Traveling again por fin! Bs As, Argentina

December 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Buenos Aires!  Launching out again – another test in life, knowing myself, and working and living virtually from another culture, another continent, another history, new rules, new foods, and a whole new set of experiences!  A dream come true… on purpose.

Someone said to me recently

“… remember, you’re very luck to be experiencing all of this.”

Though I fully agree I have to say it has nothing to do with luck.  I carefully planned, prepared, notified business associates, coworkers, family, tenants, etc of my absence.  I set up my Skype phone, my Google Voice number, my International plan for my iPhone, got a SIM card for my local Argentine phone, searched for and set up an apartment via Craigslist before I left.  I have been no less available to anyone away then I was when in Seattle.

This is the 3rd test so far and each time I learn something new.  My only criteria:

1) a quiet place, with my own keys

2) with Internet

Sounds simple enough?

So far, from staying between hostels, friends’ houses or hotels, to renting a shared apartment – I’ve learned what works and what does not work.

Wi-fi being ‘available’ – if you’re in Central America, it can be like dial-up, with 8 people sharing the same connection, and maybe just maybe the power won’t go out for hours.

In Eastern Europe, they may have wi-fi but if the cafe is open until midnight, they might decide to cut it off (just because?) around 8 pm.  It’s probably great to turn it off so people will relax and enjoy life, but, some warning helps.

Buenos Aires is a city that is always connected, unless the neighbor decides to do construction and cut the power lines.  A quiet apartment in a city that never sleeps isn’t impossible, but noise canceling headphones for Skype turned out to be an invaluable purchase.

I’m learning that I need:

- a private apartment

- noise canceling headphones

- a dedicated Internet connection that can’t be turned off

- an environment with good temperatures (not too hot, not to cold, or the ability to moderate – see Productivity and Temperature)

Still sounds simple and I think we’re very lucky in the US that we have this, and also it’s something I’m accustomed to.  But Buenos Aires has been a great experiment in living/working virtually.  I’ve been able to have some of the most important business meetings and conference calls while experiencing Bife de Chorizo, Tango shows, Christmas in 80 degree temperatures, Empanadas, nightlife that goes until 6 am, speaking Spanish every day, a mix of European and Central (and North) America, theaters, the widest street in the world, great parks, and everything great about a new culture – while still being in the office.