Even though I spent the majority of the last few weeks in Buenos Aires, most of it was spent at work. By the time I left the office during the work day, the moon was high in the night sky so my after work hours consisted of grabbing a quick dinner and going to bed (the thought of working in Buenos Aires was actually better than doing it — at least if I was hoping to revel in porteño life after hours!).
This was why I enjoyed my last day so much. It was really the only day when I wasn’t jet-lagged and I had the energy to truly explore the city – which I took full advantage of. I hit up Florida Avenue, strolled through the parks in Recoleta, and even bought a 1,000,000 peso bill at the San Telmo flea market. What I like about traveling alone is that without a companion, you’re forced to observe everything around you way more than you ever could if you were traveling with a friend. So, I watched all the Argentines on their morning jogs in Recoleta (what a fit group!), saw lovers embracing under beautiful monuments (the city is full of both monuments and the couples that love to congregate by them), owners playing with their dogs (this is definitely a dog-loving country), and even dads out with their sons throwing a ball around on a quiet and upscale part of town (I am a sucker for dads with their kids – nothing sexier than a man taking care of his kiddies!).
The other thing I like about traveling alone is that – at least for me – I have more time to reflect on myself and my life. And it was during my morning stroll, in between finding photo ops, that it suddenly dawned on me how badly I am yearning to move to (or at least spend an extended period of time in) another country…so that I can have more moments like this. When traveling on vacation, I usually have a packed itinerary which means I don’t get the opportunity to do the thing that I love the most about traveling — being in the culture and looking both outside and inside at the same time. I get to do some of it, but it’s just not the same as being completely immersed, and it’s that total, utter immersion I am so, so passionate about. I’ve always talked about moving to another country or taking a year off to travel, but I was always only half serious (okay, maybe a smidgen more than half). The other rational side of me (damn that side) gets the better of me and reminds me of all reasons why I can’t do that right now. That said, the one thing I am terrified of is living life with the regret that I didn’t do something I wanted to – it’s all about carpe diem’ing the heck out of every moment and opportunity!
In the meantime, I’m trying to ease back into life where dinners are from 6pm-8pm and I don’t end every conversation with a “ciao!”. I wasn’t even in Argentina for that long but I think I got used it more than I initially admitted! Looks like I have a lot of things to sort out and some thinking to do.
For the rest of you following along on my adventure or those of you hoping I had something more specific to Buenos Aires in this post, here are some pics from that day’s stroll: