I do ask myself “Does time goes faster in the Southermost country in Latin-America?” It’s been almost 6 months already living in Argentina, almost Thanksgiving, almost that “Time of the Year!”, and how excited I am that it’s almost time to go to Houston and spend some time with the family.
Being an expat has been the most wonderful experience of my life so far, but I have clearly realized the most down part of it is “seeing the family countable days per year”. When we are told “There’s this opportunity in this X country and we will like you to go”, we are so excited that we do not really think into the downside. We see that side so blurry, until 6-months have passed and you can clearly see it! But you are already 6 months into the new country, waiting (STILL!) to get your IDs, you got new friends, you are really enjoying the time into the new city that once again the downsides are blurry! Do you know what I mean?
Work has been great, I’m really enjoying it everyday and I’m happy! But, I have been so busy that Fridays come along and I’m too tired to do anything. On Saturdays, I want to chill out but I have to do errands and try to be productive (which most likely doesn’t happen cause of Netflix! haha)… and then it’s Sunday again and I have to go to bed early because of the new week about to start. This has been my life the last 6 months.
Of course, I have found the way to have a good time, to enjoy the city, and I have certainly met wonderful people. Winter was long, and it was wonderful to see spring and the flowers blooming. Sunny days are the best, and when the windy days appear you feel like Mary Poppins, just missing the umbrella to fly far far away!
A lot of things have happened in these 6 months. I moved into my new apartment, which is full of pictures and decorations from Venezuela, Asia, and from the US… full of beautiful memories!
Then my birthday came…first year celebrating it without my parents or sisters. However, I had such amazing celebrations — yes, so many! I felt so loved, and so blessed to have you all in my life celebrating with me in spirit, sending the very best vibes… just another reminder of how lucky I’m for this life! I celebrated in Neuquén with friends from Venezuela and my dear friends from Argentina. I celebrated thru FaceTime with my family, celebrated at work, celebrated with each call I received, and celebrated in Mendoza drinking wine (the best in the World to be honest!). How could I be this blessed?
Then, the first trip in Latin America: Medellin! That really happened just out of the blue, and I’m really happy I went. Medellin is a beautiful city, full of so many wonderful people. I have missed so much the warmth that people express through a random conversation. Unique smiles, familiar faces, looks that invite you to just talk. Since I left Venezuela, I have only truly seeing that in Southeast Asia, so I was extremely happy to feel this once again. The food was extremely delicious… and the vibrant colors from the fruits and vegetables that create such a beautiful and incredible atmosphere just made me miss KL so much!
My favorite place inside the city was the experience to go to Comuna 13, which is one of the 16 wards in the city. It’s like going to Petare in Caracas, and the ones who knows what I’m talking about you must be thinking “how did you go there?”. The place was one of the most dangerous places in the 80s, offering protection to gangs, to all kind of illegal trades in the city. But the government took strong steps to reform the ward in the early 2000s, improving the life of the community, increasing employment, access to education and strengthening the community culture.
Not only that, but the streets of Comuna 13 are full of graffiti that totally modified the urban environment, telling the story of Comuna 13 and taking social and political stances. I was in awe because I think that through education, reforms, and providing opportunity to people, we can make a change. It’s thru these programs and initiatives that ones that make critical changes in our society and in our world. I’m still amazed by this project to be honest.
Continuing talking about Medellin, Valle del Cocora was my absolute favorite. It was kinda like a retreat, only listening to nature and silence itself. It was wonderful!
Six months sound like a lot, and I have enjoyed every bit of them. There are so many opportunities out there, but we’ve got to go and find them ourselves. You have to get out there, meet people, travel, enjoy each day — just do things, anything really — because these can only lead you to wonderful opportunities.