I remember jumping up and down in the living room of the student house with one of my best friends here in Chile, M from Germany, when we found a cheap flight to Easter Island, aka. Isla de Pascua. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about the place…other than that it is the world’s most inhabited isolated island, there are statues with over-sized heads, or moai, that seem to be in the majority of tourism pictures, and finally, that the island has some sort of a mystical presence. Combined with my curiosity around the mystical presence, I was so excited to travel with my dear friend, as well as to celebrate the end of Spanish classes in an exotic place. The plan was to go to Easter Island for 2 weeks, and then meet one of my best friends from Canada for a 2-week backpacking trip through northern Chile (which will be my next post).
Now M is sort of like me with a lucky horseshoe, so combined, we basically had superpowers. Not only did we find a random cheap flight to Easter Island (pretty sure the price dropped after we yelled at the computer screen), but we ended up with accidental first class on the way there. We were so happy to start the adventure as ballerz, so clearly we had no shame in asking the flight attendant to take pictures of us all snuggled up in our seats (aka. beds).
Upon arrival at the airport, we met our couch surfing host, K, with whom we would spend our 2 weeks on the island. Yes, couch surfing host. Being on this year-long adventure, I have been pushing myself to be more open to experiences. The whole idea of crashing with a stranger seemed a little odd to me, but M convinced me it would be a great way to get to know the island and culture. When we met K, I was a little shy because he seemed quite serious, sitting us down in his living room and going through the rules of his house. As I got to know him, I realized he is one of the kindest and most generous people I have met in my life. And I am certain that the experience of the island wouldn’t have been as special if we spent it in some hotel instead.
I loved Easter Island because I got to do a lot of cool stuff…
Horseback riding in the clouds
Diving in the beautiful sea world
*no picture…use your imagination*
Watching amazing sunsets behind the backdrop of the moai’s
Having our breath taken away by view from the “windows” of the caves
Being literally and figuratively blown away at the top of the volcano crater (top 3 of the most beautiful places I have seen in my life)
Dancing on stage at the Kari Kari show
*no picture…trust me, I am doing you a favour*
Making friends with adorable and hilarious local dogs (yes, any one who knows me well, knows that chilling with dogs would make my list)
All these activities were AMAZING. But what I loved most about Easter Island were:
1)The eternal feeling of tranquility: Maybe it was the whole mystical presence I read about, but I felt at peace the entire time I was there. Every view and every moment felt beautiful. This is something I can’t really explain. You need to go for yourself to understand how the weight of life is lifted off your shoulders pretty much as soon as you arrive on the island.
2)The constant awe and gratitude: I could hardly believe the natural beauty of the island, and felt so grateful the whole time I was there to experience it. Even the colours of the island…yes, THE COLOURS, were unbelievable. The green of the grass, the orange of the sunset, and the blue of the ocean were all colours I have literally never seen in my life. Pantones that my own imagination hasn’t been able to make up in 30 years.
3)And finally, the life lesson I learned from our host who is now a dear friend. He opened up his home to 2 strangers, treated us like his family, and taught me a very important lesson on sharing and generosity. K used to raise an eyebrow if I asked for something in his house, because he 100% meant it when he told us to pretend we were in our own homes. He took time outside of his 2 jobs as a dancer and tour guide to be our personal tour guide, or as I prefer to call it, our friend. I really enjoyed learning about the island and culture through his eyes and unique perspective. I hope I become a better person and learn to be as giving and generous as him with friends, family, and complete strangers too.
Overall, it was an amazing trip, and I can easily say Easter Island was the most magical place I have been to (after Disneyland of course).
Stay tuned for adventures to northern Chile…