This post will be a brief report about our trip to Buenos Aires. It was a breakthrough trip for us because we had never been to Argentina; never been away longer than two weeks and never been unplugged from our routines for so long. It was an audacious experiment which might have turned out badly. It was my plan (both the length of the trip and the destination) and if it went bad there was nobody but myself to blame.
The obvious questions at the beginning of the trip were basically unanswerable. We didn’t know how a one month trip would work out for us. All we knew was that ten days in Venice wasn’t enough. Then there was the question about Buenos Aires; would we like it? It seemed rich with sights to experience but we couldn’t know from a distance. We couldn’t be sure that we wouldn’t want to go home after only a few days. And then, would we have enough money? We were acting on faith.
I would love to report that we fell in love instantly with Buenos Aires but it isn’t true. The first day I was convinced that the whole trip was a big mistake. Our apartment was fine. It was just as we had seen in the pictures. What was different was that Buenos Aires was bigger, more hectic and much more run down than I anticipated. The street below our apartment window was noisy and full of traffic 24/7. I went to bed the first night convinced that it was all a big mistake. I didn’t know how we would manage to live there for a month. We walked around the neighborhood stumbling on the broken sidewalk paving and finally found a bar where two bottles of wonderful Argentine Malbec bucked our spirits.
The next day, we started living. We had coffee and medialunas (croissants) with fresh squeezed orange juice. We picked up groceries at the market across the street and we took our first ride on the Subte (subway) to go downtown. We started to adjust to a very active city. I began to hope that it would all work out after all.
I am happy to report that the month didn’t lag at all. We never felt that we were sick of the place and were dying to get back home but we did feel that one month- at least for us- was enough for Buenos Aires. We had seen about everything there is to see and we had time to revisit places that we wanted to see again. We got to know the city neighborhoods by Subte stops and also by streets as we traveled by taxi. We appreciated the beauty and history of the city and we chuckled at its peculiarities. We saw how Portenos (residents of Buenos Aires) celebrate Christmas and New Years and the holidays gave us time to enjoy each other without distractions. We met and enjoyed conversing (in our limited Spanish) with Portenos who are incredibly warm and helpful people. And then we came home.
If there is one lesson to learn from our trip, it is this. Don’t have preconceptions. Think positively about where you are going but if you have never been, don’t try to imagine what it will be like. You will be wrong and being wrong will mess you up until you let the preconceptions go. This trip was an important event for us. It broke through the two week vacation limit and it pushed our previous limits to include a place outside our comfort zone. What was important was leaving the comfort zone and discovering that there are wonderful places there.
I plan to do more posts about details of the trip, experiences that surprised us etc. but this summary will have to suffice for now. If any of this raises questions you would like answered, please leave them in the comments. I will try to respond either in the comments themselves or in a later post. What do you want to know about Buenos Aires or outrageous travel? I’ll try to answer.