On Buenos Aires: My Reluctance to Fall in Love with Argentina

This post is a difficult one and not what most readers, travel sites, or fellow bloggers really want to hear. But sometimes life as a trailing spouse and expat isn’t all glamour and happiness. And today, I’m sharing a bit of that with you. After almost two years living in Argentina I can say that I, definitely, do not love it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy living in Buenos Aires. Our life here is amazing. We have made so many great friends. We have a gorgeous, spacious apartment (something I’m already stressing over when I think about our return to Dublin). The city is bustling. There are superb restaurants (if you do a little research), and we actually have the time and money to dine out. The weather is great. Our social life is so active. We are learning a ton about the city, the country, and the continent. But I just don’t have that feeling that I felt (and continue to feel) each time I live in or visit Dublin.

I know I should not compare, but the two places could not be more opposite. And we wanted that. We wanted to live in South America, learn Spanish, travel the continent, have an adventure. And we have so far. But I realize I find myself having to feign admiration or excitement when others ask how I like living here. And if you know me, you know I can’t fake my emotions- my mood is plastered all over my face.

I can’t explain what it is exactly. I am friends with people who cannot get enough of this city. People who have moved here willingly and are steadfast on putting up with all the struggles of life in BA and intend to live here indefinitely. Those people undeniably love it here. Depending on the day, I am more take it or leave it, with my attitude ranging from “fuck this place” or “wow, I’ve had a really great day”. But the overall feeling of wanting to stay here the rest of my life just isn’t there. Even on the good days.  

There are places in the world where everything feels right. The air is fresh. The water tastes perfect. You easily connect with the locals. You can’t get enough of the national cuisine or beverage. You get the humor and feel comfortable with cultural customs and traditions. You fit in with the whole vibe of the city. For me, Argentina is not that place. And that’s OK. You can still have a meaningful experience in a place that isn’t your number one choice for your forever home. In fact, you may actually have a more insightful experience.

With that said, after our three years here, when we move back to Dublin before going on the next posting, I am sure I will miss the sunny, warm weather, outdoor lifestyle, frequenting world-class restaurants on the regular, and of course all of the friends we’ve made here so far.

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