The results from the ‘Where Should Colin Go?’ poll are in, and the winning country is Argentina.
What do I know off the top of my head about this country? Not much.
I can tell you that they are known for their dancing, especially the tango, that they have famous beef farms, and that Buenos Aires is supposed to be a mecca for travelers from the United States and Europe, due to something that happened in the last 20 years or so regarding their peso (I believe they tied its value to the dollar in some way) which lowered its value in comparison to the dollar, so that an individual like myself would be able to go and live there, enjoying the comforts and benefits of a large city but at a fraction of the cost.
I know they speak Spanish in Argentina, though I’m sure the slang is vastly different from the Spanish I learned in high school (which was largely Cuban). I also know that Patagonia is in the southern half of Argentina, that they have some wonderful vineyards, and that it is, I believe, the second largest country in South America (after Brazil).
Next, I will do some research on Argentina, compile some information, figure out what my next steps are (especially in regards to learning the language, getting a travel/work visa, tax issues, etc), and write another post all about it.
And Argentina, I’ll see YOU in September.
Update: April 23, 2016
I was so psyched about Argentina. I didn’t have any idea what to expect from the vote, but looking back, Argentina was a pretty popular destination for expats, so I should have guessed that either Buenos Aires or Bangkok (also popular in the jet-set, Four Hour Workweek corner of the net) would be my first home overseas.
I learned an immense amount about Argentina while there. I traveled around the country, spent time in the south, spending weeks in Ushuaia, though I had only intended to spend a few days. Buenos Aires was my hub, though, and so much happened there. I learned about scams and how to better avoid them. I learned about setting aside comfort zones and the benefit of doing so. I made some friends who continue to be in my life today.
My Spanish improved. My priorities came into clearer focus. I also got the first whiff of something that wouldn’t fully lock into place until my next home (New Zealand): that my business model wouldn’t work very well from the road.
At the time I was still working with clients from LA, and though I’d handed off a lot of the in-person, large-scale projects and clients, I was still doing small bits of hands-on work, and a lot of consulting. I figured that scaling down in this way would allow me to live the dream and work from my laptop, earning enough to make it all work, despite the lessened workload.
I was right in some respects, and very wrong in others. I was able to make it work monetarily, because my expenses were lower than back in Los Angeles. But I was tied to my laptop in a really disappointing way. Yes, I was in this new city, but the work I was doing kept me glued to the screen, which meant I was kind of just sitting at a new desk located in a different city — my hours weren’t any more favorable for exploration.
The idea of writing books for a living (which is what I do today) hadn’t been fully realized. I was considering it in the way all business people think of writing a book as an ‘asset’ to leverage; a product that people will pay $50 for because it provides them with the ability to earn that much money or more as a result of reading it.
I was also telling myself, it’s worth noting, that I probably couldn’t even write a book: I was a reader, not a writer. I could jot down blog posts, sure, but a book? Probably not.
Oh, how times changes.