Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

The Headaches of Traveling

The past weekend I traveled outside BA for the first time since arriving almost two months ago to the famous Iguazú Falls. It was my first trip outside the city, not counting the suburb of Tigre, and despite some bumps along the way, the trip turned out much better than expected.

At home whenever I traveled with my parents, my mom would always be the one to spend hours planning our itinerary, and my dad would be the one to make sure we were always early to our points of travel. Now it was just myself who had to do all those things- reserving flights and the hostel, calculating how many pesos to bring, packing sufficient clothes, sunscreen, bug spray, and accounting for all the little miscellaneous items. I got advice from Marta as well as friends who traveled there the previous weekend, yet it was up to me to put everything into action. This made the week before the trip very stressful planning everything between classes and homework.

I was going with 5 other friends in the program, however, because of our differing schedules we were all arriving/leaving at different times. This made meeting up somewhat chaotic and dependent on Wifi to contact each other.

There was also a moment I nearly missed the whole trip together. My mandatory meeting at Migrations to apply for long-term residency was scheduled for the day of my flight so I had to push my flight for later during the day. However, as a government agency, Migraciones has the same speed as the DMV, so it ended up being more than two hours, leaving me little time to catch my new flight. I flagged down a taxi to speed me to Jorge Newbury Areopuerto instead of taking a collective as I planned. I arrived 35 minutes before my flight, but I couldn’t check in because the minimum time to check in before was 45 minutes…thankfully there was space on the next flight to Iguazú leaving a few hours later. I am not good with rushing and being late, so the whole experience put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day…Yet I was on my way, and from there on everything fell into place.

Besides the falls, my hostel, Mango Chill, was surprisingly one of the highlights. Having stayed in two hostels in the past, I had pretty low expectations, which were more than exceeded. It was a lot bigger than I imagined and had a cool vibe with hipster Buddhist imagery. The owner was super helpful and offered a BBQ one night and an all you could eat pizza night the next night for dinner, complete with unlimited beer and wine. We were also lucky enough to meet a variety of awesome fellow travelers. One was a girl from California around our age doing an internship in BA – we quickly clicked as she would accompany us to the Falls, and we made it a priority to go out once more in BA before she left in a month. We were also accompanied by two awesome Australians who were traveling South America for a few months before starting new jobs in Canada. Some others included two British guys crisscrossing Latin America, a Frenchman on the fifth month of his solo trip around the world, a hilarious Italian who for some reason knew the capitol of every U.S. state and was able to sing “G-d Bless America” and “America the Beautiful” with us at dinner and an American couple who were Peace Corps volunteers in the 70s and returned to meet up with some of the locals they were miraculously reconnected with. Being in the midst of all these different people with such interesting backstories felt exhilarating and really appreciative of the diverse world we live in.

So about the Iguazu Falls themselves…words cannot accurately tell how incredible they are. A new video will definitely be coming soon about them, although I know it’ll be a challenge to portray everything in a 3-4 minute video with all the footage I took…wish me luck!

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