On February 19, 2013, I am moving to Argentina. This will not negatively impact the blog.

In July, my law school buddy called me while I was in Hawaii. He told me that when his Judge Advocate General (JAG) commitment ended at the end of the year, he was moving to Buenos Aires.

That sounded like a heck of a plan. For the last nine years–since I first left North America–I’ve wanted to live abroad at some point. “At some point” often doesn’t happen, and I know it’s less likely to happen as I get older and have more responsibilities. And Buenos Aires is one of my four favorite cities, along with Lima, Stockholm, and Madrid.

Another one of my goals is to become completely fluent in Spanish. I’m close to fluency, and I’m sure several months living in Buenos Aires will get me there. (For Spanish nerds, my accent is Peruvian/Spainish. I don’t plan to emulate Argentine “y/ll” sounds, so I won’t ever be confused for an Argentine. But as long as the person I’m speaking with guesses that I am from another Spanish-speaking country and not the US, I’ll consider it a win.)

So my buddy’s call was the perfect chance to say, “I’m moving to Buenos Aires too!” I took a look at my upcoming calendar–literally the Meet Up page because it’s the easiest place for me to check–and I saw I was booked through the middle of February with my trip to Australia/New Zealand and hosting my brother in Los Angeles on the free oneway he added to his Australia return.

As soon as he leaves, I’m leaving. I’m moving out of my apartment December 31. In the 50 days between then and Argentina, I’ll be traveling 34. The other 16, I’m sure I’ll bum a couch with friends.

How will this affect the blog?

Positively. By moving my location five time zones east, I’ll be much more aligned with the news cycle, so I can more easily bring you breaking news. Currently I’m waking up at noon PT/ 3 PM ET. If I wake up at noon in Argentina, that’s 10 AM ET.

Generally my commitment to the blog and the Award Booking Service will stay the same (or increase). I plan to continue with the daily, original content.

Can you help me out?

I’m very interested in anyone’s experiences with moving out of the country, ditching all their stuff, being an expat, being an expat in Argentina, Argentina currency issues, and anything else I’m not thinking about.

Right now my plan is to pack what I can into about four bags that I will fly to Buenos Aires with. Everything else I plan to give away or sell. For anyone who has dramatically slashed their possessions:

  • What is something I think I need that I really don’t?
  • What’s something I think I don’t need that I really do?
  • Any methods of selling or giving away to consider besides Salvation Army, craigslist, and friends?
  • Any other advice or something to think about that I’m not thinking about?

I’m planning to live in Buenos Aires for 5-6 months.

  • Where in Buenos Aires would you choose to live and why? Where would you choose to live if you had my preferences: nice parks and streets for walks, nice bar (not club) scene, good public transportation access?
  • How would you go about getting a short term, furnished rental?

I want to make friends with locals and expats alike.

  • If you’ve ever been an expat, how did you tap into the local expat community?

I know that inflation is galloping. Last time I was in Argentina, I went to Uruguay for a week, and the price at Ugi’s pizza had increased 15% when I got back. I know that I don’t want dollars or pesos in the Argentine financial system.

I’ve got my dollars in American bank accounts.

  • How can I have access to my dollars while in Argentina without putting them in an Argentine bank? If anyone has experience with this, it’s my main worry.
  • Any tips for navigating the financial system there are much appreciated.

During my South American stay, I would love to see Patagonia and Colombia. (I’m very excited about using US Airways miles in South America–30k roundtrip biz from Argentina to Colombia!)

I’ve been to all the Spanish speaking South American countries before except Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and Venezuela. I would not be opposed to getting a Paraguayan visa, but I will not be going to Brazil on this trip. I have bigger Brazilian plans for 2014.

  • What trips would you take from a Buenos Aires base? I am specifically interested in suggestions within Argentina, since I’ve only been to BsAs and Puerto Iguazu.

Thanks if you can answer any of my questions, or you can answer better questions that I haven’t asked. I think living in Buenos Aires for half a year will be an amazing chance to immerse myself in a new culture, perfect a second language, make new friends, and broaden my horizons. I couldn’t be more excited.

Bonus

I’m flying down on American Airlines Flagship First. I booked the award a few months ago. An Anatomy of an Award post is forthcoming. The award is oneway.

I’m considering leaving Argentina on the direct flight to Johannesburg on flat bed South African Airways business class. I’ve got a few tricks I want to try out with US Airways miles.

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