Sport/Life Joe visits us in Canberra

Published on October 30th, 2021 | by Daniel Boyle


Moving to Chile – 10 Years On – Joe Hinchliffe

In October of 2011, we got on the plane bound for Santiago de Chile. I wasn’t really too sure what was ahead of me. In some posts I’ll make some reflections on my time in Chile.

Flying in over the Andes I was not really too sure what to expect. Ten years on, I’ve been in touch with some friends I encountered along the way to see about their experiences.

Joe Hinchliffe

I met Joe fairly early in my time in Chile. I think he had been in town a little longer than me and was writing for the Santiago Times, the rival publication to I Love Chile. We first met at an event in Valparaiso, where the Consejo de Cultura had put on a bus to take some journalists down for the evening. Since we’ve both returned to Australia, Joe has continued the journalism game. I’ve visited him in Moree, Bendigo and Melbourne and hope to catch up with him in his new Queensland base sometime soon. Joe has also made a number visits to the capital to see us.


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What did you expect before you went to Chile?

To be honest, probably more llamas, pan flutes and ponchos! Instead, Santiago was more of a bustling, modern metropolis than I had anticipated. I fell in love with the city though, and also got to spend a fair bit of time in the rural south where I got my fill of the folkloric stuff.

What is a classic moment or memory you have from your time in Chile?

Buying tickets to my first La U game from a scalper only to find a shield wall of carabineros holding the crowd back. At a random point they opened a small gap and we forced our way through and ran into Estadio Nacional. To this day I have no idea what was going on but we made it in. Then a stray dog ran onto the field and the guys next to us were choofing joints. It was amazing. Aside from football matches, the student movement street protests were some of my defining memories.

Do you have any plans to return to Chile?

Not in the foreseeable future. Pretty much all the people I knew there have moved on or I’ve lost touch with them. So it would be bittersweet to return to those places full of memories. One day I’d like to, but I’d need a good reason. –

What’s something you wish you had done before you went to Chile (to be more prepared)?

I wish I’d learned more Spanish, but I think the only way I could learn what I did was by living there. – What’s something you wish you had done while you were in Chile? Honestly, I don’t know that I would change anything. I wish I had kept in touch with more of the people from that period and maintained my Spanish to the level it was. But that’s the way I am. It was one of the best and most defining periods of my life. Actually, I wish I had done a surfing road trip up the desert coast! Maybe that is a reason for me to go back ….


Joe has recently picked up an award for his journalism efforts. While in Chile he was often the go-to man for Australian television to get an update on earthquakes, protests and the like. Maybe one day we can join forces for a desert surf trip.

About the Author

Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.

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