SUP Outdoor Ambassador, Aubree McAtee, in Patagonia
Here I am living at an old estancia, waking up each morning with the rise of the sun, with milongas playing in the background, sipping down bitter mate and sitting around a fire. The closest town is about an hour away, but I feel completely content, at peace and satisfied with this new way of living. The understanding of simplicity and the importance of what is needed in one’s life is ever so clear. As I walk out my door, the air is crisp, taking my breath away as the wind whips past my face, sending chills down my body. The floor of the valley is covered in snow and the trees are painted white, I slowly trudge my way through the snow and arrive at work minutes later.
From California to Patagonia
So many wonder why I left a beautiful place on the central coast of California, where it seemed as though I had it all: a fresh California teaching credential, a job lined up, my family, friends and opportunity buzzing all around. The truth is I was twenty-three filled with a dream that needed to be followed, a story that was brewing within and needed to be poured. So I listened and went.
Like many others who dream of this place and resonate with the images in their mind of Patagonia, they come on a whim to explore, to have an adventure and to feel the wind and spirit of this distant place under their skin. Not knowing how long their trip will last or what they will run into on the long Carretera Austral, but coming with an intention and an open mind.
Education, Exploration and Education
I came to experience the wilderness, to reconnect with nature on a deeper level and to be involved in building a national park. I wanted to see the children of Patagonia, observe how they are in a natural space where they can learn from the land and still have a strong bond and tie with mother nature. I believe that conserving land and protecting animals is a key factor in sustaining life on earth, but I feel strongly that we must spread our efforts and work to help another endangered species; the child in nature. As an educator, I feel strongly connected to helping children create connections within their environment and ecosystem. For that I came to Patagonia, to get involved in this project, to give local children the ability to connect with nature and to live simply.
Stay tuned to hear more about the adventure of Patagonia here in Valle Chacabuco. The simplicity holds beauty but is full of challenges. Challenges that push you to the edge, but then pull you back as you are stunned by the beauty and remember why it is you came. Hours on horse back just to arrive at lakes that are white capped, trudging miles through snow and river crossings to catch salmon for dinner, hiking miles to find the most crystal blue lagoons to paddle on. But as my eyes continue to see new places, my heart expands, growing thankful for the challenges and the rewards. My heart feels full when I am with the children: each time they have a question about the ecosystem, feel tired after a long nature hike, or just the presence of seeing them explore in their backyard, I know that I am here for the right reasons.
Learn more here about Parque Patagonia.
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