It's time to navigate away from Indiana again. The school year is starting, and I'm about to move to a country I've never visited. Come Tuesday, I will have some new students, new co-workers, a new home with someone else's furniture, and a new culture to study...thankfully in a language I'm already comfortable with. Last year's school locations of Ecuador, Thailand, and Germany look to be replaced by some diverse locales, all brought to you by the letter "B".
I'll be spending the first term in Buenos Aires, Argentina, visiting Bhutan in January, and spending the rest of the academic year in Boston, USA. I'm equally excited by all three locations for very different reasons.
Perks of BsAs
- I can, without judgment or question, wear a massive red flower in a low bun.
- It will be early spring when I arrive, and that means boots. Stomping around cities in big ole boots.
- I have dreams of killing at some form of latin dance. Maybe Tango is my zone. If not, I'll find another and put my packed dance clothes to good use.
- Red, red wine.
- New country of which I've never heard an ill word spoken.
- Apparently, it's easy to live like a rock star with the help of a Mr. T. Ferriss.
Perks of Dragon Land
- It's on those mountains I love so much.
- They have dragons...or so say my Bhutanese students. I'm ready with my binoculars and fire-resistant jacket.
- Gross National Happiness > Gross National Product
- Did I mention mountains yet? I like them a lot, especially when we can mix and mingle.
- Photographic opportunities will abound. I'm sure of it. This video by Pogo proves it.
Perks of Beantown
- Murka! We'll have easy access to liberty, freedom, and all sorts of patriotic goodies.
- Same time zone and country as my friends and family, so NO ONE has an excuse not to call...frequently.
- Friends and family can not only call but visit!
- Pandora. Hulu. Good internet connections. Work and life never buffering.
- I have missed New York City this year and hope that the close proximity means filling some of those gaps.
Preparing to be a Porteña
My clothes are splayed out across the basement floor. This cues my cat to nervously pace and start killing woodland creatures for bait to make me stay. This is when I'm motivated to find new music, new apps, new outfits, and possible events, activities, and excursions to enjoy in the new host city.
It's a special time of optimism and promise.
What often happens–rather quickly–is that I get distracted by the new locale and the tasks at hand. I lose perspective and the kind of balance that allows a person to be well-rounded. To curb this phenomenon, I'm hitting BsAs with a list of goals on a desktop Stickie. They're ones I successfully eased into during the Berlin term and seemingly written by someone realistic with experience.
Once I find an apartment and get my claws in, I'll be spending very little downtime at home. After all, there are festivals, good food (not just beef and wine), dancing opportunities, chances to giggle, and recommendations from other travelers to look into. It's four months of living uninterrupted. That hasn't happened to me in years.
As you can see above, I like to mentally prepare for a destination by watching shorts online, and while looking for videos of Bhutan, I came across this one that brought to my attention my need for fresh air in many forms.
Well said, Mr. Bertke. I'm ready for a couple deep breaths.