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Calliope's Odyssey "If you smile at me, I will understand, 'cause that is something everybody, everywhere does in the same language." -CSNY

About homersmuse

I am a culture-addicted, on-the-verge of penniless, "gringa" college student from Madison, Wisco, U.S. of A.

I am currently engaged in a love affair with Latin America. I think it's serious!

Calliope's Odyssey began when I was 18 and decided to participate in a two-month summer program in Oaxaca, Mexico. Although I had traveled extensively with my family throughout my childhood, I never even went to summer camp as a kid, so I was quite terrified to be alone and so far away from home. After the first few nights, my passion for living and traveling abroad materialized.

For my junior year abroad, I chose to spend first semester in Quito, Ecuador, and second semester in Santiago, Chile. Don't tell the Chileans, but I think that I like Ecuador slightly better. I am currently residing in the Providencia comuna of Santiago in a house with 50 Panamanians. No joke.

Highlights of my year abroad include touring the Galápagos Islands aboard the Poseidon (a.k.a. the official worst boat in commission), exploring Machu Picchu with my brother, proving to myself that I can trek with 50 lbs. on my back in Patagonia, and living la vida tranquila on Easter Island. In a display of UW-Madison school spirit, I shared my love for Halloween with Ecuador by wearing the best costume of all time (check out my Quito pics). I've also been a good Wisconsin girl and through extensive research, I discovered that good beer does exist south of Mexico.

I don't miss home too badly, but I've found that my favorite Latin American cities tend to have something in common with Madison, whether it's the size or overall vibe of a city. These cities include Oaxaca, Mexico, Arequipa, Peru and Mendoza, Argentina. Maybe this is my little way of missing Madison...

Next May I become a real adult (or so I like to tell myself) and I graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with three degress: Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies, Spanish Literature, and History.

What will I do with such useless degrees, you ask? After spending a year in Latin America, it has become apparent to me that painfully few US citizens between college graduation age and retirement age travel. This scares me. For my personal sanity, it is necessary that I continue living a travel lifestyle (a.k.a. being a bum) for a while before I get a real job. However, my ideal career would be in travel journalism, which would allow me to keep up the bumminess to some extent.

Well, that's me in a palta seed. If you have questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me. ¡Qué te vaya bien!

My Travel Map: