Sitting at the top of a sand dune, with board attached to my feet, wind and sand pelting my face, looking out at the alien terrain reminiscent of Star Wars, is when I finally realized how damn lucky I am.  Maybe it was the altitude or maybe it was the exhaustion from trudging up the steep sand, but something finally jostled me and opened my eyes. 

Here I am sand-boarding in the San Pedro de Atacama in the Northern deserts of Chile.  I am experiencing something that not many people will see. In fact, no one but the few people on this sand-boarding and Valle de la Luna tour  will ever find these dunes just as I have found them, or see the the sunset light the Valle de la Luna in a rainbow of colors the way it did that evening.

I am extremely fortunate, and it was about time I realized it.