One-Way Ticket to Buenos Aires

By Terrence Henry
henry mar 12 buenos aires_blmurch.jpg

Photo by blmurch/Flickr CC

Ignoring the failed adventures of other yuppies before us, my wife and I have decided to enter "temporary retirement" at the age of thirty and move to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The plan is simple: to live, without working in any conventional sense, and to live well.

When we tell people this, the questions we get in return are now easy to predict. After a few rounds of "Really?," the first question is, "Why Argentina?" (Except for my father, whose first question was, "Why, in the middle of the greatest economic downturn of the last hundred years, are you leaving your job?" To which I replied, "Because in six months it probably won't be there anyways.")

I can't say for certain why Argentina, because we've never been. But after hearing breathless testimonials from friends, a vision of a promised land formed: a place where citizens subsist largely on free-range, grass-fed beef (to the tune of 132 pounds annually, per capita on average, the highest in the world); where the great wines are too good to export; where the dollar is actually strong; a place with a Parisian sensibility, Italian roots and Latin flavors.

I can't say for certain why Argentina. But after hearing breathless testimonials from friends, a vision of a promised land formed.

There was also a promise of quirk: reports that everyone in the city of Buenos Aires hoards miniscule amounts of change; that the locals drink red wine mixed with coke in summer; that no one really picks up after their dogs, so even a leisurely stroll requires a certain amount of attention. A city where you can live off two steaks a day, if you like.

So in late December, we left our jobs in Washington, DC, and began preparations for an indefinite adventure in the other hemisphere. Our aim is to cook, dine, imbibe, gorge and nibble our way through the city, and the country, over the next year or so (don't plans like these deserve an open end?). I hope you'll enjoy reading along.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/03/one-way-ticket-to-buenos-aires/771/