Luciana is 23. She is a young dentist graduate who travelled to Montreal aged 17 to follow her dreams studies.
But she’s not your average dentist. She’s not your average graduate. She’s a vagabond. A what? A VAGABOND. An adventurer. A vagabond with guts. She seeks for the adrenaline rush. For the scary adventure. She thrives in them.
- Bungee jumping? Easy! Check.
- Skydiving? Check. Check. (Twice)
- Paragliding? A joke. Check.
- Swimming in a volcano? “ A bit warm but I didn’t mind.”
- Go on a desert island and escape crazy dogs who bite? “That was fun!”
- Go on an 80 km, 144 hours, 105600 steps hike on your own in the middle of nowhere in Torres del Paine, Chile with your survival food, a tent and clothes in your bag, and sleeping into the wild at temperatures flirting minus 3 degrees Celsius. ? “The hardest and most beautiful adventure in my life.”
Luciana has been sharing her adventures and beautiful pictures of her latest trip in Chile in her brilliant lazy vagabond journal blog (http:/www.thelazyvagabonds.wordpress.com ).
The LondonY was very curious about this crazy interesting creature with curly blond hair, so we bombarded her with questions, which she was kind enough to reply.
How do you compare your Chile journey to your other adventures?
“This was my first time traveling solo, my first time doing a long-distance hike, and my first time camping in the woods. Basically, this was a lot of first times for me not to question myself a trillion times before and during the hike. It also required a lot more preparation than the other trips, as far as buying camping equipment and getting information about the trek itself.”
Why was it the hardest, yet most beautiful adventure in your life?
“Chile Patagonia is beyond gorgeous, this is undeniable. However, the terrain was more difficult than expected, I was not used on walking 6-8 hours per day with a 13 kg pack on my back. The fact that I made it to the end, gave me the best sensation ever!”
What was the scariest moment of the hike?
“The scariest moment was definitely this sort of a bridge I had to get on to have the best view of the Grey Glaciers. It was on a not so popular part of the trail. So here I am, on this high shaky bridge, in the middle of this strong whistling wind, all by myself. And for some reason, I decided to take a photo while seated, so that my shoes make it into the photos (dumb, right?). Suddenly, the inevitable happened, my iphone slipped of my hands and while I was trying to catch it, of course, I lost my balance. Obviously, I did make it (my iphone too). But this was definitely my scariest moment.”
What was the best moment?
“Difficult to choose one. For some reason, my best moment was when I got out of the marked trail and got lost for a good 20 minutes. I realise this could have been a disaster have I never found my way back. However, the place was surreal. Here I was in the middle of nowhere yet in the middle of ”everything”. I was standing between turquoise rivers and high mountains. I felt as if I was a character of the Lord of the Rings and a hobbit was going to pop out at any point.”
You went for a solo experience. Did you get to learn more about yourself? Did you get bored? Did this adventure change you?
“I was really expecting to get bored by day 2, oddly enough I never did! I think this was because I was either too exhausted or just a very good self-entertainer haha.
I did learn about myself. Most importantly, I learned I had a TERRIBLE taste in food, I actually liked eating jerky meat for a week. On a deeper level, this hike gave me the opportunity to have a lot of self-reflection.”
Would you have been able to make it without the refuges?
“The refuges gave me a sense of security. I was nervous about my tent not holding during the strong winds. So it was like a safety-cushion in case something happened with my equipment. Plus, they had restrooms. One cannot be ever thankful for that, even if you’re the type of person who likes to pee in the woods.”
What was the first thing you were most looking forward to when it was all over?
“Having a bath (Not showering for a week made knots in my hair and I just wanted to shave it all).
Also, eating fresh fruits and vegetables.”
What pushes you to these extreme adventures? What is it inside you that pushes you to do it? Why do you like travelling so much?
“Simply because it helps me to put things into perspective. Sure, nothing is wrong with having the classical life (a well-paid job, the house of your dreams, a family of your own), but I believe that there is something more to it. Even if you have no idea what it is. And the only way to find out (at least for me) is to get out there and explore. Exploring new places, new ways of living, new mentalities is of course a lot of fun and gives you some time to escape the real life and its responsibilities, but it is more than that. It will more importantly allow you to explore yourself. It personally gives me a sense of accomplishment and self-reflection.”
Any advice for an aspiring camper/ adventurer?
“Always have paper towel with you.
I know it looks silly, but this is the most important advice I could give haha. Also, hang your food on a tree. Never let it in your tent. Rodents can pierce your tent and eat it.”
If you had to take only three things in the middle of the desert, what would it be?
“A flashlight, chocolate and a book.”
Your greatest fear?
“Rats getting into my tent while I’m sleeping.”
Your blog is an amazing collection of personal experiences across the continent with personal thoughts and mind-blowing pictures. Why did you start the blog and what is the next big adventure?
“Living abroad and having friends and family in different countries, this was the easiest way to compile all of my photos. The website was initially more about sharing travel photography’s. Now, I am developing more and more a taste on writing about my travel experiences.
I have no idea where my next adventure will be; my bucket list of places to go to is 3 pages long haha. It will certainly be a hike somewhere in one of the US national parks since I’m currently living in NYC.”
Scroll down for surreal pictures taken by Luciana of her trip. For more stunning pictures and insights from the 23-years-old on her adventures in Chile, New York and all over the world, check her blog http://www.thelazyvagabonds.wordpress.com. It is worth a visit.