The International Living Podcast

Episode 55: The Many Faces of Sophisticated Argentina

December 12, 2023 International Living
Episode 55: The Many Faces of Sophisticated Argentina
The International Living Podcast
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The International Living Podcast
Episode 55: The Many Faces of Sophisticated Argentina
Dec 12, 2023
International Living

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While the rest of us shiver in the gloom of our northern winter, expats around the world languish in the sunshine of beach resorts, highland retreats, and buzzing cities. International Living Panama Editor, Jessica Ramesch is one of them. Most of the year, she lives by the beach in the year-round sunshine of Coronado, Panama. Every day in Coronado is summer, so where does Jessica choose to go when August comes around

The answer may be counterintuitive, but it has its own undeniable logic. South, to Argentina, and the snowfields of wintertime Bariloche. "The thing that Argentina has to offer me that I don't get here in Panama is that cold weather and skiing,” Jessica says.

Spending three weeks in the snow, then heading to Argentina’s capital city—Buenos Aires—gave Jessica more than enough time to get under the skin of this fascinating South American country, its people, its politics, its economy, and its remarkable beauty.

Host, Jim Santos, talks to Jessica Ramesch in this episode of the International Living podcast.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform:

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Send us a Text Message.

While the rest of us shiver in the gloom of our northern winter, expats around the world languish in the sunshine of beach resorts, highland retreats, and buzzing cities. International Living Panama Editor, Jessica Ramesch is one of them. Most of the year, she lives by the beach in the year-round sunshine of Coronado, Panama. Every day in Coronado is summer, so where does Jessica choose to go when August comes around

The answer may be counterintuitive, but it has its own undeniable logic. South, to Argentina, and the snowfields of wintertime Bariloche. "The thing that Argentina has to offer me that I don't get here in Panama is that cold weather and skiing,” Jessica says.

Spending three weeks in the snow, then heading to Argentina’s capital city—Buenos Aires—gave Jessica more than enough time to get under the skin of this fascinating South American country, its people, its politics, its economy, and its remarkable beauty.

Host, Jim Santos, talks to Jessica Ramesch in this episode of the International Living podcast.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Jim Santos 00:10 
Hello, everyone. I'm Jim Santos, and this is the International Living Podcast. In this podcast series, we introduce you to a bigger world full of communities that are safe, welcoming, beautiful, and sometimes undiscovered. 

A better world too. A friendly, warm, great value world where you can live richer, travel more, invest for profit, and enjoy a better life. So let's get started. 

Hello, and welcome to the International Living Podcast. Joining us today is a frequent guest to the show, International Living's Panama Editor, Jessica Ramesch. Today the topic is not Panama, however. Instead, we'll be talking about Jessica's recent trip to Argentina. Jessica. Welcome back to the International Living Podcast.

Jessica Ramesch 01:04 
Thank you, Jim. Great to be here with you, as always.

Jim Santos 01:07 
Now, you've been traveling quite a bit in South America this year. What we want to talk to you about today is your recent trip to Argentina.

Jessica Ramesch 01:16 
Yes. Been traveling a lot this year, and this was a dream trip, Jim. It kind of feels like the trip of a lifetime, something I'd been looking forward to for a long time. And finally everything came together, so I was very excited to be able to do that this year.

Jim Santos 01:32 
And how much of Argentina did you see? I'm sure you spent some time exploring.

Jessica Ramesch 01:38 
I did. And, you know, it's the eight-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, so ginormous. And so I really had to figure out, did I want to spend a lot of time hopping from one place to the other, or did I just want to be able to sink in in one place and just really get to know it and get a feel for what it was like to live there? And so I spent a few days in Buenos Aires on my way in and then another couple days on my way out. But I spent the better part of a month, three weeks, in Bariloche in the mountains.

Jim Santos 02:14 
What part of Argentina is that?

Jessica Ramesch 02:16 
It's in Patagonia and not so far down that you're getting close to the Arctic Circle, but you get lovely winter weather. It is sort of the Switzerland of South America, the ski capital of South America. You can go there in July and August and go skiing.

Jim Santos 02:36 
Oh, that's right. It's on the other side.

Jessica Ramesch 02:40 
So opposite seasons, which is really fun.

Jim Santos 02:43 
So what was the town like? Is it a big resort area, then?

Jessica Ramesch 02:46 
It is a big resort area and extremely popular with well to do Brazilians. And this being my first trip, I tried to figure out when the snow was going to be the best and when I would be able to take some skiing lessons and booked my trip, not knowing that school vacations were going to coincide with my first couple of weeks there. And so not only was everybody, it seems everybody from Brazil in the little town of Bariloche, but also so many Argentinian families taking advantage of the time off to take their kids. So it was hopping.

