Santiago Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries

This last week in Chile has been quite different from Argentina. Not only is there a stark contrast between the bustling life of BA and the quite, mellow solitude of Santiago, but this is also the first time the group has really hung out. At the resedencia there are other people to mingle with and go out with, and other kinds of distractions. In Santiago we have (almost by force) been challenged to get to know each other, and as with any large group of individuals, smaller groups have formed. Over this last week I have found myself on the outside looking in on many of these groups. Perhaps it’s because I’m the oldest undergraduate student, or perhaps it’s because I’m from Georgia State. Don’t get me wrong, no one on the trip has tried to isolate me from the others or made me feel uncomfortable, it’s just that the days of caring about my social standing in a group seem slightly removed to me.


This got me thinking, if say this group was a season of ‘Survivor’, where would I place? The establishment of alliances and partnerships, even if they’re only a façade, is imperative to survival. Without the attempt to minimally forge ties between yourself and at least one other individual, you run the risk of becoming an easy target for elimination. The balance between looking out for ‘number one’ first and keeping yourself in favor with the rest of the group is a tricky one. It takes some communication skills, the ability to keep a secret, and knowing who to trust.  It’s all about playing the game ��" making other people believe you’re looking out for them when really you’re only looking out for yourself.


In this respect, in my season of ‘Survivor’ I might have been the first one sent packing from tribal council, but at least I know my conscience is clean. Getting involved in petty arguments or wildly blown-out-of-proportion scandals is something I haven’t had to do in a while, and I’d rather stay out of it than exercise my rusty spy skills. Not to say that I’m totally innocent and devoid of diplomacy, it’s just that this time I’m choosing my battles.


So this got me thinking even more: Isn’t Chile in exactly the same situation? Isn’t the whole world in some raw and rudimentary sense just one big game of ‘Survivor’? I’m not trying to belittle foreign relations or under exaggerate the importance of global issues, but if you simplified it all, you might just come out with something resembling the ‘Survivor’ series. Each country needs to foster relations with other countries and while this might only serve to further their own interests, the importance thereof is vital. A country like Chile, who some might say, has isolated itself from it’s Southern Cone counterparts might run the risk of getting kicked out first, or it might have the right idea and in an amazing turn of events win the million dollars. It’s too soon to tell which way the country is headed, but Chile’s foreign policies are certainly worth monitoring. Compared to other Latin American countries, Chile is doing amazingly well economically, largely because of its export led growth. Chile has also maintained diplomatic and trade ties with some very important alliances, and while the country has remained ‘neutral’ on many issues, it’s stuck its neck out just enough to be considered a friend. In the game of ‘Survivor’, the importance of friends is monumental ��" they can either make of break you.

At this point, Jeff Probst might come out and say something wise about player Chile’s strategy, and warn it of the way the country is playing the game, and possibly even compare it to Richard Hatch. Another thing to remember, however, is that innovation gets you a lot further than sticking to the old rules. Chile’s strategy might be a drawn out way of shooting itself in the foot, or it could prove to be the future foreign policy model that even the strongest alliances and players can’t help but following. At the end of the day, the tribe will definitely speak.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links
photo by: Bluetraveler