I just read a really inspiring NY Times article, “But Will It Make You Happ?” about living with less and being happier, and it’s got me thinking. It’s a story that begins with a couple who got rid of their two-bedroom apartment, two cars, and $30,000 in debt, while cutting down their personal items to just 100 things. They now live happier in a 400-square-foot studio and one of them is able to work from home.
I have had many periods of genuine happiness living in Buenos Aires, and after reading this article I can’t help but think that some of the forced pairing down of “things” as a result of my move here has been part of the reason. Long ago, when I started my clothing addiction my mom warned me that the upkeep of all these clothes was going to become exhausting. Buying higher quality and fewer nicer items would keep me looking good but with less effort, she cautioned. To this day, I don’t think I have fully taken her advice but moving my life to Buenos Aires has taught me a lot about living with less.
In New York I lived in a really tiny studio apartment and was shocked to learn just how much stuff I had managed to acquire in that small space when I was forced to package everything I owned in a box to put into storage. Read the rest of this entry »
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!?
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