Jim Santos 03:24 
How do you get there? Is it a bus trip or do you fly from Buenos Aires direct?

Jessica Ramesch 03:30 
I actually went ahead and booked a flight, just again, wanting to maximize my time. It was a couple hours from Buenos Aires. Really lovely experience from the airport to the flight. Was able to book it online, which some people have had trouble with in the past, but that's getting better and so it was fairly easy to do. I'd say easier now than ever now that you also get much closer to the blue dollar rate on your credit card in Argentina. But we'll get to the economy when you're ready to talk about that.

Jim Santos 04:04 
Yeah, that's a whole separate subject there. It is the second largest economy in the world too, which is kind of hard to wrap your mind around when you think about the problems that they're having.

Jessica Ramesch 04:15 
That's a little scary.

Jim Santos 04:16 
Yeah. So what was the town like? How long were you there?

Jessica Ramesch 04:23 
So I was in Bariloche, like I say, for the better part of three weeks. And I knew this was going to happen. I absolutely fell in love with it. The beauty is otherworldly. The colors, especially in the winter against the snow, the blues of the sky and the lake were piercing blues. And then people are so friendly and generous despite adversity even. 

And this was across the board, just little interaction, whether I went to an expat event or just had little interactions with Argentinians and going into shops, supermarkets, whatnot. I got sick. So had a chance to go see an Argentinian doctor and talk to nurses and people in the hospital. So I had a good range of experiences, I think, and just overwhelmingly felt welcomed and safe there.

Jim Santos 05:21 
That was my impression of Buenos Aires. Also surprised at how happy and friendly the people were. I mean, they've been having economic problems for years.

Jessica Ramesch 05:31 
They have. And they've elaborated this sort of second parallel system to make do. I think this has made Argentinians, and I think everybody would agree with me, the masters of invention, like people are figuring out just how to live and how to survive given the way things are. And they do. People are hustling, but they don't lose that ability to kick back and laugh and enjoy life. It seems that they're able to. It's a lot of stress and I'm sure it feels extreme at times, but people it's not in the air the way you feel it in some places, if that makes sense.

Jim Santos 06:12 
Yeah. I remember coming back from a tango show, it's about 01:00 a.m., and the restaurants and bars were all just packed with people out enjoying themselves.

Jessica Ramesch 06:21 
Yeah, the late night thing. Having been to Spain, I had experienced that when I was much younger. This time around…now I moved to the beach in Panama and I live in a community where things just get going earlier and I've gotten used to it was it was an adjustment with people not going out to dinner until eight. Eight was, you know, everything getting started so much later. But I did adapt after a little while.

Jim Santos 06:49 
And you mentioned expats. Is there an expat community down there in the mountains?

Jessica Ramesch 06:54 
Yes, lovely little expat community. I met a few really nice people that I'm still in touch with today and I'm hoping to get back down there next year. This time I will book after the school vacations, but same time of year. I'd love nothing more than to go back and spend some more time again in Bariloche, which is a shame. I'd love to see the rest of the country too, but I'm very drawn to Bariloche, or Bari, as people like to say.

Jim Santos 07:24 
Was that the only other town you visited then in Argentina other than Buenos Aires?

Jessica Ramesch 07:28 
I did drive a little bit around that region. So there's another, smaller, perhaps considered more elite ski town called Villa La Angostura. And so I did that drive. Stopped at a couple little village spots along the way and of course, just everything in Argentina is incredibly beautiful. The amount of trails they have and just premier hiking and camping spots all over the country is insane. 

But I didn't like it as much as I liked Bariloche. Bariloche is a little bit more of a… it's more of a city than a village and so you have a lot of people coming through and there's a nice little buzz about it. It's not overwhelming or overly packed either. I just thought it was the perfect size city.

Jim Santos 08:17 
Did you get a sense for what the prices were as far as cost of living or real estate in the area?

Jessica Ramesch 08:23 
I did. And the expats I talked to all were renting instead of purchasing their own property, which things are harder to do in general in Argentina than they are in Panama or in the US. Buying a car, buying of something that we take for granted as being fairly straightforward and simple. And it's not in Argentina. 

