The semester is coming to a close; the following week marks the end of the journey of a lifetime. It is unbelievable how quickly the past 6 months have gone; it feels like yesterday when I got off the plane from New York and scrambled to find my hotel in Buenos Aires and prepare for backpacking in Patagonia.
I have started to pack my bags, take final exams, and say my goodbyes to my friends both from Pitt and Argentina. When reflecting on my time in Argentina, I realize how much I have grown and learned about myself; I am leaving this program with an unprecedented confidence and the ability to be conformable with being uncomfortable. It would be an understatement to say that the past few months have been life-changing; it is hard compare my time here to anything I’ve done before. The contrasting areas of Argentina have completely different landscapes, from beaches to glaciers to waterfalls to canyons. A key takeaway from this trip was the self-revelation that I enjoy traveling slowly; I’d rather spend more time in one place than try to see as many different locations as time allows. I feel that I truly got to know Argentina; I spent my time almost exclusively within the nation’s borders. It is incredible how many different things there are to do just within one country; I barely scraped the surface of South America yet every single day had something unique.
As much as I enjoyed traveling solo, the friends that I’ve made through the Global Business Institute made the experience incredible. Having a community of 12 Pitt students has provided a tight knit group of friends that I’ll have upon my return to school. There were many instances when I forgot that I was halfway across the world; hanging out with Pitt students made me feel like I hadn’t left the US.
My balance between traveling and living in Buenos Aires provided a well rounded experience; I got to see the best destinations that Argentina has to offer while having a sense of ‘home’ in Buenos Aires. Once I was in a routine in Buenos Aires, it didn’t really feel like I was a foreigner anymore. It was my city. The comfortability of living in a new country is invaluable; I feel like I can travel anywhere in the world and find my feet.
At this point in time I do feel ‘ready’ to leave Argentina and get my life going once again in the United States, but I will certainly be leaving a changed man. This chapter of my life will remain significant for a long time indeed.