From Idaho to Buenos Aires: My Beautiful Air
My name is Vivi Rathbon. I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and now I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I studied abroad in college and loved having a first hand view of a different culture, city and language. When I graduated college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. At the time I had friends who were moving abroad to China to teach English. I thought that was a great idea. China didn’t appeal to me, but I was very curious about South America.
2. How do you make a living?
I’ve done a variety of things. I taught English. I worked as a headhunter. I worked in a Spanish School.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I am in constant contact with my friends and family back home. With Gchat, Facebook, Whatsapp and Skype it is to easy to stay connected with my friends and family back home. I communicate with them nearly every day.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Buenos Aires?
Do I have to pick one thing? I love this city, it is so full of interesting places, big parks, beautiful buildings and incredible people. I love the sunny weather and the street markets. I love the big, busy streets. I love the noise of the city. It is so alive. I also love the street art scene. The walls are covered in murals.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Buenos Aires?
It’s hard to live here. The economy is not stable. The city can be dangerous. It is hard to live far from family and friends. Many friends you make as an expat end up returning to the States.
6. What do you miss most?
I miss the grocery stores. I wish they had a Whole Foods and a Target in Buenos Aires. I miss really big lattes and I miss driving my car.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I have found it incredibly easy to meet people here and to form friendships. There are a lot of social activities, so I made friends by accepting invitations to things that interested me.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
The way they eat was strange for me initially. They eat a lot of meat and there was not as much variety as I would have liked. Men catcall in the streets, which was strange for me.
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
I really couldn't think of anything. I've been here too long and I don't know what other people think or say about Argentina that isn't true.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
I am not the best judge of this, because I learned how to support myself here. When I lived in the States, I was a student with support. I had to give up some luxuries that I was used to having, like a car and central heating and air conditioning, but somehow I survived.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Follow your heart. ;)
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in March of 2010 as a way to keep in touch with friends and family back home. Since then it has become my creative platform to share my experiences, writing and photography.
Vivi 's blog, My Beautiful Air
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