After another sleepless overnight bus, I arrived in Buenos Aires exhausted. Excited as I was to see the city, I spent a day recharging at my hostel. The next afternoon, I had to find another place to stay because the hostel was full. Waiting on my bed was Steve, a friendly and outgoing Brit. He´s got a red beard, a nice collection of floral t-shirts, and either a brilliant wit or an endlessly funny accent. When I left for the apartment I´d found on Airbnb, he tagged along. Mariana, the apartment owner and my new housemate, assumed Steve was my boyfriend. She offered us tea, and the three of us were fast friends.
Buenos Aires felt familiar and comfortable. I ate well and drank late with Steve, Mariana, a trio of attractive Brazilian Med students, and few others from Steve’s hostel. One night, at a fancy dinner with six people who barely knew each other, we played “Two Truths and a Lie.” I was slightly offended that nearly everyone got this wrong: I have three "moms." I won a state tennis championship. I had a hair replacement procedure (See: Wayne Rooney).
In addition to the thriving nightlife, BA has a lot to offer. Among my favorite finds were a world famous burger joint, a speakeasy in a flower shop, a 24 hour pingpong, billiards, and foosball bar, and 20 something professional soccer teams. The people are also extremely attractive. I really enjoyed it there. Overall, the city and my setup made me feel more at home-away-from-home than at any point since living in Italy, which gave me a good chance to reflect and relax...
At the risk of seriously boring you, I'm going to elaborate. Here´s a bit of a “what I’m thinking” interlude from all the “what I’m doing.”
This trip has been incredible. By the time I'm finished, I suspect it will have been the best and most important year of my life. No Shit. People want to find chinks in the armor, and seem curious about the dark side of extended solo travel. What are the challenges? What do I miss about home? Etc. I miss peanut butter. I love my family and friends and am anxious to see them again - in fact, travelling and making friends from everywhere has often made me more appreciative of my people - but that never translates to wanting this ride to end. Although there are moments - usually lazy mornings, or lonely nights - when life doesn't feel as good as it is. When I remember that I still have questions to answer at home, and that I'm really just kicking the can down a very long and beautiful road. Or when I'm reminded that I'm consuming, polluting, and making impossible-to-maintain friendships. And I'm not creating. My artistic and productive side, which was proud to be a hard-working and successful professional, occasionally feels lost. I also get traveler’s FOMO. There’s always someone with a more interesting story to tell. Sometimes it feels like I’m doing it wrong. But the lows don't last long. They’re irrational. It is hard to know how, or if, this trip is changing me. I only know that I feel free, excited about what I've done, anxious to explore more, and extremely fortunate to be here.