Ah, travel. . .to leave your own city and embark on a new journey whether it be for a weekend, two weeks, or two months. Nothing is scarier, or more exciting, than leaving where you’re most comfortable to see a new city, country, or continent. Travel captures the hearts of many and merely tickles the hearts of others (“I would LOVE to see Europe, I just don’t have time or money”).
For those who have been captured by wanderlust, we can agree that traveling may not be a talent, but it is something that certain people are geared to more than others. We can also agree, I believe, that some ways of traveling are better than others. Here’s me attempting to scratch the surface of a world I am no expert in, but just simply adore.
A big portion of traveling is, of course, seeing the sights, viewing the famous tourist attractions (i.e. what draws people to travel to Argentina in the first place). A more important portion of traveling is seeing the beauty of the Casa Rosada, but not stopping there.
It’s then realizing how much more there is beyond the Casa Rosada, and observing the history and the culture that brought it to be. It’s removing your mind from the box that is your culture, and opening it enough to receive another; not as your own, perhaps, but merely to appreciate the quirks and the beauty of a life that belongs to so many, though it may not be yours. A culture extremely different from your own though those born into it don’t question for a second.
This leads us to “How to Travel to Argentina” step one…
Open your mind!
Adopt some of the country’s customs temporarily, because why travel to Argentina if you’re going to stiff-arm the culture? No, you don’t have to change your ways forever just because Argentines eat dinner late at night, but when in Rome…
Try eating out later to experience the culture; seeing restaurants with a line out the door and every table filled at 11pm is something every foreigner should see. Try greeting each other with a kiss on the cheek without laughing; try a mate with and without sugar!
Order something from the menu even if you’re not sure exactly what it is. Try your hand at public transportation once, get totally lost and end up taking a taxi back to the hotel. Try talking with the receptionist at said hotel in Spanish even if the last Spanish class you took was in high school. Go to a milonga and tango your heart out. You’ve already made it this far by traveling to another country—the biggest step! Don’t let the adventurous streak fizz out before you’ve even started.
I will never, ever forget the people I’ve traveled with. I’ve met the funniest, interesting, inspiring, most insane people on trips, and each one has added something to my life or taught me something even though they have no idea. This goes not only for fellow travelers but also for the locals you meet along the way. So many people are enchanted with the fact that you wanted to see their country, and are ready to help or just have a chat with you, even if it’s mostly through charades. Be friendly, and it’ll go a long way.
(Note: Being friendly does not mean you have to be naive or afraid of rocking the social boat if a situation is making you uncomfortable.)
Pause before pictures
Taking pictures of literally everything is beyond tempting, and once you’ve started, it seems impossible to stop. Obviously, you need to take pictures on vacation, and there can probably never be enough to look back on, but find that balance. Find the balance between the tourist and the traveler. The tourist arrives and takes photos without soaking up the moment. They see each day as merely an opportunity for more pictures. Travelers make each day an opportunity for an experience; they soak up the moment before reaching for the camera. Admire first. Breathe first. Smell first. See first. Linger first. Picture later, Instagram can wait.
Take Advantage or “aprovechar”
How many times in your life will you be in the country where some of the best wine is produced? Or the best beef? Take advantage of the moments of being in a new country. Breathe the Argentina air that you’ll only breathe for a week, 10 days, a month. See a fútbol game that makes the locals go crazy, and go crazy with them. You’ll probably see lots of things that’ll throw you for a loop and make you scratch your head, and that’s okay. Just don’t forget to live it up while you can.
There’s no recipe for traveling, or traveling well, just a strong recommendation to respect, savor, and enjoy. For more travel tips, check this out. Or, to see Argentina for yourself, get your free trip quote today!
Written by Abby LeCleir