Ciao, Argentina

My study abroad trip finished quicker than I imagined, yet I still look back and realize how much I did within my five months in Argentina. I’m going to miss the country so much.

I’ll miss walking the uneven sidewalks of the city, gazing up at the trees that canopy over the streets. I’m going to miss walking past the cute plaza on my street, seeing dogs sitting with their owners inside cafes and smelling fresh bread or flowers every other block. I’ll miss the fast public transportation, hearing people speak Spanish and the kisses on the cheek you receive when you greet someone. I’m even going to miss the “world’s worst violinist” who plays his two songs outside my window almost every night. I’ll also never get tired of hearing “Despacito” and reggaeton everywhere I go. I’m definitely going to find myself thinking about these things in the United States, but there are some things I’m going to miss even more.

My host mother, or my Argentine abuela, Coco, is amazing. She’s one of the most hilarious people I’ve met and is so sweet and kind. I’m going to miss our nightly happy hour in which I drink a gin and tonic and she drinks a whiskey.

During these happy hours, we talked about politics, religion, current events and our families. She taught me so much about the

20170610_140334Argentine culture, Spanish, and just life in general. Coco gave me a family in Argentina, a country where I felt alone at first. She called me her “nieta americana”(American granddaughter) and brought me to family events. I watched as a few of her 15 grandchildren sang her songs on her 82nd birthday. She took me to an asado with her entire family, in which I bonded with some of her grandkids, and I really began to feel like I fit in.

She gave me such a great experience in Argentina and never once made fun of my Spanish or made me feel like I didn’t belong. She gave me a home, one that I can always return to, she said.

Besides Coco, I’m also going to miss all the friends I’ve made. I met some amazing people, and even though I didn’t get close to everyone, they were all great and I wish them the best. I’ve made friends that I hope to continue seeing back in the U.S.

With the friends I’ve made, I’ve gone to Patagonia where I climbed a mountain, took in the impressionable Mount Fitz Roy, admired the astounding Perrito Moreno and ate some amazing food. I took a biking wine tour in Mendoza, white-water rafted in the rain and took a night hike with new friends. I visited ancient ruins, jumped around salt flats and meditated in a cave in Salta.

My friends made these trips so much more fun, and having a crazy story to share is always more fun when someone can experience it with you. I’ll miss sharing these crazy adventures, drinking mate and dancing tango with the friends I’ve made.

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Another thing I’m going to miss so much is the meat, (I’m talking about the things I’m going to miss in

20170131_212125order, by the way). I don’t think I’ll ever be in another country in my life that has such good steak at such a cheap price. I went out for a steak and wine dinner that ended up costing about $12. I mean, that’s pretty amazing. Before coming to Argentina, I’ve always been a medium rare/ medium kind of gal, but in Argentina it’s not necessary to specify how you like your meat cooked. No matter what, it’s going to come out juicy, delicious and beautiful.

I’m going to miss going to asados where there’s just pounds of meat and chorizo that had been slow cooking over a fire. Meat in Argentina is great. Enough said. I’m also going to miss the classic malbec, which is just as cheap as water in restaurants and the perfect complement to steak.

In Argentina, I was getting used to always having hundreds of options of things to do on the weekends and at night. It was stressful knowing how much I could do and places I’ll never have time for. Buenos Aires’ nightlife was so much fun, and taught me so much about the culture.

You better believe I’m also going to miss going to cafes, bringing a book and ordering a cappuccino and medialunas. The facturas, or pastries, were cheap and amazing (an20170504_163210d also the cause of a couple pounds gained).

Studying abroad in Argentina and through ISA, which was a the perfect study abroad program, changed me and taught me so much. Some changes might not be completely noticeable to me, but I know I became more carefree, strong and fearless. I had to grieve over the loss of a pet and had to deal with problems on my own. The challenges I faced shaped me just as much as the fun and wonderful adventures I had.

I’m so grateful for having the opportunity to live in such a great city for five months. I want to thank ISA, Sebas, Guillermo and Analia, for guiding me through my trip and always finding activities for us to do. I also want to thank my parents for everything. They made my experience possible and were always there to talk when I needed to.

As you can probably tell, I’m going to miss Argentina so much. It will always be a home for me, and I will always treasure the memories I made there. Leaving is “agridulce” (bittersweet), as I’m sad, but I’m also looking forward to seeing my family and friends, relaxing in Ohio and eating Swenson’s and Mexican food.

Thanks for taking the time to read these blogs and seeing how my trip was going. I’m so grateful for you, too. If you ever want advice on where to travel, hit me up, and I’ll do my best to persuade you to go to Argentina. I’ve been there for five months and it’s still not enough time. Argentina, I’m coming back for you. Until then, ¡ciao!

 

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