12 September 2012

Transition Brain

Our move from Philadelphia to Buenos Aires is happening in four short weeks and as our apartment empties out our furniture and our plans with friends become limited to only a few more days, everyone is asking all the questions:

"Are you excited?"
"Are you nervous?"
"What are you going to do with your stuff?"
"Do you have work lined up?"
"Can we come down and visit?"

The answers to these questions are exciting and nerve racking at the same time. Today I am so excited and just a healthy bit nervous about moving from our home.
Excited because what's not to be excited about?! We've both dreamed of living abroad, and I (more than Sandro, a confident and helpful gentleman) had big time doubts about where, when, and how that could ever happen. But it's happening! We'll be in a new place; a big, beautiful city where the people speak Spanish, there's a street market everyday, the apartments come furnished, and the wine is cheap! We'll explore, work, meet people, and learn something new everyday. We have each other and so far so good. Countdown 27 days!

In Transistion: We've sold our furniture so we're sleeping on the ground and living out of boxes. Miccio Cat doesn't seem to mind.

But nerves too. Because what's not to be nervous about?! No matter how much research, planning, and effort we put in to getting to Argentina, life is unpredictable and the future is a fickle place. We don't really know how it will go. We are leaving behind our apartment where we've built a home of books, food, art, the cat, and comfortable, happy memories. We are leaving our besties who we see everyday for a place where we know a couple of (great) people. Our routine is in upheaval! We'll get lonely, overwhelmed, and lost sometimes and won't be able to call a last minute happy hour at our favorite bar with our long time friends for normalcy and comfort.

But the good outweighs the bad and that's why this move is possible at all. Routine is a centering and balancing thing but can also cause complacency and wanderlust. Age makes routine more necessary so if adventure calls, it's best to pick up the phone and meet it while you can. My friends, thanks to technology, exist in my computer, which is coming with me! Our new apartment will feel like home as soon as Sandro and I are in it together. Feelings of displacement will fade, the same way they did when I moved from my hometown in California to Philly ten years ago. And we are able. We make the life we live, and so far we've worked it out pretty well. Natural disasters and financial collapses are out of our hands. This is our life.

All that too say, moving abroad is a great and difficult thing. If you are considering it, know that a mix of feelings and experiences is pretty normal. If you've done it, I'm probably missing the actual depth of this idea as I haven't even arrived yet and please feel free to comment with your own experiences! How did you feel leaving home at first? How do you feel away being from home now? Or has your new place become home?
xoxo Amber


  1. Hi Amber!

    I cant even begin to express how happy I am to have stumble on your blog! I, too, am planning on moving to BA, as of early 2013. This post sums up pretty much what I`ve been feeling since I made the firm decision to make the move. I feel excited, I feel nervous, I feel overwhelmed with the information and certainties that seek, but cant always find. Sometimes, I find myself getting sucked in the 'what if'abyss, only to remind myself the only way to find out, is to go!
    I wanted ask you, how did you find your apartment? I've been browsing websites such as forrentargntina.com, but I just want to know how reliable it is.

    Anyway, your blog has made it on my list of BA blogs and I will consult it for sure. I don't know your personally, but I'm really excited for you!

    Hope to hear from you soon


  2. Tia,
    That is so awesome that you are coming down! I'm so happy you are able to find valuable info in my blog, that's why I do it!
    We found our temporary apartment on AirBnB.com (also check VRBO.com). We wanted something secure for the first two months while we look for a longer term, less expensive place. AirBnB is for vacation rentals, so it's not cheap. But it is nice in that you can be in contact with the owner of the property before you commit to anything, and they will often negotiate a price with you if you stay with them for over a month. We ended up getting two months for the price of one and a half, but it's still more than we want to pay long term. On these sites you can pay with PayPal and there are user reviews, so it's more secure than a classified ad or Craigslist.
    Once we arrive in Buenos Aires, we'll have two months to scout out a longer living arrangement. I plan to talk to as many people as possible, check in with real estate agents who offer rentals, and hit the ground running to find a reasonable place with a reasonable rate.
    I will definitely keep you updated and let you know how it goes!
    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.
    Thanks again for reading!

  3. Hello Fellow Travelers! My husband and I have just relocated for 6 months in BA from Seattle and today is our first day here! So far so good. We ended up using BA Stay to book our first apartment in Palermo and everything has worked out well. We actually just booked it last week and Jack at BA Stay was very helpful with finding out what we wanted and finding potential apartment options. We brought our cat, and the website wasn't clear about which places were cat friendly, but he cleared all of that up. So far many Argentinians have been quite pet friendly. Good luck with your transition!

  4. Mindi,
    Thanks for the response!
    You booked an apartment for your entire 6 month stay online before you arrived? That's great that it worked out so well sight unseen! We need a year long rental starting December 1, so I will definitely be looking into BA Stay. Thanks for the tip, and keep in touch!

  5. Hey Amber, Just saw your reply! Welcome to BA. We actually only booked for 1-month as we want to hop around a bit to experience different parts of the city. Although now that we are approaching Nov 1st, I am enjoying getting to know our barrio an think they we will stay nearby for Nov as well.