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This sentence always trips me up a bit. What is the purpose of your visit? they ask. Which visit? the one to NY? the one to Chile? They say welcome back to New York, when I think they should be saying welcome. I thank them anyway, it’s nice to be welcomed, back or otherwise.

The purpose of my trip was to see my family. And enjoy seasons that I can only dream of when I am in Santiago. A multihued pallete of autumn, and a blowy snowy winter that has its own smell, all crunched together. Cheeses that never cross the Chilean border, and spice combinations that are only whipped up by my foodie brother in law. Tastes, smells and sights unknown from here.

Eighteen days is simultaneously a long time and not long enough. It’s long enough to make face-shaped pizza with my niece, and to be drooled (and spat up) upon by my new nephew. To scratch the surface of an existence that is not mine, and show just a glimmer of who I am when I’m rotating on my own axis. To make plans to meet again, and to go back to the airport where I am instructed to “have a good trip.” And also to come back soon.