Yeah, I know. The title of this post is a little odd, but I have no other idea how to express what I’m about to say.
Flat out: I liked Buenos Aires, but I think I’d rather live there than travel there. Does this make any sense?
I know that I can sometimes be a cheesy traveler/tourist. When I visit a new place, I want to know what the residents are like. I want to see what is distinctive about that place and why visitors and locals like it. I usually find all of this out by a mix of roaming and people watching, but I also want to go to the known frequented spots, too. I know it’s the nerdy, restless traveler in me. Often there’s a reason why there are must-see places to visit. I don’t feel ashamed about getting my “tourist on”. It’s fun.
So knowing this about myself, when I got to Buenos Aires, I realized something by the end of my time there: I’d rather LIVE in Buenos Aires than visit there. Part of this stems from the fact that there wasn’t enough for me personally to “ooh” and “aah” over. I like being awed by a place. Buenos Aires felt homey and familiar.
Instead of being bowled over by the city, I kept picturing myself in Buenos Aires.
I saw myself hanging out on rainy Saturday afternoon browsing through El Gran Ateneo Bookstore.
El Gran Ateneo is a converted theater.
I saw myself spending afternoons in the Japanese Garden on a park bench reading a book or people-watching.
I could totally see myself sitting in one of Buenos Aires’ plazas staring at all of the statues and other beautiful public art.
The next time I’m in Buenos Aires, I hope it’s for a longer period of time where I can just kick it and really become a part of the city. Buenos Aires reeled me in. Sometimes a place doesn’t need to wow you for it to still be special and worth visiting.
Have you ever traveled to a place where you would have preferred being a local to being a traveler?