Traveling again, por fin! Bs As, Argentina

Buenos Aires! Launching out again—another test in life, knowing myself, and working and living virtually from another culture. Another continent, another history full of new rules, new foods, and a whole new set of experiences! A dream come true… on purpose.

Someone said to me recently: “Remember, you’re very lucky to be experiencing all of this.” Though I definitely agree with that statement, I have to say it really has nothing to do with luck.

I carefully planned and prepared for my traveling, and notified business associates, coworkers, family, tenants, etc of my absence. I set up my Skype phone, my Google Voice number, my International plan for my iPhone, got a SIM card for my local Argentine phone, searched for and set up an apartment via Craigslist before I left. I have been no less available to anyone away then I was when in Seattle.

This is the 3rd test so far and each time I learn something new. My only criteria for a new place:

1) A quiet place, with my own keys

2) Internet

Sound simple enough? From staying between hostels, friends’ houses or hotels, to renting a shared apartment, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve learned that all I really need are those two to be successful.

Internet usually means WiFi that is ‘available.’ If you’re in Central America, it can be like dial-up, with 8 people sharing the same connection. And maybe, just maybe, the power won’t go out for hours.

In Eastern Europe, they may have WiFi but if the cafe is open until midnight, they might decide to cut it off around 8 pm. It’s probably great to turn it off so people will relax and enjoy life. But still, some warning helps.

Buenos Aires is a city that is always connected, unless the neighbor decides to do construction and cut the power lines. A quiet apartment in a city that never sleeps isn’t impossible, but noise canceling headphones for Skype turned out to be an invaluable purchase.

Okay, here’s an adapted version of what I’m learning that I need:

  • A private apartment
  • Noise canceling headphones
  • A dedicated Internet connection that can’t be turned off
  • An environment with good temperatures (not too hot, not to cold, or the ability to moderate)

Still, it’s a simple list relatively speaking. I think we’re very lucky in the US in that we have this, and also it’s something I’m accustomed to. But Buenos Aires has been a great experiment in living/working virtually. I’ve been able to have some of the most important business meetings and conference calls while experiencing Bife de Chorizo, Tango shows, Christmas in 80 degree temperatures, Empanadas.

And after hours, there was nightlife that goes until 6 am, speaking Spanish every day, a mix of European and Central (and North) America, theaters, the widest street in the world, great parks, and everything great about a new culture… all within the view of my “office.”