Eat, Pray, Love; Run and Jump: Part 2- Argentina
Fast forward to my other summer plans; the fateful (and unfortunately short) Argentina trip.
I came down to Buenos Aires, only with a place to stay (thanks to the endless love I have from my “adopted family”) and that’s about it… I got in on Sunday, called my (actual) cousins who live close to the city when I got in. A couple days later we had coffee and made plans for a BBQ for the weekend.
The only plan I had in Buenos Aires, was to make plans as I went. Sure enough, every day I had someone to meet up with, or something to do. I have fond memories of Argentina, because when I lived there previously in 2009, I had a serious transformation. I had a love/hate relationship with Argentina. It was hard to be there on my own at 20, I wasn’t comfortable in the language, and living in a developing country is really difficult. It’s hard for it’s own citizens and it was hard for me as a foreigner (not to mention a foreigner with a disability.) Navigating transportation was something I had to learn. I needed to figure out how to communicate on a basic level all the way to college level academia was something I had to do. Not to mention try to make friends and not get kidnapped/die/whatever worse case scenario my mom could possibly think of…
I felt lonely for a long time my first go in Argentina. Feeling lonely and being lonely I’ve learned are not the same, because I had unknowingly made some lifelong friendships there. By the end of my final exams in Argentina, I wept outside of the classroom. Maybe this was a little bit of the latin passion rubbing off, but maybe not. Without me being conscious of it, I had set out all that I wanted to do there. I wanted to live like an Argentine. I wanted to be fluent in another language. I wanted to see the world through a different perspective; and I did just that. I had leveled up, just like a videogame character, from clueless American college student to expatriate, Spanish speaking woman.
I was planning on staying in Argentina for 4 weeks, but I only got 4 days. Already I was reminded of the unconditional love and support I have from my friends and family down south. Distant cousins went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable, taken care of, and even got to see and do the things I missed from my last visit. In 4 days I was shown such caring that it recharged me and refilled my cup. I was reminded of my first transformation and remembered that in this adult life, I can face anything. My failure in Athletics this year doesn’t define me, it just helps shape my character. I found comfort in my love for language and culture and just in the moment that I had found that my happiness came from within; the phone rang.
The call that changed the world.
Argentina is very symbolic for me, as I was ready to go back to the place where my life transformed. Let me tell you, South America has YET to disappoint me…