July 21, 2015, by Rachel Bainbridge
Argentina has become part of who I am
Now entering into my seventh month of living in Buenos Aires, I can’t quite believe my time here has gone so fast. In fact, I want it to slow right down or rewind back to September so I can live this all again. Having said that, since September I feel that I have come a long way with my Spanish, yet only realizing this in the last few weeks. Many other friends have boasted how they felt the evident ‘switch’ in their fluency long ago….on the other hand, there was me with little confidence still waiting for this lightning change to happen. Safe to say, I am feeling pretty happy with what I have achieved so far this year, and not only in term of Spanish.
It takes time to build up any relationship, be it in another language or in your mother tongue. So when I first arrived in Buenos Aires, finding fellow British students was a serious de-stressor from the epic relocation from London. Knowing that there were other UK students to grab a drink with, or in worst case scenarios, have a break down made the transition to Argentina a bit more comfortable! Safe to say, these other ‘expats’ are not only some of my closest friends now, but don’t live too far from me back in England. Perhaps we can recreate Buenos Aires in London to get over the blues of having to move back to the cold and grey country that always rains!
The greatest connection I have made this year is with my Argentine work friends. I cannot explain how much I adore them, and fair to say, being the only blonde British girl, I have earnt the affection from the office too! Before arriving, I think I underestimated how friendships are made. Hand on heart, my friends in Argentina are some of the most welcoming, caring, kind and considerate people I have ever met. And I cannot thank them enough for helping make Buenos Aires my home and sharing so many memories with them including going to football matches, water parks, BBQs and lots more.
Through all of these connections, the one I haven’t yet addressed is that with Argentina itself. Not just Buenos Aires, but the entire country! By the time I leave I will have lived here for 10 months, and in that time I have learnt so much. I feel like I have tried (and hopefully successfully) lived the life of an argentine, and in that sense Argentina has become part of who I am. I hold a strong sense of pride of the country and dread to think of leaving here. But in a more positive light, it just means I can start planning when I come back and have more memories with all the connections I have made!