Atacama:  A Vacation within a vacation within a vacation

Atacama: A Vacation within a vacation within a vacation

Written by ryan

Topics: Chilean adventure, Entertaining

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we packed up our apartment in San Francisco, put most of our stuff in storage and went to Buenos Aires.


after ~4 months we left a couple of bags with a friend in Buenos Aires and went to Santiago.


after ~1 month we left a couple of bags with friends in Santiago and headed up to San Pedro de Atacama. We’ll be here for ~5 days.

Like a dream within a dream within a dream…

this is a vacation within a vacation within a vacation. We can only hope that the ‘kicks’ are timed correctly and we will be able to return to Santiago and then Buenos Aires and then the US with all of our things and ourselves intact.   If anything goes wrong we could become lost in vacation limbo forever. Obviously, this would be horrible.

We have to be careful.

We can only hope that our subconscious doesn’t create evil projections that are able to catch us and throw us out of our vacation early. To avoid them we will have to choose a new and exotic destination every day. We will go to crazy places like the Valle de la Luna, Los Geysers del Tatio, Las Lagunas Altiplanicos and others. If things get desperate, we may even go so far as to go sandboarding in the desert and/or cross the somewhat unpredictable and recently unstable border into Bolivia. Hopefully these crazy environments and activities will be enough to confuse our subconscious and keep us safe.

Time moves much slower here than in reality.

Because we have total freedom to choose what we want to do in each moment, every day spent in a normal vacation is worth 10 days of life at home (just add up how many hours you spend enjoying what you want to do vs. doing what you are supposed to do in a normal 10 day period in reality and you’ll see what I mean). Many theorize that this time distortion compounds with each additional layer of vacation abstraction–each day on a second level vacation is worth 100 days of enjoyment in your normal life; each day on a third level, 1,000. We’ll be here for ~5 days on this third level vacation which means that for us it will be the equivalent of 5,000 days worth of normal life enjoyment. You will hardly realize that we were gone, but for us, we will have experienced ~14 years of enjoyment here in the arid high-altitude desert of Atacama. If, upon reading this, you are now depressed by how little you enjoy your normal life, consider joining us–there is still room on our afternoon tour.

Unfortunately we do not have any spinny tops.

When we return… if we return… we will have no way of knowing whether or not we are back in reality or are in yet another layer of vacation. It’s entirely possible that we will spend the rest of our lives unsure whether we are on vacation or not. We are okay with this. If we do end up in vacation limbo, please consider joining us, but under no circumstances should you attempt to rescue us.

By the way…

If the last 6 months have just been a dream and rather than traveling in South America we’ve actually just been sleeping in a conference room using our laptops as pillows while making slides for a big presentation tomorrow… Please don’t wake us up; we will be cranky.

p.s. If you haven’t seen the movie “Inception” go see it. Then this will make (at least some) sense.

Please leave a comment, it will make us feel special!

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