Since announcing to my friends and associates the decision that I will be spending my semi-retirement years in Argentina there is one question that everyone has been asking—“Why Buenos Aires?” Well, I spent a couple of years searching the globe for the place where I would most like to spend at least the next decade of my life. As a travel writer I was easily able to check out Europe—including Eastern Europe and Scandinavia— Mexico, the Southern United States, some Caribbean Islands, Central America and South America and upon my first visit to Buenos Aires in November 2007,
I knew I had finally discovered the ideal place for my emerging needs.
So there are numerous answers to that one simple question.
Firstly, the warm and friendly residents—known affectionately as portenos—welcome everyone from all over the world and seem to have a very cheerful charisma about them. Native Argentineans now making Buenos Aires their home plus the original Portenos and foreign residents, all enhance the international flair of this city. Secondly, the climate is very enticing with four distinct seasons—not like the eternal California or Florida summer— but very temperate and even a mild winter. No hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes to worry about either. Thirdly, Buenos Aires is known as the Paris of South America and it comes by this reputation honestly as it is truly a cosmopolitan, sophisticated city in the heart of Latin America. Fourthly, the cost of living and real estate is so inexpensive that my small but hard-earned nest egg will stretch further and last longer here than almost anywhere else. And last, but not least, the political climate in Argentina has stabilized since their economic woes of the early new millennium and foreign investment along with a strong local economy is making this country one of the new hot-spots amongst the smart foreign and South American investors and appears to be on a continuing upward trend.
Having identified my reasons it is important to note that there is much more to life in this amazing capital city. Within this metropolis of about thirteen million residents there is a multitude of diverse and historic neighborhoods to evaluate and each with its own unique character. The upscale Recoletta, the trendy new San Telmo or the historic Palermo are just a few to mention. The local Latin flair and customs are divergent in each enclave.
But some traditions are universal to the entire city. With dinner time starting at about 10PM this takes a little timing adjustment, but then the nightlife pulses with Tango and much more until at least 4AM and morning rush-hour doesn’t happen until 10AM. For portenos it’s all about living life beyond the workday and enjoying the fruits of your labor. So life in Buenos Aires also means a whole new body clock and Latin rhythm.
I was fortunate on my first trip to the city to meet the owner of ba4UApartments who, along with his English speaking team of consultants, provides a complete turnkey service of short-term apartment rentals, real estate consulting, legal services and interior décor services. This has made the entire transition very convenient even though I am thousands of miles away for most of the purchasing process.
Although I am currently linguistically challenged when it comes to Spanish, with the help of my new found amigos, I am managing to weave my way through the process to set up a new home in what I consider to be a Latin paradise. I am excited by the thought of my new residence not just in Buenos Aires but by the prospect of exploring all of the diverse regions and countryside that South America has to offer from the mountainous glaciers in the south to the arid north and the Pacific and Atlantic coastal vistas. Fodder for numerous fascinating travel stories in my future.
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