A love letter to South America

From a girl who never really wanted to go there.

6 months ago and $400 after a trusty flight scanner found me the cheapest flight to Còrdoba, Argentina, I had a one way ticket to a country I’d never been to. Argentina was waiting. Here’s a love letter to a continent I never had a craving for, but left wanting so much more.

Còrdoba, you welcomed me with open arms.

You were my first. You were kind, loving, but liked to party.

You fattened me up as we shared empanadas together during a lunch break. We split giant beers on Tuesday nights and drank cocktails on the weekends. Bottles of wine were emptied on farms and I went to more asados than I can count. You introduced me to all of your silly Argentinian friends. I started to fall in love.

Còrdoba, You felt like a dream, but somehow you were so, so real.

Córdoba passed me on to Mendoza for a weekend, a sweet little fling that felt like one of my first loves, Napa.

Mendoza, you boasted delicious food and even better wine. There was endless champagne, pool parties, late nights spent dancing at clubs, and driving into the sunset. It was sad to leave, but you gave me a parting gift of three cases of wine. I’m confident we’ll resume our fling one day. I’ll be waiting for you.

And then along came Buenos Aires.

At first I was intimidated by you, Buenos Aires. You were big, well-known, and didn’t have the same sunny disposition as the rest of ’em. But we quickly settled in together.

We drank cold brew while eating avocado toast for breakfast, held hands while we shopped our way through Palermo, and did yoga on rooftops while the sun set. There were long nights at speakeasies and mindless flirting from across the room that turned into Level 3 fun.

I think you could be the one, but only for a bit, maybe a year or so down the line. We both love steak, and I can’t turn down an opportunity to explore a new cafe. But surely, you’d break my heart eventually.

The one that got away — Uruguay.

We didn’t know each other for that long, but I hear you’re a good one that always leaves the girls wanting more. And that you did.

Your sandy beaches and ocean breeze captivated me. I’m quite curious about you, but I don’t really know how to make the next move. Maybe one day I’ll have the confidence to return to you.

La Paz — The one with a dark side.

I don’t know what to say to you. It all started off so magical. Your twinkly lights, majestic mountain peaks. What happened? Why did the curiosity die?

We fell out of love pretty quickly. I left you every weekend to experience the fresh air of Lima, the adventure of Lake Titicaca, the strangeness of the Salt Flats. Why couldn’t you, La Paz, live up to your friends?

I’m grateful for the time that we had, but we definitely only needed a week or two together — unfortunately for us, we got five.

The comfort of Cusco.

I’ve never felt so at home than with you.

You reminded me of an old friend, Croatia. Winding streets, colorful doors — I fell in love with you, and fast.

We dined on alpaca carpaccio and pisco sours, wandered the streets with fresh juices in hand, and spent many late nights together, dancing the night away. I’ve never been so sad to leave you, and what’s strange is that I’m not sure we’ll ever see each other again. You were right for right now, but I don’t plan on hiking the trails of Machu Picchu for four days just for you any time soon.

The thrill of Brazil.

I couldn’t leave you, South America, so soon. I had to have a brief stint to calm my nerves before heading to the big city of London, England. We needed one last weekend together.

We drank caipirinhas until the sun went down, frolicked in the ocean, and just like Cusco, danced the night away.

I’ll come back for you, maybe when you calm down a bit. But I know you’ll always be one of those crazy flings, only good for a weekend or two.

Dear South America,

I love you. I love how you you yanked me out of my comfort zone. You introduced me to things I never thought I’d do. You made me feel free.

I’ll be back. 😘