So you want to come to Buenos Aires

In Buenos Aires, Art of Travel Spring 2016, Tips by Marsha3 Comments

Choose Buenos Aires if…

  1. You want to be somewhere that’s kind of Europe, kind of South America, a little confused but very much rolling with it.
  2. You like getting things for yourself. By this, I mean that travelling isn’t going to be easy like it is in Europe but the trips you do eventually plan and figure out for yourself will be amazing and awesome and unlike anything else you’ve ever done. Also, there’s a certain taste to independence that makes everything sweeter.
  3. You’re ok with being a little uncomfortable once in a while.
  4. You’re learning Spanish! The Spanish here is admittedly a little weird and takes some getting used to (like everything else, really) but this really is a good place to pick it up out of sheer necessity.
  5. Difficulty doesn’t scare you. It will be a nightmare getting your visa, it will be a pain taking the bus outside of your safe Recoleta bubble, it will be distressing when your laundromat closes 30 minutes earlier than they told you and that means you’re without underwear for the weekend – but that’s just the bad stuff. You’ll also learn that you can put up with a lot more than you think.
  6. You like art. It’s literally everywhere. You don’t even need to go to a museum (even though those are great too) but just on the street. Keep your eyes open, you never know what you’re going to see.
  7. Changing sounds ok to you. Your routines will change: there isn’t a Starbucks on every corner and it’s pretty hard to be anything but a carnivore.  Your boundaries for personal space will change: kissing on the cheek has become normal to me when it used to freak me out, people I’ve just met will ask me about my boyfriend, ex-boyfriend and future husband all within 5 minutes of meeting me. Your habits will change: I only get hungry around 9pm now and coming home anytime before 7am is considered an “early night.”
  8. You like meat/wine/empanadas/fernet. (Don’t worry about this one, after a while, you will!)
  9. You want to go somewhere which will make most people say, “Wait, what?”
  10. You’re interested in history or politics or literature. Buenos Aires is a city of so much culture but it also has so many scars that you have to come here and see for yourself to really understand. These people have suffered, but they’ve also survived.
  11. Going crazy sometimes sounds alright for you.
  12. You don’t need much to function. It’ll be hard to get medication/food/electronics/anything from the US so if you need large quantities of something, either get it before you come and bring it with you or plan ahead for someone to visit and replenish your supply. I’ve had friends here who have had a huge problem with customs and getting things they need into the country so definitely plan ahead.
  13. You have something other than an iPhone. Those are hot commodities here so often number one on the pickpocket hit list so bring a dinky one over because they’re expensive here.
  14. Gender and sexuality is another area of interest for you. There are laws here which allow free sexual reassignment surgeries for anyone who wants one but abortion is still very very much illegal. Go figure.
  15. Contradictions are more interesting than annoying to you.
  16. You’re up for a challenge. Buenos Aires is not easy. Buenos Aires doesn’t give you everything. Buenos Aires doesn’t love you immediately and you won’t love it on day one either. Like having anything worthwhile, you’re going to have to work at this relationship.
  17. You want to.

Being with Buenos Aires is like the premise of a good rom-com: you both start out as enemies hating each other for whatever reason which seems so important at the time. But then, after a series of super cute situations where the city opens up to you and you see it’s softer, more vulnerable side that it doesn’t show anyone else, disdain changes to something like affection. And then maybe a love triangle forms when a charming third party who leads you to believe they’re actually the perfect city for you because of how much they are the antithesis to Buenos Aires (looking at you, Bolivia) and you start to question what it is you really want. But at the end, after a thoughtful montage featuring the highlights of you and Buenos Aires and maybe some shots of you walking through the Recoleta Cemetery in the rain or sitting in a cab driving down a dark empty street, you realise all that passion in the beginning was love after all.

(Image: ; Source: )


  1. Hi Marsha,

    You’ve really painted a complete picture of Buenos Aires! I loved the way you presented your readers with information about the city. By relating each fact to the reader directly, I was able to better understand each trait of Buenos Aires. I did not know about many of the interesting facts you wrote about. Your time there certainly sounds like quite an adventure! I hope to visit Buenos Aires within the next year and your writeup has certainly been helpful in preparing me for what to expect.

    All the best for the rest of your time abroad, and hope you have a safe trip home!

  2. Hey Marsha,

    I loved how you arranged this post, especially how you compared Buenos Aires to a rom com. Quite clever. Just reading these short blurbs really helped me to get a feel for Buenos Aires. Like Joshua, I did not know most of what you listed. It seems like it would have been easy to give up on Buenos Aires, but I’m glad you have come to love it and it seems to love you.

  3. Hey Marsha,

    Thanks for this, I mean that. I’m planning on studying away again as I introduce Latin American studies into my concentration in juxtaposition to my East Asian studies and Buenos Aires is top of the list. I think studying in Shanghai has been too easy for me. I spend a lot of time with Chinese friends who take me places, order me food, and practically speak for me on a daily basis. I live on campus and spend too much time there because I work with Residential Life. I have loved my experience here, but it hasn’t pushed my boundaries and forced me to really adjust. I’ve had it easy. Buenos Aires is the next step for me. A chance to get out of the NYU bubble and try some new things for a while. So again, thanks. Your posts have helped me stay excited about Buenos Aires.


Leave a Comment