Maybe it’s because we have to regularly answer the question, “Why did you move to Buenos Aires?” But, it seems most long-term expats I’ve met here are all endeavoring to improve themselves in one way or another. Learning to create a more balanced work-life ratio has definitely been a focus of mine, and a recent visit from the fam was a happy way to check up on how I’m doing.
Case in point, when I lived in Los Angeles, I never took the trek through the Hollywood Hills, until some of my oldest friends made the trip out to visit.
I never made the journey to the Grand Canyon until my mom road-tripped with me back to L.A. for my second year of TFA (Teach For America), and we did everything possible to prolong our arrival.
I never even made it to Disney Land until one my best friends, a badass hair dresser in New York, visited and giddily insisted on frolicking about the Magic Kingdom for an afternoon.
So, when my mom and sister’s trip to Buenos Aires approached, I was delighted to find that I already had an extensive list of “my favorite” places to take them. This served as proof that amidst the flurry of daily life, I was managing to accomplish one of my goals here – to have an outside-of-work life … on a regular basis.
Moving to a foreign country in part demands this. Unlike the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, which will always be somewhat accessible in the States, very likely, this period of time is my one chance to understand Argentina through the way it displays its art, creates community, and parties on the weekends.
And so, thanks to my own homework, and the helpful advice of some generous students (and despite a raging stomach flu), I managed to show off the parts of this city I love, conquer some new adventures, and appreciate my many blessings in my life.
If you’re currently in Buenos Aires and contemplating what to do with traveling loved-ones (or about to come yourself), here are some suggestions:
One of my students from the town of Lobos suggested to go here for a “dia del campo,” and it was a perfect start to the trip. Going through Lobos Bus, it takes about an hour and a half to get there. I highly recommend it!
First reason why: There’s the comforting familiarity of Starbucks on the opposite corner of the bus station.
Second reason: At the estancia, they feed you all day long, and the grub is DELICIOUS!
Reason #3: The estancia provides the space and amenities to do a lot of normal family stuff that small Buenos Aires apartments don’t really accommodate. Such as …
Reason #4: It also provides a bunch of more unique activities.
2. Walk the Palermo Park
3. Visit Evita’s grave at the Recoleta Cemetary
4. Plaza de Mayo
We skipped the Obelisco and opted instead to check out …
5. San Telmo Market
6. Colonia, Uruguay
Why get one stamp in your passport when such a pleasant boat ride can get you two? This was my mom and sister’s big vacation for the year, and Colonia – particularly the beautiful vista at the Radisson in Colonia – was the perfect place for them to relax.
7. Tango Show
The quintessential touristy tango show will have you sitting amongst a bunch of foreigners. But you will still feel totally entranced by the other-worldliness of the dancers and especially the musicians. I couldn’t recommend more La Ventana – with their phenomenal six-man accordian orchestra. I’ve been twice and loved it both times.
(Had the stomach flu not crept into their visit, I also would have definitely taken them to a Tuesday night dance lesson and Milonga at La Catedral – a favorite venue among all locals and expats who have ever been there.)
There’s nothing that makes you feel loved like having your friends and family take time out of their busy lives to join you on your own adventure. Mom and Emilita, come back any time!!!