Tango in the Park, Markets on the Street…the Fun is Out There

Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel.

At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings. A tangle of festive purple jacarandas, fat-trunked ombus, and leafy acer trees line the tranquil cobblestone streets.

The trees provide a luscious shade during these endlessly sunny days when I walk to the heladeria (ice cream parlor) or café to get some writing done. The area is submerged in deep green, and I forget that just 20 minutes away by train is the creaking, bustling center of Buenos Aires.

Last week, when I decided to go into the city, I caught a spontaneous tango performance in a park gazebo near Chinatown. A small stereo sat on the ground and played old tango tunes, attracting passers-by who climbed upon the gazebo and began to slowly, seductively glide across the makeshift stage with their partners. Not surprisingly…in this birthplace of tango…random acts of tango occur all the time.

Another week, I had time each day to explore different parts of this very musical city: a folk rock concert at the main library’s auditorium…a showcase of indie musicians from Spain at the Spanish Cultural Center in San Telmo…a classical quartet playing at the opening of an experimental photography exhibition at the Botanical Gardens…and a lively 13-piece band performing cumbia on the streets of Palermo, the expat barrio.

Wandering further through Palermo, I weaved in and out of the colorful ferias, or street markets, which take place almost daily. In this creative city bursting with architects, designers, painters, and artisans, the feria offerings are all highly tempting: delicately handmade and recycled stationery items…locally sourced silver earrings…or leather mate gourds and much more.

My freelance writing allows me to live like this—free to move as I wish.

In the last eight years, I’ve lived and traveled in the Czech Republic, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, Thailand, and Uruguay.

I have so many more places on my list—and I have no doubt I will get to them eventually if I really want to. I never have to worry about asking the boss for some vacation time—because first of all, I’m the boss, and second of all, living like this is more or less like an endless vacation.

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