Hey Fernando, I’m sure you get a lot of these so here’s another one… expat moving to Argentina haha more specifically Buenos Aires.
I’m 28 years old now and my travels to Argentina began in May 2014. I was down on life, bored and wasn’t living at all. All I did was work, wake up and work. The weekend would come by, I would relax and Monday the routine started all over again.
Being kind of young I was so I don’t know… depressed perhaps with my way of living. I live near NYC by the way. As you get older, people you knew you don’t ever see again and the close friends you have you may still talk to but rarely get to see. Everyone has their responsibilities now and I also realized another thing… the american dream.
Buying a home. $350,000 minimum where I live and then work until my 50s until the debt is paid off and keep working. It sounds more like an american nightmare to me. Paying to live where I’m not happy and being in over a quarter million of debt.
Me being the loner that I once was I would spend alot of my time online just chatting with people on cam sites. I found one where alot of Argentinians would go on and I would cam
with them and exchange facebooks and whatsapp. Eventually my facebook got filled with Argentinian girls that I would speak to. My spanish was horrible at the time by the way, even though I am from spanish decent I was more gringo than anything else. I told myself, wouldn’t it be cool to meet these people in person? I mean like we’ve been chatting for almost a year now and I know a couple of people in different locations so why not travel? All these ideas were popping up in my head and I couldn’t get rid of them.
The whole idea just seemed crazy but crazy good. Meeting people I never met before in person, going to a country I never been to before and not have travelled anywhere out of country in over 10 years… maybe I had to be crazy.
But the adrenaline rush kicked in and I said Derrick… go for it. What do I have to lose? I wasn’t having fun over here regardless so why not try something different? I knew once I confirmed that flight payment there was no turning back and I sure enough went through with it and booked my flight for May 2014. May came, the flight took off, landed the next day on Friday and from Ezeiza I went straight to Laferrere where my first friend was haha Now was I shocked? No. I obviously saw that it was a poor community but I thought this was what it was when I first arrived. I did not know Laferrere was considered “poor” or “dangerous” I just went to go see my friend in a country I never been to before, so I humbled myself and accepted the fact that I won’t see what I am used to seeing here in New York and thought Laferrere was normal.
To cut that the trip short let’s just say I had one of the most wonderful experiences of my life that impacted me forever. I cried, I laughed, I drank and I actually for after a long time started to feel like I was alive and I never met people that were so humble. I would walk down the street and randomn people would say hello to me as they pass me by. They are so family oriented and do live what we consider in the north “poor” but they were so rich in life and didn’t just work and go home to sleep. There was so much culture. I said to myself I was going to come back and I kept that promise.
Fast forward and it is now Janurary 2015, the flight took off and this time you would think I would prepare myself a little bit better…
I didn’t. I came again and was looking for an apartment the day I landed which I was then at Pablo Nogues, Malvinas. My friends father was able to find me a place at his friends house, where I stayed for the week and on this trip I had an allergic reaction to something that gave me rashes all around my thighs, legs and arms. I winded up going to the Malvinas Hospital in Pablo Nogues, where I was treated free of charge, and I was even interviewed and shown on the TV for my treatment ! First Norte Americano treated at Malvinas Argentinta Hospital. It was more of a propaganda for the then running for Mayor Jesus Cariglino but it was still a wow experience. I was aired on national Argentine TV!!! haha
I’ve been really grateful to cross paths with some of the most humble people on my journeys. Let’s fast forward to now Janurary 2016, did I prepare myself this time? I sure did with a whole quinta all to myself en Santa Maria de Los Olivos, Pablo Nogues. It was a huge home, bigger than anything around here where I live. 2 floors, 5 bathrooms, 4 bedroom. In-ground pool outside and it was just wow. I spoiled myself. I loved the home but the the gated community life wasn’t for me. Everyone who visited had to check in with the guard, there were no surprises, people would get lost trying to find the home within the gated community and even myself got lost many times. It would literally take 5 minutes of driving to get to the home once you were in. I felt far away from everybody. I couldn’t just get out of the house and be outside, I would take my bike and travel out the country and around Pablo Nogues.I even met new friends on this trip en La Plata with my bike. Again it was a great experience and I wanted more.
Fast forward now to February 2017 and this time I rented myself a Toyota Corolla, which over here in the states is like an economical poor man’s car. I had to pay 1200 USD to rent the damn thing for 10 days. I didn’t like the car at all but the other ones they had to offer were weird looking and they wanted 4000 USD for the BMW serie 3 which is ridiculous.
So I stuck with the Corolla and had rented an apartment I had found on Mercado Libre in San Isidro, Buenos Aires. I had come across this town on my last travel and it was a beautiful city. Everything was paved, great for bike riding, people were out enjoying the sunshine and it was a nice community. So I wanted to try here for my next vacation which I did. I came to the conclusion that this is where I want to be in my life.
Being 28 years old I finally said, I found home. This is where I want to grow, be stable and one day have a family. I found my happiness and an amazing culture. I found Damas Gratis too haha I loved all my trips to this beautiful country. I didn’t arrive as a tourist per say.
