Buenos Aires (part 1)
This is the first time I have ever travelled somewhere by myself without knowing someone on the other side. I didn’t necessarily decide to travel alone, it just sort of ended up that way. I have wanted to visit buenos aires for pretty much as long as I can remember.
My interest in Argentina started when I was around 12 years old. My Spanish teacher that year was from Buenos Aires. I remember she was really pretty and taught us about polo and dulce de leche and gauchos and Evita. Something about these cultural images stuck with me through the years.
In high school I got into Latin American literature and studied a bunch of different authors and poets for my senior project. Jorge Luis Borges, who’s from Buenos Aires, seemed to stand out as a central figure of the Latin American literature boom. He was an icon for many of the other authors I read, including Julio Cortázar, another Argentinian, and Roberto Bolaño, a Chilean who writes of Buenos Aires frequently.
So, Argentina started to become a sort of mythical place in my head. I was especially interested in the country as a counterpoint to the United States and New York, as a sort of cultural melting pot of the southern hemisphere. Many different European and Latin American cultures blended together to form this multicultural spirit, but one that is quite different from the States.
Yet, through all the years I never made it down to Argentina, or anywhere else in southern hemisphere for that matter. Part of that is likely due to the fact that I could never really find anyone to go with me. Anytime I would mention Buenos Aires to a friend as a potential travel destination, the response always seemed to be along the lines of, “I would like to go there, but there are a lot of other places I would rather go first.”
This summer marked three years since I graduated college. I have not done as much travelling as I would have hoped. So, I made a pledge to get away more and if you’re going to travel more, you better be willing to do it alone. I looked online and found a decent price flight to BA. Once you buy the plane tickets, everything else sort of just falls into place.
Spending a vacation at home is easy, and it’s really important sometimes, but I’ve been doing a lot of that the last three plus years. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. Try something totally different. Go to a place where I might not be able to speak the language or easily communicate with people. A lot of happiness in life comes from perspective, and stepping out of your comfort zone and out of your routine brings a lot of perspective.