Hard to believe I’ve been here for over a month already. It feels as though it’s been no time and all, and before I know it I’ll be heading back to the Land of Ice and Snow. This trip was very much intended as a litmus test for my vagabond way of life—I’ve been looking for a way to combine work and travel for some time now, and I think I may have hit on a combination that works.
I’ve come to realize a few important things, though.
1. I need more time. Way more time.
This week, I am taking three hours of Spanish class a day, in what will most likely turn out to be a rather in-vain attempt to get my Castallano up to “serviceable”. However, given the fact that I tend to work roughly six hundred hours a day, it’s a bit of a challenge doing all the other stuff I need to do, like “sleeping” and “eating stuff that isn’t dulce de leche”. (Seriously, I’m not sure what sort of magic makes Argentines so skinny when their diet appears to consist primarily of ham and cheese emapanadas to start, then pasta, followed up by sixty tons of cow. Is it the mate or the fernet they’re always drinking?)
But South America is a big place, and I want to see more of it. As it is, I’ve only had time to go to Brazil thus far, and a quick weekend trip to the Tigre delta, and some exploratory jaunts here in BsAs—which admittedly is such a huge and sprawling complex city, with its own language and peculiarities, that it’d take me years to really get a feel for the place.
Last time I traveled, I went to Europe for five weeks and didn’t stay in one place longer than a week. I couldn’t work my usual sort of schedule, so it was sort of like a holiday for me. If I want my travel to be sustainable, I need to do it slowly enough that it doesn’t interfere with the day-to-day aspects of my life. That means three months isn’t nearly long enough for a place.
2. I can survive without constantly checking my email.
This is a tough one, but having my iPhone, I got quite accustomed to being constantly able to check (and send) emails. Problem was, this meant there was no off switch at all on my brain. I’ve been known to check emails in bed. It’s (still) usually the first thing I do upon waking up, and I was always sending emails and texting while out with friends, which I think is terribly rude.
Yes, sometimes it sucks not having access to my email when I’m idle at a bar. But for the most part, it means that I can go out for dinner, or go for a walk, without being perpetually distracted by work. If I leave the house, I leave work behind, and that’s a healthy habit to get into.