Back to Buenos Aires...my last stop before heading on to Europe
Jun 5, 2004
|"Lil m" Comes down to visit me in Buenos Aires.
Emily, or as I like to call her "Lil m", is a fantastic girl I met before my travels. She is a very intelligent young lady who supports my decision to travel as she has much experience in the foreign relations department. Emily has lived in Africa for an extended period of time as well as touring various parts of Europe. From the day I met Emily I knew she was a person that I wanted to join me on my journey. We both thought it would be great, if plans allowed, for her to join up with me somewhere along in my many destinations. She is busy working on new business ventures in Chicago but decided that she would like to fit in a week away down in South America. So rather then doing the typical European trip, we decided to meet in Buenos Aires.
Emily, although currently working as a business women, has much experience in the world of journalism. Therefore, I decided that for this segment of the journey her writting skills would more adequatly describe our experience in Buenos Aires...
"When Patrick first arrived in Buenos Aires at the beginning of his journey, he described an amazing place that seemed more European than South American, filled with beautiful parks, outside cafes, sophisticated stores and incredible restaurants. It was a place I tried to picture but could never fully comprehend until I traveled there myself to spend a week with him. Since he had only spent a brief amount of time there before traveling on to other areas of Argentina, Peru, and Brazil, he was also excited to further explore what the city had to offer.
In order to truly grasp the Buenos Aires culture, it is best to tour the city on foot, remaining open to the hidden treasures along the way. Within the many neighborhoods we walked through, we often discovered quaint little cafes where we would sit for hours observing people and culture as it passed us by. We stumbled upon parks and outside markets and even a zoo, which completely outweighs any zoo I have seen in the states as far as beauty and the ability to truly see the animals. Patrick impressed me with his new Spanish speaking skills, conversing with the locals and managing to get us where we wanted to go on a daily basis. He was even able to arrange for us to get tickets in the streets of La Boca for the sold out Argentinian classic Futbol rivalry between Boca Juniors and River Plate, which was a cultural experience in and of itself. We also managed to make it over to Uruguay for a day where we rented a motor scooter and traveled the cobblestone streets of Colonia, a quaint little port town with little indication of the 21st or even the 20th century. At night we enjoyed long meals often consisting of empanadas, steak or homemade pizzas, complete with amazing wine and sometimes dessert, all for pennies in comparison to what we would spend on the same type of meals in the US. All the while, one thing remained clear: The Argentinians take great pride in everything they do, whether they are selling hotdogs (or "panchos" as they are called there) from the side of the road, working behind a counter at a store, or waiting on you hand and foot in an empty restaurant. They all seem to understand and appreciate what many of us in the US do not seem to grasp--the ability to live life to the fullest every day amungst friends, family, and even strangers.
I feel fortunate to have spent those days with Patrick, completely grateful that he let me be a part of his life during his time of searching for what will truly make him happy. As he enters a new phase in his journey, I am glad to say that I was there to witness his transformation...almost three months after he has left Chicago, he seemed so much more at peace then he was during the days leading up to his departure. I could tell just from looking at him that he made the right decision by choosing to leave it all behind in pursuit of his dream to travel. It became clear that he has opened his eyes to what the world has to offer. It is his classroom and the people he has met along the way have been his teachers. Although he battles with occasional homesickness and loneliness, I could sense he understands that he must go on and not give up, for in the end he will have a deeper appreciation for where he is from and the people he cares most about...and that, in my opinion, is one of the most valuable lessons anyone can ever learn in life."
Please check out these links to view photos Emily took on her trip down. I think her photos are much better then mine. I kinda took the week off with the camera.