This blog was written prior to the Cross Continent MBA program merger with the Global Executive MBA program

For our third residency in Santiago, we were lucky that it straddled our new year’s holiday giving us an extended weekend off work and the opportunity to travel around Chile before classes started. For a trio of us that meant one place…our destination: Patagonia. Also known as the end of the world.

I never could have imagined taking a trip there—it always seemed out of reach and to require a lot of time. However, together with my classmate Karthik and my fiancé Sohil, who is also in the class, we made the long, thrilling journey to spend a few days there. It was quite the treat!

Flying from Los Angeles, the total travel time to the Torres del Paine National Park was almost 24 hours. We flew 16 hours by plane (Los Angeles, to Lima, to Santiago, and to Punta Arenas, with a stop in Puerto Montt). Then we had an additional 5 to 6 hours by car before passing the last town, Puerto Natales, which is an hour away from the national park, our hotel, and the last location for gasoline at the edge of the world.

GEMBA students on break in Chile
We tried to be fancy and take a panorama overlooking our hotel in the distance–pretty cool, right?

If I ever get a chance to go back to Patagonia, I’d definitely extend my stay to visit attractions like the Milodon caves, hike the W trail (some classmates did this post residency) and experience more of the delicious food in Puerto Natales. This trip was a good reminder that there is a lot of beauty in this world and it’s good to take time to disconnect to enjoy it. It was also a great way to unwind before classes and the perfect atmosphere for getting pre-work done! I am grateful for the opportunity to tack on an once-in-a-lifetime trip onto our class residency and hope to have more opportunities with the upcoming international residencies!

Take a look at some of our pictures in the gallery below and click on one to see the full-size image—it was so serene that I feel like I photo shopped myself into them!