in the backyard of a hostel we booked last-minute. There, in that spot, I found myself savoring every word and song because I knew this was one of those moments that you just don’t forget.
It was as if I’d just stepped into Diagon Alley (Harry Potter reference), meeting and laughing with a whole new breed of travelers that I’d always imagined could be me one day. The longer I talked to these new friends of mine, I wanted to be more like them. I wanted to be able to brag about having been to 15 countries and about taking a few months off from life just to learn a new language in Asia. I wanted to have stories from backpacking Europe and to have scars from getting to the top of that mountain in Africa. Heck, I wanted to be able to say, “Yeah I stayed here in La Casa Roja one night and loved it so much that I just never left.” It sounds so incredibly dream-like, right?
Honestly, if there’s anything my few days in that hostel taught me, it’s that traveling and roughing it and becoming a part of new cultures is the best when you haven’t fully figured your life out yet. It makes you dream and imagine and fantasize about where you could be one day and it gives you the chance to find strangers who might actually throw a little fork in the road you’ve been walking down the last few years (and suddenly things are new all over again.)
So cheers to you, La Casa Roja, for being a sacred spot for so many memories made and for being so welcoming to the strangers, the misfits, and those who might never leave. That could be me one day.
And for the travelers out there, here’s the link to this hostel if you’re interested.