Trading Chilly for Chile

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October is when we have to stop the denial that there is good weather ahead in Ireland.  Winter is en route, and we know what that means.  But as winter hits the northern hemisphere, the sun shines brighter in the southern hemisphere.  If you are dreaming of an escape across the equator, consider some time in Chile.  With more than 6,000 kilometres of South Pacific coastline on one side and the amazing Andes Mountains on the other, Chile is a long, narrow slice of just right.

Chile has a stable government and relatively low crime rate.  Spanish is the official language, and about 10% of the population speaks some English.  The Irish are well liked in Chile, but that’s true almost everywhere.  Chileans have a special fondness for us because of their history.  One of the main streets in the capital Santiago is named for Bernardo O’Higgins, an Irish-Chilean leader in the fight for Chile’s independence from Spain and one of the founders of the state.  And Michael D. Higgins was an observer during Chile’s vote to end the reign of dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1988.

Life in Chile

Chile has a modern economy with a mix of high tech start-ups and multi-nationals as well as a thriving wine industry with lots of vineyards.  That gives anyone looking for a way to get a work visa with a range of possibilities.  Santiago is a modern city with all the mod cons of life in Europe.  The public transportation infrastructure is good.  While the public views business leaders with some hostility and suspicion, it is one of the cleanest economies in South America.  While Chile is not a drug-free utopia, it doesn’t have the scale of drug gang violence seen in other South American countries.  It helps that coco, used to make cocaine, doesn’t grow well in Chile’s climate.

If you like the outdoors, you’ll find a lot to love in Chile.  While the South Pacific is colder than many expect, the beaches are gorgeous and you can surf.  And you have the Andes.  You can hike and ski in the mountains, exploring some amazing wilderness.  You could even try some sandboarding in the desert.  Best of all, you’ll have the weather to get out and enjoy it.  Rain isn’t frequent, and it doesn’t get as intensely hot as other parts of the Southern Hemisphere.

Culture shock isn’t as sharp in Chile as many other places.  If you like football, you’ll find plenty of people who share that passion.  And Chileans share the Irish view of time.  Being a little late to a social event won’t earn you the scorn it would in Germany or the USA, but business is a different matter.  Be punctual to meetings and to work.  Your school Spanish is likely to disappoint because the Chileans speak Spanish the way we speak English, with plenty of their own twists, but most Chileans are welcoming even if the language barrier is an issue.  The food isn’t very spicy, and you will see a lot of stews there.  If you are looking for adventure on the other side of the Equator, Chile offers a reasonable level of familiarity, comfort, and stability with a dazzling variety of natural beauty.

Be punctual to meetings and to work.  Your school Spanish is likely to disappoint because the Chileans speak Spanish the way we speak English, with plenty of their own twists, but most Chileans are welcoming even if the language barrier is an issue.  The food isn’t very spicy, and you will see a lot of stews there.  If you are looking for adventure on the other side of the Equator, Chile offers a reasonable level of familiarity, comfort, and stability with a dazzling variety of natural beauty.

Planning a winter-long trip to the southern hemisphere? Spratt has got your personal belongings covered with our door to port shipping service.  Get a quick quote today.

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