Chile was the second destination on my digital nomad tour, and Valparaíso (Valpo) was the intended city. Everything I read about it peaked my interest — words like bohemian, artsy, colorful, and poetic appealed to me. I was looking forward to more street art, more museums, and the iconic elevators that you can ride up the hills.
But that’s not where we stayed. Our program had some housing issues that I never completely understood and my room-mate and I wound up about 6 miles away from the rest of our group in a small rustic cabin in a working-class neighborhood in Viña del Mar.
I admit I had a slow acclimation to Buenos Aires. It was not love at first sight, sort of grew on me slowly. Surprisingly, at the end, I felt sad and reluctant to leave. One month was not enough. There was still so much I did not see or do, so much yet to explore. My take-aways — the things that will stay with me, what I enjoyed the most — were the friendly people and the continual visual experience. Continue reading →
In the 1980s, Wendy’s famous ad campaign asked “Where’s the beef?” In Argentina, they have plenty of beef, lots and lots of beef, as well as pork and lamb. The question to ask instead is “Where’s the veggies?”
When eating out in Buenos Aires, finding a vegetable other than salad (arugula, shredded carrots, avocado, and tomatoes) was a real challenge. A typical menu would have several types of grilled carne (beef): Bife de Chorizo, Ojo de Bife, Bife Angosto, Bife de Costilla. I never did get them straight. If you didn’t specify jugoso (juicy), it was always done medium-well. Most portions are generous, big enough to share. It’s a matter of national pride. You’d often see the big parrillas (grills) with men cooking large amounts of meat showcased on the street or in an open window. Their local rock stars!
After a 9-hour flight from Miami, my plane ascended over a long, flat expanse, checkered brown and green, into Buenos Aires, a metropolis of high-rises interspersed with verdant parks. After so many weeks of anticipation, my adrenalin soared.
The airport was filled with lively people who were, at first glance, mostly brunette and thinner than in North Carolina. It was warm and still light at 9 pm in January. My travel host was on time; we jumped in a taxi and headed for the Ritiro district. I felt hyper-ready for my adventure. Continue reading →
I joined the Pangea196 work/travel program and I am soon heading to South America for four months. “WHY?” is the question I am asked most often. The simplest answer is “Why not? If you have a job that you can do from ANYWHERE, why sit at home?”
And then, I’m asked… “But, really, why would you want to live with people you’ve never met, in unfamiliar places, surrounded by people who speak another language?” Right now, I can think of five good reasons. Continue reading →
This is a response to my last blog post, which asked “To Remote or Not to Remote?” I admit; I did struggle with this decision. The thought of completely escaping my current life was so seductive. The thought of leaving all the things and people I love was so unnerving. I rode the roller coaster from very positive to “No way, Jose”, often in the same day, and landed on a compromise. Continue reading →
I’ve recently been struggling with a hard decision, a big life-changing decision about spending a year abroad to work and travel. Like most community-minded people, I asked my friends and family what they thought. This is the rundown of how it played out. Note: The names have been changed to protect the guilty and the responses might represent input from more than one person…including the voices inside my head. Continue reading →