Patagonia is a Cold Heaven

Crossing Patagonia Off the Bucket List

By @cathiegomez


Surprisingly many parents travel to visit their offspring when they’re studying abroad. As a second generation child from an immigrant family and as the first one to go straight to college in the US, most of university life and definitely ALL of studying abroad is unknown to my family and I. So when I saw parents visiting and mine offered to visit, I was a little bit in shock. My parents visited in early February and as a belated birthday present took me on a trip to the only place I truly desired to see, Patagonia.

My love for this winter wonderland started by following Jedidiah Jenkins on Instagram and his journey biking from Oregon to Patagonia. His pictures were breathtaking, his drawings whimsical, and his long captions took me on a journey that I haven’t recovered from. I think I actually first-first found him on Kickstarter where he had created a campaign to fund his trip in hopes that it would inspire his first book. I fell in love with all of it, the bike (I was biking to work at the time), the words, the pictures, the wild, and mostly the adventure. He spoke of waking up and I loved that!

After a plethora of events at the age of 22, I had found myself entering a whirlwind of change and it felt like I was mentally waking up for the first time. That year, 22, was so exciting. Then at 25 leaving for Chile felt like I was being swept up by a tornado that was taking me to my yellow brick road, I hoped that Chile would show me the way to my Oz. Jedidiah made me ask myself, “How I would pursue, fund, and execute a life chasing adventure?” and “Would I really enjoy a life on the road? abroad? In the wild?” I wanted to wake up and find out. Patagonia answered like a wise old mountain with a whispering forest, “Yes, you love the road and you love the wild.”

Before I had left for Chile, I had told my family that no matter what I would find my way to the snowy peaks of Patagonia. My sister hearing my cries and knowing my goal of living a #vanlife one day introduced me to The Hearnes on Instagram. Abbi Hearne is a wonderful wedding and landscape photographer with a similar Patagonia obsession. Her, her hubby, and their pup live in a van and have the most amazing adventures. I followed their trip to Patagonia and a (very cute) Fulbright researchers trip before I left for Chile myself.

Patagonia was everything I wanted it to be, it was a place that every cell in my body could feel. Lavender grew wild, the bees were the size of grapes, and the vastness made me forget the pressures of capitalism. I woke up every day wanting to walk miles and watch stillness. Backpackers, hitchhiking, sharing, and telling stories was normal and abundant. Everyone there was present to catch glimpses of greatness. Everything seemed so ephemeral, the temperamental weather made every 10 minutes seem completely different. You could have an amazing view one second and then turn around to see nothing at all. I hope to return as soon as possible to camp and hike every single trail.

You can follow them all here:

Jedidiah Jenkins: Instagram @jedidiahjenkins and his book To Shake the Sleeping Self

The Hearnes: @thehearnes

The Fulbright Researcher in Patagonia:  Isai Madriz Instagram @isaimadriz and his National Geographic Blog

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