To my tens and tens (maybe even one more “tens”) of readers out there that have been wondering about my recent inactivity, my computer has been broken for a whole week. Fear not faithful WorldOnMyBacker, the intrepid feeling of abandonment can now subside, as I type this from the touch screen of my iPod. Like a long overdue spring rain, your winter thirsts can now be quenched with the luscious pearls of whatnots I will once again bequeath unto you.
It is a strange feeling not having written/published in over a week. This dry spell of not writing has been the longest period of inactivity since I left home in September 2012. It is refreshing to once again be in contact with anyone that cares to read. It is therapeutic for me to write; I hope it is refreshing for you to read. There has been much going on in the past week, but first let’s discuss my incapacitated MacBook… If you happened to watch a recent video update, you will know that I dropped my long-time companion – my MacBook – and it slowly degenerated over the course of two days to become completely un-functional.
“The Tale of the Broken MacBook” - once upon a time, last week, I was in Mendoza, Argentina. While in Argentina for the first time, I was Couchsurfing to save some money and hang out with some local Mendocino’s. My first evening at my host’s home, shortly before an exquisite empanada dinner, the father of the house came home from his day’s work. As it was the first time meeting him, I was quick to stand up, shake his hand, and introduce myself. In the process of standing up, I set my MacBook, which was on my lap, next to me on the couch. I took two steps towards my host’s dad and heard my MacBook slip off the edge of the couch and fall onto the ground. At the time, it seemed as though nothing happened to my macbook and it continued to work just fine. Until the following day, when it would begin to freeze for a minute or two with the rotating beach ball.
Apple’s way of saying, “Hey, chill out for a second. I’m thinking!”
Over the course of the next two days, my computer would freeze more often and for longer periods. It eventually got to the point where it would freeze for 30 minutes and I would be forced to manually power down my computer and restart. By the third day, my computer would barely turn on and would freeze right at the start of the log-in screen. It was at this point when I decided that I would need some professional intervention.
On Monday I packed my Macbook up in my backpack and went exploring the commercially-developed neighbour of Valparaiso, Viña del Mar. After walking around town for over an hour I came across an Apple authorized service repair center. I left my computer in their care and now await for it to be repaired. My computer has thousands of photos and video from my travels and before, as well as, some writings that I haven’t published, so I am very hopeful that it can be recovered from the hard drive. If it is all lost, I will certainly be disappointed, but there are worse things in the world than lost information on a MacBook.
Aside from my broken computer, I have been spending quite a bit of time in Chilean government offices going through the process of obtaining a Chilean work visa and all other necessary documents to work legally in Chile. I have had four jobs throughout the country, all with nothing more than a US passport. This, clearly, hasn’t been the most “documented/legal” way to work in a country, but it has worked for me so far. However, with a new position that I am interviewing for, I will need all proper work documentation to get the position. This new opportunity is with The Wall Street Institute in Viña del Mar. The name sounds like it is a financial institution, but it is actually a english language teaching institute. I have successfully received a work visa and my Chilean social security card, but still lack a national ID card which I will be applying for tomorrow morning. The work visa took about a week and a half in order to get all of my documents in order, which mainly hinged upon recieveing a work contract from a Chilean employer. My current job with La Valija Hostel has been a huge help in my time here. The amazing girls/the owners have typed out a work contract for me to present to La Extranjeria as one of the main requirements to getting the work visa.
Additionally, I spent two days last week in Mendoza, Argentina, which I wrote briefly about on my journey there. It was a short, but exciting trip to renew my tourist visa, which had expired while here in Chile. The two days spent across the border, were filled with wine, empanadas, and alfajores. An indulgent two days that gave me a small taste of what life is like on the eastern side of the Andes mountains. I will be writing more on my trip to Mendoza at a later time.
My recent indulgences and lack of writing has led me to a new personal challenge which I will share briefly with you. Lately, I have been eating like crap, drinking way too often, and just lacking in self-discipline in general – at least to my standards. And this seems to be all relative because, in reality, I eat more healthily than almost everyone I live with, drink just as often as they do, and do things that would require a higher degree of discipline. However, I feel that I have been slacking and not living up to my personal goals that I have for myself. So, I have set a 3o-Day Mega Challenge for myself regarding those three shortcomings. This personal challenge will take shape in 3 different ways:
1) Paleo Diet for one month solid: No grains/gluten, no refined sugars, high vegatable and low carb intake. As far as I know it, this is the crux of the paleo diet. I haven’t done much research on the matter, but the biggest take away from it that I will employ is the 30 days with no bread, rice, etc. This is a daily challenge as each morning the hostel provides a free breakfast of soft, warm bread with jam/jelly to spread across.
2) No Alcohol for 30 Days: I honestly cannot remember the last time I went 30 days without drinking. Probably since I was… 18? My current lifestyle of working in a hostel and hosting a weekly pub crawl has accelerated this habit to drinking at least on beer or glass of wine, five nights a week usually. Which is not good. My body and mind have been feeling the effects of this lifestyle. Every Friday night is a free boozing with the pub crawl. At the hostel, it seems as if it is always somebody’s “first night” or “last night” and they want to party.
3) Cold Showers Daily: this one sounds strange I know. I have read some blogs that advocate the mental and physical benefits of taking cold showers. The physical benefits included increased blood circulation and faster muscle recovery. However, I have been doing it for the mental/self-discipline benefits. There is no “reason” to take a cold shower, primarily, other than the fact that it is highly uncomfortable and unnecessary. This is why I chose to do it. To take my body into submission. It will not harm my body, it is actually better for it, many studies show. It is a matter of doing things that you body might not want to do, but I must be the master of myself and train my mind to accomplish the difficult. Starting with a cold shower.
This 30 DAY MEGA-CHALLENGE, has been going well over the past 3 days, when I began. I enjoy the new experience of going out with friends to the bar and not drinking; waking up in the morning with no headache and more money in my wallet. The lack of bread leaves me feeling less bloated and seeking more nutritionally-dense food to satisfy my hunger. The cold showers on the other hand, aren’t quite as easy to get used to. I haven’t been able to bring myself around to walking into the freezing cold water yet, so I begin the shower with warm water, get in the warm water, then shut off the warm water and it quickly turns very cold. This cold water cascading over my body, literally takes my breath away and leaves me gasping as I bring my mind around to accept the cool water. After about 2 minutes my body adjusts and is no longer in “shock”. The cold showers certainly are an exhilarating feeling, at the very least, and I do feel a sense of accomplishment after taking it. That is the reason my I am doing it. I look forward to continuing this challenge over the remaining days and will be writing a post devoted to this 30 Day Personal Challenge.
I hope you have enjoyed reading. I am anxious to have my Macbook returned to me so that I may continue to create things for you: writing, videos, photos, and designing a website which I have been working on for way too long.
Thanks for reading… love you.