I wrote this post a few weeks ago but have been hesitant to publish it because I do not want to burst any bubbles, rain on any parades, or disappoint anyone with the harsh light of reality.
Despite the glamor of the idea of living overseas and exploring new worlds, my life has been pretty unremarkable most days of the past six months.
In both Bogotá and Buenos Aires, I developed a routine for my weeks around Spanish school. In Bogotá, my school offered activities three afternoons per week from museum visits or tejo, to a weekly dance and cooking class. (This is when we didn’t have to make up classes after school was closed on a Monday because Colombia has a gazillion national holidays—seriously, I think national productivity suffers because of this calendar.) More often than not, groups of us would go out to lunch before the activity.
My school in Buenos Aires offers short workshops after class on topics such as spotting counterfeit money and the culture of mate, and shows Argentine movies on Thursdays. Going out for lunch after class also is a given, although there are fewer students here so I have eaten alone a lot more often. The school is in Palermo, a trendy area with a ton of restaurants, so whenever I can, I take my preferred approach of trying somewhere new. I also have spent some afternoons doing touristy things like the graffiti and street art tours in Bogotá and Bs As (photos from both coming soon).
Pretty exciting, right?
Afternoons without activities, or post activities, are usually a combination of naps (hey, learning a language is tiring!), homework or self-study, reading, writing these blog posts, planning future travel, or cooking dinner. I have gone through some Netflix-watching phases, especially when I was sick, but I always use Spanish subtitles, so that sort of counts as studying.
Add in time on email and Facebook, and that’s a day. About once a week I am astonished at how quickly the time flies.
In Bogotá, I often ate dinner with the couple I lived with and liked to go to a salsa dance class on Wednesday nights. In Bs As, Wednesday nights are for the school-organized happy hours.
I also walk a lot. In Bogotá, it took me about 35-40 minutes to walk to and from class; in Bs As, it is 25-30 minutes. In the afternoons and on weekends, I also walk to and from as many places as I can because this is the only exercise I get. And since I usually have the time, why not walk? (Unless it is too cold or raining, which it often was in July in Bs As.)
With my dad’s recent visit and longer trips around Argentina, the last few weeks of my time in South America are going to be different, probably closer to the exciting life people imagine I am leading. But honestly, my daily life usually has been less than amazing. And that is fine with me.