My main goal in these blogs is to be completely transparent. Day 1 of my living in Argentina absolutely terrified me.
I spent hours with an American buddy who showed me the ropes and that was awesome. But once we parted ways, I felt like a child lost without his parents.
The sole reason for this fear: my Spanish isn’t good enough to carry on conversations yet.
I felt too timid to go to a restaurant or store on my own. What if someone tries to talk to me? What if they throw things at me? What if la policia take me away because my Spanish isn’t good enough?
I’m ashamed to say that my first night was spent in my apartment trying to figure out how to get food delivered. None of the apps would accept my debit card, so I just didn’t eat.
I know. It pains me to admit that. I was even telling myself at the time, “Dude. You came here to get uncomfortable. What the hell are you doing sitting here in this room?” I began questioning how I’d make it a week let alone several months.
On top of that, I live right next to a major nightlife hub—La Plaza Serrano. Every Thursday to Sunday, the nights are loud and long.
I barely slept.
If every night was like that, I certainly wouldn’t make it. But then day 2 began.
I woke up saying out loud, “Fuck this. You do scary things. Go outside.”
So I put on my finest pair of crocs and went grocery shopping. The simple act of walking around my neighborhood made me feel 100x better. These people aren’t here to kill me.
In fact, I’ve never been around so many openly kind and social people in my life. Anyone anywhere will stop and talk to you if you ask questions or spark conversation. They might even invite you to dinner.
I got lost on purpose so I had an excuse to walk the many cobblestoned streets. I met two backpackers from San Francisco while waiting in line to exchange cash. I walked past some of the most stunningly beautiful women I’ve ever seen.
Then I bought some groceries. This whole batch cost $6.50. I could get used to this.
I also found a jiujitsu gym and rock climbing gym, both within walking distance. The BJJ gym has plenty of weights and equipment too so that takes care of where I’ll work out during the weeks.
In the evening, I attended a “workout and meditation” meetup. The organizer’s plan was to exercise and chat goals every Monday to start the week off right. I had to walk through the heart of my neighborhood of Palermo to get there.
I was in awe. I tried to balance basking in my surroundings with not looking too much like a gringo tourist. Not trying to get robbed, ya know?
Palm trees. Botanical gardens. Zero honking cars.
This place is beautiful. The people. The buildings. The weather…
I got to the park where the meetup was. There I met Edward and Mili.
Edward is a Swedish web designer traveling the world with his golden retriever Louie. Mili is an Argentinian product manager who wants to quit her job and work on her own startup.
We got along instantly.
After 40 minutes of an intense HIIT workout, we sat and meditated and visualized our perfect week. Edward would ask guided questions like:
- Who do you want to be this week?
- What do your mornings look like?
- What does the best version of yourself spend time doing (and not doing)?
I pictured myself going to more events, rock climbing, doing jiujitsu, meeting more people. I made an internal agreement that I wasn’t allowed to stay in my apartment simply because of fear. I had to be working or resting or something intentional. No avoidance.
After all that, the three of us just sat there chatting for another two hours. We talked entrepreneurship, they asked about my podcast, and I was picking their brains about things to do in Buenos Aires. It was sitting there, legs sore and mind 100% present, when all my anxieties and doubts simply faded and disappeared.
We eventually started walking back. Mili and I hugged and kissed each other on the cheek (a cultural greeting I’m still getting used to). Then Edward and I continued walking with Louie.
He and I discussed finding clients, hiring people, and self-improvement. We share a mutual love for Joe Rogan. We exchanged book recommendations. He told me he wanted to try Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
I made a friend.
I’m taking him to class with me tomorrow. Mili and I are getting dinner and beers this weekend.
I feel at peace typing these words on my balcony. It’s 23 degrees (73 degrees Fahrenheit for you uncultured swines).
Now I’m going to go get breakfast a few blocks away, walk to my new coworking space, and meet a dude for coffee I met online.
A lot can happen in 24 hours.