I'm moving (not to NYC)
Nov 25, 2022 3:45 pm
My roommate just announced she’ll be moving out in March. This sparked three emotions.
- I’m super excited and proud of her for leveling up her life—starting a bigger and better job and moving in with her boyfriend.
- I’m sad to end the best living situation I’ve ever experienced.
- I can’t ignore the anxiety that comes from figuring out where to pack up and go next.
As you might’ve guessed from the title, I’ll address #3 in this post.
My immediate thoughts were on staying in this apartment, finding a replacement roommate, or getting a one-bedroom nearby. But hidden underneath was the reminder that I was supposed to move to New York City this fall.
Not only do I feel like I’ve given all my readers blue balls by not actually going. I also just have an itch for adventure that hasn’t been scratched. The last time I went somewhere totally new and had to rebuild myself, my community, and my skills, was when I studied in Germany at 20 years old.
That was eight years ago. Now, I’m (hopefully) much wiser, more competent, and more secure. If the immature boy that was Dill can live in another country, make life-long friends, and learn a foreign language…what’s stopping me now?
The obvious answer is nothing. Well, nothing but fear and excuses.
Cut to the chase
After the teaser email a few days ago, I got bombarded with texts asking where the hell I was off to. I must say making people wait for it brought me sadistic pleasure.
I’m moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Just for a few months. One of my besties has really helped me along with all of this.
“Do I go here for a year,” I asked. “Or do I stay put for another 12 months until I figure something else out?”
“Dill,” she replied. “You’re thinking in terms of one-year leases. Why don’t you lower the bar and just go somewhere for one to three months?”
She lived in Rwanda for years and met her husband there. Needless to say, this is someone I’m glad to have in my corner when it comes to living in another country.
When I confirmed my interest she started blasting me with articles and how-tos. I read every single one. Best South American cities for foreigners. Cheap Spanish classes online. How to secure health insurance and visas abroad.
What seemed like a nice little fantasy quickly became a set of clear-cut action steps. I renewed my passport and bought my plane ticket.
Why Buenos Aires?
I’ve been wanting to travel to Argentina’s capital city for years. It’s gorgeous, clean, and safe (especially relative to other South American cities).
But on top of that, it’s reliably rated as the #1 spot in the continent for digital nomads: people who can work anywhere in the world so long as they have a laptop and internet connection. As an online coach, a podcaster, and a writer…this is perfect for me.
For anyone interested, here’s a breakdown of the city from NomadList.
As with any place, there are tradeoffs. Let’s go through the cons first.
1) It’s a 10-12-hour travel day away from my friends and family.
You might be asking, “But Dillan, didn’t you say a few months ago your #1 value was close proximity to the people you love?”
Nothing gets by you, dear reader.
Yes, quality time with my peoples is something I cherish. That’s what the two-month excursion is for. 60 days will fly by I’m guessing.
Two friends have already shared ideas of coming down to visit. My birthday is right before my departure and my community’s annual coaching retreat is just after my return. There will be no shortage of friend time in these coming months.
Plus, Buenos Aires has a thriving and organized entrepreneurial community. Meetups, events, coworking spaces…It will be hard for me not to befriend like-minded individuals who also speak English.
I plan on taking a weekly Spanish conversation course. But with only two months, I’ll be leaning into my English-speaking compadres.
2) Uh, I think that’s it.
Some sites claim the internet is slow in South America. But others have said it’s no problem. So we’ll see.
Okay, the fun part.
1) As stated above, BA is a clean, safe, and beautiful city. It has beaches, high-quality nightlife and restaurants, and quaint and quiet suburbs.
Aside from the dirt-cheap public transportation, the city is incredibly walkable. I plan on living in the neighborhood of Palermo Soho, which at most would be a 10-minute walk to my gym and coworking space.
BA is said to feel more European than South American. It’s super organized and stylish. I’m certainly one of those things.
2) Same timezone.
Simple as that. I wouldn’t need to change anything about my schedule. Sessions, calls, sleep cycle…None of it shall be touched.
3) It’s ridiculously cheap.
The average cost of living (including rent, utilities, food, and fun)…is around $1000/month.
I pay more than that in rent alone.
A nice bottle of wine in BA is $3. A nice dinner? $9. The luxury one-bedroom apartment I’m looking at booking is $700 per month. It’s nicer than my current two-bedroom and costs $400 less.
The big reason I didn’t move to NYC was the disgusting cost of living. But now I feel like I’m being financially irresponsible for not moving to Argentina.
There are hundreds of reasons I could rattle off as to why I’m excited to sell all my belongings and fly to South America. The feelings of accomplishment, the new relationships, the skills I’ll develop.
But underneath it all, I’m just pumped to inject some novelty into my life.
I’ve grown into an entirely different human being these past five years. From attempting suicide, to starting to build my life, to working at a restaurant, to starting a blog, podcasts, and YouTube channels, to working in sales, to quitting that sales job to start my own business, to playing chess and doing jiujitsu, to making my business profitable and sustainable, to writing a book.
It’s been a wild ride. I’ve tried a plethora of new things and have been lucky that much of it has stuck.
But I’m still craving something to drastically take me out of my comfort zone. I thought it was New York. It wasn’t (not yet, at least).
So for now, I’ll be enjoying these holidays and the last few months with the best roommate I’ll ever have. I’ll sell or donate all my furniture, books, and clothes. I’ll continue to live frugally to save and invest my money.
And of course, I’ll keep writing about all of it.