I’m Emily. Half Brit, half American, 100% Californian, I now live in Santiago, Chile with my husband and dog. I like to travel, eat and tell stories about the sometimes funny, sometimes frustrating things that happen in this little country at the bottom of the map.
I first came to Santiago in 2005 on a study abroad program. UCLA offered a limited number of programs in Latin America, and Santiago was the one that sounded the most interesting. I figured I’d spend 6 months learning about Pinochet, drinking wine and traipsing around South America and then head home. I did all those things, but I hadn’t counted on heading home with my heart firmly in the hands of a certain Chileno.
So I did what any sensible college student would do and found myself an internship to justify coming back to Santiago during my summer vacation. After 2 months of living together, Rodolfo and I hadn’t killed each other, so we figured it was probably serious. He came to California to visit, and after graduation, I moved to Santiago in September 2007. I’ve been here ever since.
Along the way we adopted Lola, bought our dream apartment and got married. Oh, and this blog was born.
ABOUT DON’T CALL ME GRINGA
This blog began at the end of 2007 as an alternative to the mass emails I’d been sending friends and family about my new expat life in Chile. The first posts reflect that. God, they’re boring. No wonder none of my friends or family read my blog.
Other people did find me, however, and slowly but surely I gained focus as an expat life and travel blogger.
I have no good story about this blog’s name: I can’t even remember where it came from, and it certainly was never serious. I refer to myself and other non-Chilean friends as gringos all the time – it’s just the common term here rather than being derogatory. It was probably the result of a particularly stressful day where I just wished I could blend in instead of having to struggle. I wanted to change it at one point, but for better or for worse a lot of people stumble across this blog by searching for “don’t call me gringa,” so I figure the public has spoken. The silly name stays.