A guy I met traveling, Pinaki, begins a post on his own travel blog with: "I'm sorry Chile. I really am." He goes on to discuss all the misconceptions he had with Chile before arriving. The bottom line for Pinaki is that Chile exceeded expectations.
I had high expectations for Chile, and they were met, so while the way my thinking evolved was different, we ended up at the same place: we both love Chile.
Some myths about Chile:
It’s boring. This is most common. I'm not sure what this means. It's true that Chile is socially conservative. Divorce only recently became legal. The Catholic church has a strong grip on everything. Okay. Fine. It's also less cosmopolitan than Argentina. Agreed. But there's still plenty of "action" in Chile, plenty of culture and excitement and dancing and craziness. And an entrepreneurial people who work hard and play by the rules.
It’s expensive. After Brazil, Chile is the most expensive country in South America. This is true. Still, I had several USD $5 meals, and a metro ticket will cost less than USD $1. So it still felt much cheaper than the States. And of course with the expensiveness you get the safety and stability that a Peru or Bolivia or Ecuador can never provide.
The people aren’t beautiful. Whatever. It’s true the women don't blow your socks off and the men…well, let’s just say that mullets must be an acquired taste. But there are enough pretty people. And who do you think YOU are anyway, a model?
You can't understand their Spanish. They talk quickly. They eat the ends of words. They have lingo. But even me in all my Spanish amateurishness could get around alright, and I'm sure in a month or two's time I could understand and speak Chilean Spanish well enough.