"Life is a journey, not a destination" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Life is a journey, not a destination" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 11, 2012


I had zero expectations of what Uruguay would be like when I arrived. I hadn't even planned to go to Uruguay on my trip, but I am so glad I made the spontaneous decision to hop a boat from Buenos Aires and take a look around in this beautiful, underrated country.

 I first landed in Colonia del Sacramento, the oldest town in Uruguay. The extremely photogenic 17th century historic quarter is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Colonia is the epitome of charming: cobblestone tree-lined streets, abundant flowers, antique cars, and an old lighthouse: all right on the waterfront. It was perfect fall weather when I was there: sunny blue skies, a crisp breeze, and colors starting to show on the trees. All this to say, it was beautiful. I'll let the pictures say the rest:

 (See the rest of the pictures in my facebook album here!)

 Next, I spent some time in the capital city, Montevideo. A typical big city, it has plenty of plazas, museums, parks, nightlife and shopping. It was very nice but, after falling head over heels in love with Colonia, Montevideo was only that: "nice."

"Hand in the Sand"

 I also took a quick trip east to a resort town of Punta del Este. In the summer, this is where the richest of the rich in South America come to be seen and enjoy their exquisite summer homes.  Although the town was nearly empty because it wasn't beach weather, there were still miles of scenic rocky coastline to marvel at.

And that about wraps it up! South America, it's been real, but I'm headed home now. I promise I'll be back someday. There's still just so much of you that I want to see.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Buenos Aires: Let's have some culture!

Ah "Baires": A city that has been on the top of my to-see list for years. It's said to be the Paris of South America, not only because of the strong European influence, but also because a lot of the beautiful architecture strikingly resembles Parisian architecture.

I have already seen so much natural beauty in Argentina, so in Buenos Aires, I was ready for some culture! Naturally, I spend a lot of time doing the typical touristy things and the stereotypical "Argentinian" things. So here's my checklist on how to be a tourist in Buenos Aires:

1. Visit the colorful neighborhood of  "La Boca"

2. Find Eva Peron's grave in Recoleta Cemetery

3. Grab a café con leche at the famous Cafe Tortoni

4. Take siesta in one of the many plazas.

5. Eat steak. Drink red wine. 

6. Take tango lessons.

7. Stay out til the bars and clubs close at 6am (sometimes later). 

8. Watch some fútbol! (Pay a guy who knows a guy to sneak you into the game if it's sold out)

9. Cross the world's widest avenue, Avienda 9 de Julio (16 lanes!) to 
see the iconic Obelisco and Congress building. 

10. Spend Sunday afternoon at Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo wading through 
antiques markets, street performers, and live tango.

12. Visit the president's offices, Casa Rosada (Pink House).

11. Grab a choripan at a local street parilla (grill).

13. Make new friends and new memories.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Argentina: All this beauty

Upon arriving in Argentina, my first stop was working at a Bed & Breakfast near Buenos Aires for a week. After that, I was rested and ready to venture out to see some nature. So here's a quick update on how spoiled I have been lately. Okay, not spoiled. But definitely feeling so blessed by all the beauty I have seen, both in nature and in new friends.

Another one for the bucket list: Las Cataratas de Iquazú (Iguazú Falls). A UNESCO World Heritage Site and called one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature, these are some of the most spectacular falls in the world. Only the Victoria Falls in Africa can compare in terms of size, although the Iquazú falls are wider and have more individual cascades.

All this to say, they were stunning. At some moments, I was surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfall. All senses engaged, I could feel the spray on my skin, hear the thunderous roaring of the cascades, and see the gorgeous rainbows created by the sun in the mist.

Next stop: Salta.

 While I stayed in the bustling city of Salta, I spent most of my time there venturing out to a few different tiny colonial towns in the surrounding region, including Cafayate, Cachi, Humahuaca, and Purmamarca. Along the way I stopped for some vineyard tours, colored mountains, valleys, gorges, cacti, rivers, and so much more magnificent landscape.

And finally, Córdoba.

Mate in the park
In this university town, I couchsurfed with a great girl, Flor, who took me out to see how the students in Cordoba live on the weekends. We hung out drinking mate in the park (a very typical Argentinian tea), experienced Cordoba's legendary nightlife at its finest, shopped at artisan markets and flea markets, and had an awesome Sunday asado with friends (a BBQ with tons of meat and wine that lasts all afternoon).

Capilla del Monte

Los Terrones Park

fter the weekend, Flor and I headed out to Capilla del Monte, a small town outside of Cordoba that lies in the Sierras. We camped out in the tent for a night and did some unforgettable hiking in the cerros and rock formations of the Sierras de Cordoba.

So my first few weeks in Argentina have been busy and filled with beauty. Now I'm off to enjoy city life again in Buenos Aires!