My semester abroad in Chile was the first time I’d really traveled anywhere that wasn’t India. In the first month that we were in Santiago, a couple friends and I found cheap tickets to a city in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. We were so excited for our adventure that we told everyone we knew. The Chileans’ response was lukewarm. “There’s nothing there. That’s why flights are cheap,” they told us. To an extent, I suppose they were right. There isn’t much in the way of tourism in Copiapo, but it is a great base for excursions to the national parks in the region. We hired a tour guide to take us deep into the Andes to Parque Nacional Nevado Tres Cruces, where we found ourselves at one of the most beautiful spots I’ve ever seen, Laguna Verde. That trip remains one of my favorite travel memories.