Negative Nancy? Not Now.
I realized that I had less than one month left in Buenos Aires and I became frustrated. I thought of all the ways the city wasn’t what I imagined it to be, the fact that I hadn’t done as much traveling as I thought I would, didn’t enjoy my homestay or classes as much as I had hoped, and once I started thinking of all of the things I had to do to prepare for next semester, my mind began to explode. I didn’t have all my Christmas gifts bought, I wasn’t sure about my classes for next semester and I had no idea where I was going to live. Add all of these problems with the stress of rapidly approaching finals and you get a very confused JNicole. I didn’t want to think about anything or do anything. I was upset that two of my best friends here were going to Chile and I couldn’t go because our class schedules were so different. Thanksgiving was approaching and although I was thankful for the opportunity to travel and study abroad for another semester, I couldn’t help feeling like something was missing.
So I sat, thought, and pouted. Feeling drained of energy I mindlessly searched the web. And then it hit me. “Go somewhere nearby for Thanksgiving weekend since you don’t have much time” I thought to myself. Uruguay is the quickest country to get to from Buenos Aires as it is just a ferry ride away. I decided to go to Montevideo and Punta del Este for the weekend because both cities had beaches for me to relax. Since several of my friends had already visited these two cities, and I knew a few people that were going Thanksgiving weekend so I decided to just book my ticket and go. I had traveled alone before in Europe, so I figured going to Uruguay by myself would be the perfect way to relax and get back to happiness.
That weekend trip was what I never knew I needed. I learned several things about myself in just four days. The first thing I learned was that I am really lucky. On the morning that I was leaving for Uruguay the door to my homestay was jammed and it took an hour to fix the problem. I was stressing out and didn’t get to the dock until it was time for my boat to leave. Lady luck was on my side that day and I was able to make it on the boat (Argentines are horrible with time). When I got to Montevideo I walked around peaceful and ran into four boys from NYU in Buenos Aires. We decided to go to a café together. After we parted ways I went back to my hostel and ended up having dinner with my roommate. I had a relaxing night and slept well.
The second thing I learned/relearned was that traveling alone had its perks. For one I could change my plans whenever I wanted to. I woke up in the morning to walk along the coast and take pictures. It seemed like Montevideo was a perfect mixture of a city and a beach town. I walked around the coast for an hour and ended up having lunch with two girls from NYU BA who I ran into while exploring the city. I hadn’t planned to spend so much time in Montevideo because I heard that it wasn’t that interesting of a city but I enjoyed my time there. I didn’t leave for Punta del Este until 4 when I had originally planned to leave around noon (good thing buses leave every 30 minutes).
Next, I realized that eating alone isn’t as depressing as it sounds. I took myself out to dinner and didn’t feel alone. I was happy with my meal and the price. It was near my hostel which made it convenient since I didn’t want to walk back in the dark alone.
When I got back to my hostel I saw the four boys plus one more from NYU BA. We ended up hanging out that night and the next day. I learned that I could get along with other people with ease. I had never really spent that much time with them in Buenos Aires but we seemed to mesh well.
In the end my vacation was the perfect mix of solitude and being with friends. I returned to Buenos Aires refreshed and ready for the laborious weeks ahead.