Home country: USA
New home: Argentina
Why did you decide to move abroad?
I wanted to better my Spanish to hopefully one day be a translator, and I love to learn about different cultures. I studied abroad once before in France to better my French and because I had never lived abroad before. That 4 and 1/2 month experience changed me forever, and gave me a new passion in life. Living abroad is a bit different than traveling (though I love traveling). I realized I wanted to experience how other people live around the world. Though I wouldn't have an identical experience, actually functioning in a different society with a completely different set of traditions and language really taught me a lot. I wanted to prove to myself that I can be as independent as I feel, and that I can actually solve my own problems. Some people spend their lives creating a long list of things they think they can't do, and some people even kick the bucket without trying them. I'm here to cross things off my list, learn, and educate others. Empathy is so important and often we lose it because we forget what it's like to experience things outside our daily routine. So let's go rebuild our experiences from the ground up :)
What has surprised you most about living in a foreign country?
The most shocking thing about Buenos Aires in particular is that it's my first time living in a city. I'm from a small town outside of the city in the US (Olney, Maryland) and I'm familiar with going into Washington, DC; but I've never resided there. Relying on public transportation, the bustling streets, the overpopulation, the pollution, it's all new to me. I suppose I was just surprised about the public transportation. Some days there's a strike, or the lines just don't work and I rely on it for work. So if I get on the metro, and it's going slow for no reason, it's out of my control. It's surprising that people live that way daily, but it's also a very good lesson in patience. I will admit I have never had that issue, but I'm glad I'm suffering through it now.
What do you miss most about home?
To be honest, my dog. I can't have a pet here, and I have a sweet 7 year old Golden Retriever named Chloe waiting for me miles away. I Facetime with her and my sister and it's so sad because she can't smell me, so she has no idea I'm there. I never realized how much having a pet increased my quality of life and affected my mood.
What are your favorite activities in your new town?
Trying out new bars. The neighborhood I'm in is really trendy and what some might call "hispter." So a lot of the bars have really unique themes and cool drinks. For example, I went to a speak easy named Franks that you need a password for. When you walk in, there's no door, just a telephone booth. You press the code into the phone, and the back of the booth opens into this Gatsby-type bar. It was crazy!
What advice would you give to tourists visiting your new home town?
Have cash on you! It's a cash society here, places rarely take card. Some restaurants are even cash-only.
What is the one MUST SEE?
The Japanese Gardens. It's been there for a long time, and it was erected as a mark of friendship between the Argentine and Japanese government. It costs money to enter, but there is a really cool authentic Japanese restaurant inside, and it's really relaxing to walk around the coy ponds.
Any cultural/language barrier funny moments?
Literally all the time. One time a woman asked me a simple "what time is it" on the bus, and my brain for some reason was not working. She asked me three times, and I just ended up saying "I'm sorry, I don't understand." Then she said okay, and turned around. 2 minutes later I realized what she said and shouted to her as she was leaving, "ohhhh it's 4:30!." So, yeah.
I'm really trying to brand myself and make a jump start as a Digital Nomad. I want to create a lifestyle where my occupation is not reliant on one geographical location. In terms of destination, I think I will be in Buenos Aires until the holidays and then back to a French speaking country to work on my French. Then perhaps South East Asia, as I've never been and the cost of living is much lower than in South America or Europe.