57 Days Abroad

Day 57. Every End is a New Beginning


Day 57.

Not going to bed since yesterday, we finished up packing our stuff. Around 3:30am we were dosing off waiting for the owner to come by to give us our deposit back. We had been assuming that we were not going to get all our money back due to a few small imperfections in the apartment. Finally, the lady came by, give us all our money back, we handed in our keys, and we were out of the apartment.

Waiting in the lobbying of the building, we had a taxi scheduled to pick us up at 4am. Well, when 4:15am came around, we still had no taxi driver. After a few phone calls, a taxi came by that was too small to accommodate us three with all our bags. Due to the time winding down for Tallon’s and my departure, we were going to take this taxi and Bobie the next taxi, as his plane was leaving later. This is where we had to say our goodbyes, Tallon and I were going back to the States and Bobie was going to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We realized that this time would come just not so soon. We parted our ways and Tallon and I were off to the airport.

A few security stops and a few hours later, we were in Bogota, Columbia. We were scheduled to leave at 6pm from Bogota but due to delays, we didn’t leave until past 10pm. Finally around 2am (going in to Day 58 yikes!), we landed in Miami, Florida. While we were back in the U.S., Bobie was now in Bolivia. Our trip together was officially done.

Being that this is technically my last post, I wanted to reflect on our past 57 days abroad. Over the course of our stay, here our some of my observations and generalizations about Argentina (a lot of my remarks are in comparison to life in the U.S.):

26 Things About Argentina

  1. Argentines call everyone “che” like we call everyone “dude”
  2. if it’s a group of people, they’ll address the whole group as “chicos” regardless of how old the people are
  3. when mopping a floor, Argentines prefer  using a squeegee with a rag put on the end
  4. the sidewalks are always missing concrete tiles
  5. not only do you have to watch for missing concrete tiles when you walk, but also the dog poo that the owners never clean up
  6. the hardest thing to find in Buenos Aires are coins/monedas
  7. they drink mate about as much as they breathe
  8. they don’t use the past participle when they speak Spanish (i.e. hemos comido, has puesto)
  9. Argentines wear Nike Air Rift shoes (Big Toe Shoe) which are quite ugly
  10. apparently blonde and light-eyed Argentine girls come from Cordoba, Rosario and Santa Fe – I’ll have to check out that one later
  11. the guys kiss each other on the cheek during greetings
  12. you might get robbed
  13. they use a “jo” sound when pronouncing a “y” or “ll”. For instance, when they say pollo (chicken) in Spanish, it sounds like “pojo” instead of “poyo”
  14. they don’t sell body wash (it’s very hard to come by)
  15. they don’t sell peanut butter (it’s extremely hard to come by)
  16. it would be hard to find a better value for steaks than in Argentina (steaks are so good + relatively cheap too)
  17. they’re not into customer service or trying hard to work for tips
  18. the majority of Argentines cannot dance the Tango
  19. next to eating meat, Argentines love eating pizza
  20. Fernet is the Argentine liquor beverage
  21. instead of saying “Vale” like the Spanish, Argentines say “Dale”
  22. you almost never see a police officer pull over a car driver, even though these are some of the craziest drivers in the world
  23. the craziest drivers live in Mar Del Plata, Argentina
  24. Argentines don’t drive with their lights on at night
  25. it’s quite common for all to share the same drinking glass and straws
  26. there’s no wildlife in Buenos Aires (i.e. squirrels)

With nearly two months of living abroad, we’ve experienced and learned a lot. Among some of the not so fun events to occur were:

  • Manchu Picchu was inaccessible because the train tracks had been ruined due to rain and landslides
  • Having a coffee with some friends, Bobie’s bag got stolen
  • During one week, Buenos Aires, specifically our barrio, received so much rain that we were flooded out of our apartment
  • Hopping into an overnight bus for Mendoza, Argentina, I had belongings stolen from my bag
  • The day before we got into Santiago, Chile, the 5th strongest earthquake ever recorded hit south Chile, the 2nd strongest earthquake in Chile’s history
  • On our bus ride from La Paz to Cochabamba, Bolivia, we experienced a road blockade which caused over 30km of buses, trucks, cars to be stopped for a whole day
  • Our apartment was broken into and our laptops, cameras, glasses, backpack, cell phones and watches were stolen.

Before I scare anyone away or make people think that South America is crazy (which it is) or is unsafe (which it can be), it’s important to realize that as a result of bad things that may have happened, good things resulted or at least great experiences arose that we’ll never get tired of telling. Even the worst thing that happened to us, getting our laptops and cameras stolen, allowed for the three of us to spend our last two weeks free of technology and its burdens. Without our laptops, we spent more time out of the apartment doing stuff in flipping Buenos Aires, Argentina. Something can be learned from every bad thing that happened and even still, many of the events were completely out of our control.

Now if I were to write everything that happened that was fun or that put a smile on our faces in South America, the list would be endless (please go through everyday’s blog posts and read what we did). The friendships that we made were invaluable and the scenic views we saw were incomparable. Fortunately, at the very least, we will always be able to look over this blog and relive what we did everyday. If your life ever becomes mundane and mediocre for too long, think about traveling abroad, it’s always worth it.


11 Comments

    Followed your trip, sounds like a great time, and it was definitely cool to read the blog and keep up. See you guys soon!

  • Love it… you should travel and blog all the time yo! Miami ami pronto

  • Awesome…thanks for letting me travel vicariously through you

  • We loved you blog! Hope it encourages Gracie to see the world. Keep it up and safe travels….

  • Rad dudes. Good work, good blog.

  • I loved it! It was a great way to get away from the stresses of school/life and read about your amazing journey! (I am very jealous though 🙂 ) Seen you soon.

  • A millie thanks to all for the comments! Maintaining the blog at times got to be a bit tedious and stressful (honestly I would wake up sick because I had to catch up on the blog a day or two) but by all means worth it now. The blog was great for keeping us in check and keeping us busy doing stuff with our limited time rather than escaping from the radar and loafing around. Because of the blog, we were always thinking of how we could capture what we were doing by means of photo, videos and dialog.

    It’s great to hear comments of friends and family being able to live and travel ‘vicariously’ through us and that perhaps we could offer some inspiration for traveling. I think that’s when the simple blog/journal grew into something greater than I could ever expect. Pretty sure I’ve never done anything consistently for 57 days straight, so this was an [big] achievement for me. Hope to do it again or something similar one day–who knows…the bug for traveling is difficult to get rid of 😉

  • I cried I laughed I cried a little more… then I read you blog. Cool trip man!

  • Diego welcome back to USA, I am Going to Argentina (my home) for 58 days

  • But you missed the glaciers, the forests in Ushuaia, the whales, the wildlife in El Litoral, the Cosquin Rock, the…

    … bah, Argentina is as large as the European Union. It’s impossible to not miss lot of things.

  • What an amazing opportunity for all of you…and this is an amazing photo album/journal of your trip… I spent a year and a half in Germany…and I wish I had kept better record of my tour of Europe… Happy travels boys <3

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