City Life - Manhattanite Gone Gringa

Not a day goes by without being asked why I decided to pick up and move to Buenos Aires.  To be honest, it’s still a question I am repeatedly asking of myself.  There are many legitimate reasons, but aside from that I knew that if I didn’t at least try what I had been dreaming for so long, at some point later in my life I would start to wonder “what if?”  A few years ago I made a New Year’s resolution that going forward my motto to live by was going to be “no regrets.”  Perhaps I was thinking about this when I first began toying with the idea.

After a year studying abroad in Italy eight years ago, I developed an intense case of the travel bug that I sensed thereafter might never be cured.  And ever since quitting my Wall Street job I have been dreaming of another experience living abroad.  Shortly after escaping the finance world with a solo trip to Southeast Asia, I stumbled upon some articles in the New York Times about Buenos Aires and began thinking that it was just the kind of place I had been looking for.  Artists, DJs, musicians, and fashion designers were moving there from all over the world settling in interesting neighborhoods with names like “Palermo Hollywood” and “Palermo Soho.”  Buenos Aires was a big Latin city but with European flair and this intrigued me immensely.  Even more, the strong Italian heritage and cultural influence – from the way Spanish is spoken to the food –  captured my attention as did the talk of European architecture.

Moving to Italy instead of Argentina would have been a lot easier, and thoughts of Milan initially entered my mind frequently.  It was also something for which my dad loved to play devils advocate.  Why was I choosing a developing and at times unstable and corrupt country, whose currency and economic situation were so uncertain, over Europe where I had the hopes of making a decent salary?  Truthfully, I know he was hoping even more so to coerce me into staying stateside, mentioning some rather amusing reasons for why not to move to Buenos Aires – who would service my Mac laptop when there was no Apple store there!?

There wasn’t one set reason why I decided to make this big leap, but what I do know is that I want a new challenge in a new part of the world where life isn’t always so easy. I have already been to Europe and know what to expect and how to fit in. I want to learn Spanish and about Latin (or Porteño culture), and knew that initially living without a job is a lot more feasible in a place like Argentina than in Italy or Spain given the exchange rate and standard of living.

I am certain that sometime during my growing pains living in a new city I will wonder why on earth I chose this path and to make my life more complicated, leaving so many things back in New York that seemed so perfectly in place.  Only time will tell how my life will unfold here, but in the meantime I am excited to discover the ways I will adapt to this new lifestyle, culture, language, and way of being.  And I know, if nothing else, it will make me a stronger person that greater appreciates the life and convenience I had back in the U.S.

So here goes my re-launched blog – Manhattanite Gone Gringa

It will be a continuation of the kinds of things I wrote about during my first journey to South America over the summer (Brazil and Argentina) – an obsession with making silly anecdotal observations of things I find to be different (for better or worse), amazing life experiences living with and learning from locals, stories of “lost in translation” moments, the usual trials and tribulations of travel and logistics in a foreign country, and learning a new language.  Added into the mix will be stories of my attempt to assimilate into Porteno life as a Manhattanite.  I have a serious passion for big city life and while sipping on café con leche and eating the best steak of my life, I will offer my perspective on life in Buenos Aires in contrast to Manhattan, where I have called home for the past 20 years.

As part of the re-launch, I am aiming to make my blog more enjoyable and easy to read.  Many friends and family commented that I didn’t write often enough the last time (hmmm…perhaps I was busy “assimilating” at fiestas that went until 8am), so my plan is to write shorter but more frequent posts.  And as an aspiring photographer, compelling visual images will become forefront to my blog in the hopes of enhancing your sensory experience of my new adventure.

Be sure to check out some of my previous posts and their newly added photos.

As always, thanks for reading and for your continued support in the life change I have made. And so begins my adventure living abroad 5,253 miles away from my bubble also known as Manhattan.

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