Next December, I will be returning to Buenos Aires, but not by myself. I am organizing a tour.
Why a tour?
I have lived in third world countries and traveled by myself to several continents. I am not brave by nature, but I have found that buying a non-refundable ticket prevents me from freaking out and cancelling my trip. I have been lucky to have had many opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.
I studied in Germany during college, and traveled around Europe by myself afterwards. I found that I could survive on my own (even if I mainly ate tangerines, cheese, bread & chocolate as a poor student). Starting off with a group and studying German, gave me a focus and some practice before I headed off alone.
I signed up for Peace Corps on a whim, and spent two beautiful years in Morocco. Again, being with a group, receiving orientation and language training, and knowing that, if anything bad happened, someone would help me get home--helped me on an adventure that I would not have tried alone.
I traveled to Buenos Aires for the first time in 1999. I went alone, but I knew several people who would be there. A friend picked me up at the airport and let me stay overnight until I found a pension. Another friend went to milongas and classes with me until I felt more relaxed.
I returned to Buenos Aires on my own, and then ventured to England and Spain by myself. Now I tend to travel by myself, but going with groups and then with a helping hand, aided my globetrotting.
I learn languages easily, which helps me meet people during my travels: if you like to talk as much as I do, not being able to communicate is way more frustrating than tripping through a new language. It has helped me meet new friends on each trip I have taken.
Many people are hesitant to venture into a new place by themselves. Whether it is a language barrier, a preference to travel with other people, food issues--it can be scary to just into an adventure alone. Going with a group of people can ease the stress of a new place, giving you more time to enjoy your trip.
Why with me?
I love this city! I love these people! I love tango!
I have now been to Buenos Aires seven times. This tour will be my eighth trip to the city.
This city is mine! The first day I spent in Buenos Aires, I just walked around all day, feeling at home. This city runs the same speed that I do. Each time I visit, I try out new milongas, go to new cultural events, walk to new neighborhoods, and have new adventures. There is always something new to do in such a large place. I don't get bored.
Having lived in the third world, when things don't go smoothly in Buenos Aires, I can stay calm. The lights go out in the milonga because too much energy is powering the air conditioners? No problem! Let's go to a different milonga! The bus doesn't come, and then four come in 5 minutes? Yes, that's how it always is, so let's walk! The subway is inexplicably closed? OK, it's taxi time. This is not the first world in some ways, so a sense of humor is needed when things go awry, but I am used to it.
I want to foster a love of the city, of tango, in you. I would love it if you use this as a first step to traveling alone! I am not trying to build a group who will need me to take them every year :-) I hope this will help you explore things that would be too scary on your own (or more fun with me!).
December 2016: put it on the calendar!
For those of you who have been reading my blog, you will know that I just got back from a few weeks in Buenos Aires, which were for the sole purpose of setting up the tour in 2016. I have group classes set up, a hotel, cultural exchange with students who want to practice English, connections to set up Spanish tutors for those who want to polish their language, a list of places to visit, and a bunch of fun milongas to go to, either together or in small groups.
I have helped dozens of people prepare for their first trips to Buenos Aires. Now it's time to TAKE people there myself. If you want to have fun, go somewhere with someone who absolutely loves that place. The enthusiasm rubs off.
I am only taking 8-12 people with me. I am still figuring out the pricing, but I am aiming to make it as cost-effective as possible. I hope this weekend to sit down and hammer out the details more fully, so that you know what to expect. The plan is December 1-14, perhaps leaving the last day of November to make a full two weeks in Argentina.
Come with me!