Destination Expert: Chile

Chile Travel
by Hal Amen Jan 25, 2010
Mate in the windowsill

Photos: bearshapedsphere

Headed to Chile? Matador’s got an expert for that.

Eileen Smith, known quirkily around the Matador community as bearshapedsphere, is a native Brooklynite who now calls Santiago de Chile home. Or would that be “hogar”?

Either way, Eileen’s our resident expert on this long, skinny, kinda funny-looking nation. Chances are you already know her, since she’s been working in community outreach at MatadorTravel for several months now. She’s even been giving me a hand here at Trips while Carlo’s away. That’s one busy lady!

Here’s some more about Eileen, from her Matador profile:

I’m fired up on: Biking distances short and long, finding the perfect ingredients and cooking for myself and friends, language acquisition, travel writing, dispensing (mostly useful) advice, walking too far for mere mortals, lying on the ground taking pictures, watching skateboarders and other extreme athletes and hoping to not see anyone get injured.

[Editor’s note: Super jealousy alert — she’s off to cycle New Zealand’s South Island next month!]

Chilean photographer

Why I travel: To engage my five senses, to become honest with myself, to reduce myself to the three true needs (food/drink, sleep, bathroom), to lose contact with mirrors, appearance, egotistical trappings of home.

Languages spoken, other than English: Spanish, Chilean (it’s a joke, but kind of true)

I want to make a difference by: showing generosity in the face of adversity, and encouraging others to pay it forward.

We’ve already featured some of Eileen’s sage advice in the post What NOT to Do in Chile. If you need more, all you have to do is ask:

If you’re dying to know how to get here, what to do, how it works being an expat, etc, I can answer questions. There’s still more to see, but I’ve been to the way north and the far south, and lots of places in between, and a whole bunch of it on two wheels. Ask away!

Also, make sure to check out her blog, Bearshapedsphere: Quirk. Perspective. Travel.

Community Connection

Are you an expert on the area where you live? Drop me an email at to find out how to become a Matador destination expert.

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