Archive for the ‘expat dreams’ Category

Another Big “To Do” Crossed Off…

April 25, 2007

Phew! This Spanish thing sure is hard work. I’ve written and received a few emails in Spanish recently—several paragraphs long, even—and between making sure I’ve got all the accents right and looking things up in the dictionary to make sure I understand or that my memory serves, it’s awful time-consuming! But I’m learning a lot and improving with every correspondence. And the best part is, my efforts have led to securing a place to stay when I first arrive! I did the whole thing in Spanish, from signing up on a website to reading the ads to responding to messages. I’ll be staying with a woman in her fifties who rents out a room in her house, with a twin bed, desk, and even wifi! She lives in the neighborhood I’d like to live in long-term, so it’ll be easy to get around to look at apartments. I’ve reserved a month with her; hopefully that will be plenty of time to find my own place. And, small world—her daughter’s boyfriend and his mother are both editors.

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Argentina Reading

April 11, 2007

Someone asked a while ago what I was reading about Buenos Aires, which at the time seemed laughable—I hadn’t picked up a book, except for work, in eons. But I’ve since acquired The Argentina Reader and Time Out Buenos Aires, and started to make time to read a little now and then. The reader is full of interesting works, mostly by Argentines, on a wide variety of topics—I only wish I’d been able to read this much about every country I visited! It’s a hefty tome, but I’m planning to take it with me. And Time Out, known for in-the-know entertainment listings, should come in handy once I get there. I’ve also been finding some expat and local blogs, but more on those another time.

California Burritos

April 4, 2007

I’ll be heading to the West Coast for a visit before I head to Buenos Aires. I’m excited to see friends and am slowly making plans… I’m also planning my burritos! And I just found out that BsAs is home to the California Burrito Company, which means the withdrawal from my burrito spree in San Francisco won’t be so bad after all. Yum…

Uncharted Waters

March 14, 2007

I finally finished reading Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe. It’s impressive that anyone made it back (albeit only 18 of the original 260 crew members, and one of the original five boats), considering their spotty information about most of the world and the many real (monster storms, natives who didn’t know what to make of them) and imagined (monsters of the deep) threats they encountered or expected to encounter. Depending on which accounts you read (all of which the author references), Magellan is portrayed as a brave explorer, a hero, a traitor, a control freak, a religious zealot, or worse. The book is well written and I learned a lot about that period of exploration and life on-ship in the 1500s. It was particularly interesting to read about the armada’s experiences along the coast of South America and navigating the now-named Strait of Magellan, which I stood overlooking from a point near Punta Arenas, Chile, a few years ago.

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Must… Focus…

March 8, 2007

I’m getting close to booking my tickets for Buenos Aires, and have started making some good contacts down there, and it’s pretty darn exciting. I have so many ideas and questions and dreams and things to do right now I can hardly concentrate on anything else. Focusing on my editorial projects is a challenge, as my mind is constantly wandering in a million directions. I go online—again—to check out the apartment listings on craigslist, log on to couchsurfing to join the Buenos Aires group, get up to look for my passport and make sure it’s current, check my budget again to see how much money I’ll have saved… It feels practically all-consuming right now. Thankfully it’s all focused on just one destination, unlike the multitude of places I obsessed over while getting ready for my RTW trip!

Exit Strategy

July 29, 2006

A year ago this weekend, I was moving into my apartment in Glendale. While I was driving across town with my few suitcases piled in the back, my friend Jessica called. We had a lot of catching up to do—we hadn’t talked since we’d parted ways in Peru about 10 months earlier. She told me that after wrapping up her round-the-world trip and returning to the States a few weeks earlier, she’d determined she wasn’t ready to stay—she was already planning her next adventure: going to Mexico to get her TOEFL/TESL certificate and heading off somewhere in Latin America to teach English. I’d only been back for two months, and already I was sucked right back into all the trappings of a regular life—cell phone, car, apartment. Listening to Jessica’s plans, I thought, “wait! I want that! Let me go with you!” That experience perfectly highlighted all the conflicting ideas I had about my life, but I put them away and invested myself in building a new, “stable” life in LA, even if that wasn’t where I wanted to be. (more…)