Every one of my trips I was out in the barrios, Laferrere, Jose C Paz, Pilar, Gonzalez Catan, Pablo Nogues, La Plata. I actually never been to the capital until my third trip out. I didn’t care for the big buildings and nice things. The people I met had plenty to offer in their barrios and I loved it all. I never even had a hamburger with fried egg on it until I came to Argentina. It was the best thing ever! I now make it over here lol I’m telling you Argentina is awesome.
Yes the government may be corrupt, in bad shape and the economy may be suffering a bit but it is not as bad as over here. At least people in Argentina are free. They have more liberty than we do here in the United States. I actually hate this government. I hate how we cause wars all over the world. I hate how we have to be the global police for anything that happens outside of this country. I hate how we have so many regulations, laws and rules and police for all this security that is over more than enough.
Oh and I hate how we have only 7 official holidays over here and I myself only have 1 week vacation for a large company that I have been with for three years. We work ourselves to death over here. Other people may say well that’s how it is, well no. Not for me. Argentina is where I’m going. I’m tired of the wars and rumors of wars, tired of all these movement groups, tired of the goverment lies and the attack on the people, tired of this gender identity issue they are raising in the schools. My child does not have to decide weather he is a girl or a boy, he/she will be born what he/she was born as. I don’t understand why these schools have to have gender identity classes. This whole country I just find evil.
Overall I find that Argentinian people know how to live. They help one another, are family oriented people and like to live more than work. I’m going to be moving to Buenos Aires soon within a few months and will be transfering my money with Bitcoin.
I’m working long hours and as much as I can to reach a goal of 100,000 USD but I may not reach it in time which is before the winter. That’s another thing I hate about being where I live. I hate the snow. I don’t like it at all. I even hate looking at it lol
Cold weather is not for me. The hotter the better. I don’t think moving to Argentina is a bad idea as I saw in your video,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7wx5sUNBo0
It’s not for everybody of course but if you like the simple lifestyle and are a humble person than you can live here. I don’t need much. I should be able to find work as an air conditioning/refrigeration technician and that’s how I will live. Its been 4 years now since you made that video about relocating to Argentina. What are your thoughts now Fernando?
I’ve been looking for a place to rent and have been searching around Tigre, San Fernan, Lopez, even San Miguel isn’t too bad.
I’m not sure where your 5000USD figure a month comes from but what I’ve found on Mercado Libre I can pay around 600 dollars a month for rent, and probably less if I can get the locals to help me out. I’m not looking to live like a king but just looking to live.
Hope I didn’t take too much of your time with reading! God Bless!
Take care of yourself out there.
Hello Derrick, thanks for your email and for sharing your story.
You know, a few years ago I would have told you you’re crazy, get psychological help and don’t move to Argentina by any means.
Today, a few years older and a bit wiser, I will say to you that if you found home and you feel Argentina is the place for you then follow that dream because life is too short to do otherwise.
People in Argentina are friendly and as you notice family oriented. We like having friends over, we enjoy talking for hours among friends and family. There’s no lunch or dinner schedule. A friend drops by one afternoon and he stays drinking mate the entire afternoon. By the time you realize its night time he stays over for dinner and crashes in the couch. I wont lie to you, I do miss that, I miss the passion people have over there which isn’t as common elsewhere. My neighbour in Ireland, when I moved there I was chatting with him and he didn’t know the name of the woman living next to him that had been living there for at least 30 years. I told him “oh, so you moved here recently too?”. “No” he said, “I’ve been living here for 20 years”. 20 years and he didn’t know the name of the woman living next door. I later found that’s rather common.
But as much as I miss my country it still is what it is and the reason why I left, crime and insecurity, are very much an issue and even worse than before I left, which was pretty bad already. For me, the risk of one day getting my wife or children hurt was just too much. Even just living with that tension all the time, it was driving me nuts.
You seem to not bothered much by that and usually I’d say being chill is best, but in Argentina the danger is very real. Too real. Statistically you’ll be a victim of a violent crime in a couple years in Argentina.
Laferrere is a TOUGH place. Even for Argentine standards. I can imagine the shock coming from USA. That doesn’t mean you cant find fantastic people there. On the contrary, its usually people that have very little the ones that appreciate others things, make great friends. But especially in places like those security is a matter of daily survival.
5000USD is at the very least what I would need to have the same lifestyle I have in Europe in Argentina. A nice house, good schools, which in Argentina means private schools for two kids, and good medical care such as Swiss Medical which was the one I had (and recommend). Security wise if I had to go back to Argentina I’d move to a “country”, a gated community for security purposes. I don’t like being locked up either but theres a reason why there are so many of those gated communities in the first place. Many of these are things you don’t need as a single guy, but with a family they are an issue.
The one very important thing that HAS changed in Argentina is the politics. Mauricio Macri is now president and with a bit of luck the populist communist scum wont come back any time soon. It will take a lot of time though until Macri sorts the country.
Best of luck in Argentina, I wish you the best!
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”