Buenos Aires FAQ

It feels like I’m having the same conversation constantly these days, and I remembered yesterday how it was the same way before I left on my RTW trip. It’s nice that people are interested, and are bothering to ask questions, but sometimes I’d rather talk about something else! Unfortunately most of those people probably don’t read my blog, but here’s the rundown, in case I haven’t already had this conversation with you.

Q: Where are you going? Do you have a place to stay? A: I’m planning to be based in Buenos Aires, but there are a lot of places in Argentina and the rest of South America I want to visit/return to. I’ll need to leave the country every three months to renew my visa, so that will give me some built-in travel time. I have a room reserved for the first month in an apartment in San Telmo, the “bohemian” neighborhood of the city—I stayed in San Telmo last time and loved it—which will give me time to find my own place. I’m excited to finally be headed somewhere I can afford to live alone, and I understand there’s usually a good market of furnished, short-term sublets available.

Q: Why Argentina/Buenos Aires? A: My RTW trip provided a great overview of lots of places—many that I loved—but also left me wanting to stay longer in one place abroad, which I’ve never done before. I knew I wanted to go back to a Spanish-speaking country, so I could continue studying the language. I also considered Arequipa, Peru, and Valparaiso, Chile, but for now, Buenos Aires has won out. The city seems to have the best combination of affordability and a rather familiar standard of living (you can drink the water, Internet is readily available, etc.). Plus, how can you turn down great steak, wonderful wine, and the tango?

Q: How long will you be gone? A: I’m not sure. I bought a one-way ticket, and I’m excited to not have a definite plan at this point. I do know I’ll probably be there at least seven months, because my parents are talking about coming down for Christmas.

Q: Do you have a job lined up down there? A: Nope. I’m planning to continue freelancing with the same clients I have now—the beauty of my work is that I can truly work anywhere I have an Internet connection (which shouldn’t be a problem; my first place has WiFi!). I’d love to also do some volunteer work in the city, but I’ll figure that out once I get settled in.

Q: Do you know people there? A: I know a few Argentines I met while traveling, and also have phone numbers of friends of friends, etc. The Internet has helped a lot—through Couchsurfing and BootsnAll I’ve made some contacts that have led to a few messages along the lines of “Let’s have a drink when you get here!”

Q: Do you speak Spanish? A: Well enough. I’m reviewing/remembering a lot of what I learned during my time in South America (and from Spanish classes in San Francisco), and am sure I’ll pick up more every day. I’ll probably seek out some more formal lessons to work on some of my weak spots.

Q: What are you taking with you? A: Good question! I’m definitely not taking any furniture or shipping anything significant, but am certainly not packing as light as I have in the past. I’m hoping to fit everything in two huge suitcases (up to 50 pounds each, as allowed by Delta) and two carry-ons. My computer, plus other books and gadgets and ergonomic stuff for work, will take up more space/weight than I’d like them to, but that just means I’ll have to buy clothes there—which should be fine, since I remember them being cheap and cute!

Did I miss anything? This is your chance to ask those burning questions…

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5 Responses to “Buenos Aires FAQ”

  1. rebecca Says:

    hmmmmm. okay, what is the climate like and how will that affect what clothes you pack?

  2. rebecca Says:

    should that be effect? never got the usage right on those.

  3. Amy Says:

    That’s a good one (“affect” is correct—that’s the verb, “effect” is the noun, like “cause and effect”). The climate is pretty temperate, in the 50s in winter (which is coming up; the seasons are reversed since it’s the Southern Hemisphere) and pretty hot and humid in the summer. So, I don’t need to take any super-warm clothes with me, and am trying not to worry too much about a lot of summer clothes, thinking I can buy them there or have my parents bring me a few things.

  4. robert shaw Says:

    You do not need to leave the country every three months, you can do one renewal for 90 days at the immigration center in Buenos Aires for the cost of 100pesos. But yes after than you’ll need to leave, what a lot of people do is a day return to Colonia Uruguay.

  5. santoki Says:

    Wait. You’re going to Buenos Aires?

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