Day 141

Trying not to look ahead, but needing to.

“Dia de Comercial Justo” is behind us. I would call the event similar to a client “go-live”. It was an awesome culmination of lots of people’s hard work (especially Sarah), and it was really exciting to be a part of.

We have less than two months left at the foundation, so it’s crazy to think that we’ll be starting to ramp down a bit. With all of that, comes the realization that we need to re-focus much of our attention on moving back to Chicago and settling in on what our “normal” lives are supposed to be.

Given this, we have started to accomplish some of our “to-do” items on “integrating back to the US.” Check out the list below:

Determine final date at Foundation – it is sad to think about, but we’ve shared with Susana that our last physical day at the foundation will be Wednesday, June 26th. We knew the date would be at some point near the end of June, and since often times the team is remote on Thursdays and Fridays, we figured that a Wednesday would be best.

Book flights back to United States – based on our last day, we had been searching flights within a certain date range, and (of course), 1-way flights were not the cheapest. However, after much searching, we ended up finding flights that were more affordable than the shorter / direct routes from Temuco to Chicago, which created a bit of a stopover in Bogota, Colombia. So we’re excited that we’re keeping costs down on our Fellowship budget, all the while, getting one little last South American adventure in on our way back. As for the itinerary, we’ll need to take a bus from Temuco to Santiago, and then a flight from Santiago to Bogota (with a 36-hour stopover), and then flights from Bogota to Washington, DC, finally arriving into Chicago on June 30th.

Determine where we’ll live – so as you’ve seen from previous posts, we sub-leased the remainder of our apartment, and therefore do not currently have a permanent place to live in Chicago. Our returning schedule has made things a bit tricky as we have some commitments immediately once we return and prior to starting back at WMP. Since we have weddings on back-to-back weekends, we’ll find ourselves in St. Louis July 4-6, and in Sweden July 7-15; therefore, we don’t want to pay for an apartment until July 15th. After searching many furnished apartments (and realizing that paying $5K a month is ridiculous), we ended up looking through longer term Airbnbs and found an affordable garden unit in Logan Square. As a result, we booked that from July 15 until August 31 – so call it 47 nights at a “transition” apartment. From there, the possibilities are endless – we want to explore the housing market, but also may need to just find another Airbnb, a short term apartment, etc. However, figuring that out is for future Nick & Sarah once they get back to Chicago. As for now, we got a place booked that we move into the night of July 15. We hope our flight isn’t delayed because we’ve agreed that our first day back to WMP is Tuesday, July 16th. Busy busy!

Figure out what we’re going to do with Lemmy – Another sensitive subject. When we purchased Lemmy for $2,000, and we did so knowing that we most likely wouldn’t be able to sell him again and get anything in return. Additionally, we’ve always wanted to donate it to the foundation so they can have a vehicle to use. However, we’ve started to do some research and come to realize that (once again) nothing is easy, and if we’re going to donate it to a Chilean organization, it’ll then need to have Chile plates, which then leads to a lot of processes (and many fees), including paying import costs, re-title fees, etc. etc. etc. Long story short, we aren’t sure what we’re going to do with Lemmy at this point. First step is to see if Susana is even interested in Lemmy, and to go from there.

Other things to still think about – Goodness, I wish the list was just the four items above. However, there is still much to think about. For example, we’ll need to figure out our packing strategy for leaving Chile – and how to bring back as many textiles from Chol Chol as possible haha. Figure out if we need proper “renters insurance” for a long-term Airbnb stay in Chicago. Figure out if we’re buying a car or not once we get back to Chicago. Stuff our faces with our favorite American dishes that we’ve missed for so long. Etc.

It’s difficult finding the balance between planning back in Chicago but also living in the moment for our final months. I know we’ll keep our eye on the prize in terms of work for the foundation, but I also know as this experience gets closer and closer to being complete, it’ll be hard to not fully shift our focus to live back in Chicago. Anyways, just wanted to share some updates!

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