But then, what you get for your money is incredible. A good way to experience it and not deal with all that red tape before you're ready to is to go ahead and rent. And there are people renting for $400 a month in this fabulously beautiful location. You think of ski towns, like famous ski towns around the world in Europe and what you would pay to live there even in the off season. And you compare it to Argentina, it's fully it's less overrun, which is really nice. As not, you feel like it's still a little bit of a secret, particularly amongst North Americans.

Jim Santos 09:36 
Now with this being a ski town. Is this an area where in the city itself it was cold or are you down at the base of the mountain and then going up to the mountain to ski.

Jessica Ramesch 09:48 
It's cold whether you're at the base of the mountain or heading up to ski. The day I went for my snowboarding lesson, it started to rain and so we were out there in the rain and cold and the wind whipping and I don't know how to snowboard, so I was falling down. I'm a good faller, Jim, but I am one of those weird people on our beat that actually likes and misses winter. 

So for me, I actually purposely put Argentina on my list and put Bariloche on my list because, you know, even if I don't move to Argentina, I think I would like to spend part of the year there. Now, you can do that during the glorious summer when everybody's going camping and hiking and you can wear your shorts. But for me, I really wanted that cold weather and I enjoyed it. I booked Airbnbs that had wood burning stove and windows all around so I could see the snow coming down and the mountain. And again, it felt like such a luxury vacation, that lodge feeling that you get there. And yet I must have spent a quarter of what some people spend on ski vacations.

Jim Santos 11:02 
Is this strictly a ski resort or does it have a strong spring and summer?

Jessica Ramesch 11:07 
Very strong. Very strong spring and summer season. Everybody kept telling me I was crazy to not come down during the summer and go hiking and paddle on the lakes and whatnot, and I would sort of smile and say, yeah, I missed summer, but in reality I can get that here anytime. And so the thing that Argentina has to offer me that I don't get here in Panama is that cold weather and skiing weather.

Jim Santos 11:34 
Had you skied before as a child?

Jessica Ramesch 11:38 
I had been cross country skiing once and I took to that pretty well. This time again downhill. I tried a couple of times as a young adult and just it freaks me out. It's terrifying pointing your skis downward, even on a tiny little hill to me. And I felt like I'd never been snowboarding. But since I had skateboarded as a kid I felt like that and wakeboarded on boats. I felt like that would be more natural. And it was, it did feel better to me.

Jim Santos 12:07 
Yeah, for me, falling down is the easy part, is getting back up again, that's a little tough.

Jessica Ramesch 12:12 
Yeah, well, I was sore the next day, but I didn't overdo it. I knew not to overdo it. So a couple hours and then we quit.

Jim Santos 12:20 
How about Buenos Aires? What parts of the city did you stay in there? Because I know each little neighborhood has its own distinct flavor.

Jessica Ramesch 12:27 
It does. And generally when you're talking to Argentinian friends and you ask them, hey, what part of Buenos Aires should I stay in? They're going to tell you either Palermo or Recoleta. And they're both very nice areas and they're, you know, you flow from one into the other. But Palermo has a little bit of a newer, more modern feel, and Recoleta has more of those Old World buildings, which is what I gravitate towards. 

So I stayed in Recoleta, around the corner from the cemetery, where you can see Evita's tomb. I made my pilgrimage to the museum. First thing I did when I landed in Argentina had to be that, in honor of Evita. But that area, Recoleta, these buildings are like something out of Paris. I found this apartment with the elevator with the grate that you pull open and close from, like, the 1940s and brass everywhere. And again, just so elegant and beautiful. Tiny, but so elegant. And again, I keep thinking, what would I have spent on an Airbnb like this in another part of the world?

Jim Santos 13:35 
Yeah, they do call it the Paris of South America, but it is much cheaper to stay there than in Paris.

Jessica Ramesch 13:42 
Yeah, it's a well earned moniker. It's Paris. If Paris were a little grimier, a little grittier, but incredibly beautiful. And I felt great walking around day or night. I felt like I could do that. I took Ubers. It felt like being in, you know, you're aware to a certain extent you keep your city smarts about you, but everybody's out there enjoying the city, so I just joined them.

Jim Santos 14:12 
Yeah, I was struck by the number of parks and green areas in the city. It seemed like everywhere you went, you just go a couple of blocks and there's a new park.

Jessica Ramesch 14:21 
I was really struck by a lot of the sort of massive old growth trees that have been preserved all across the city. And then Argentina's stance, I guess, on culture and education is really remarkable. And so they offer some of the best free education around, which means students come from all kinds of other Latin American countries to study in Argentina because the quality is so good and it costs so little to do. And then museums, free, they just want you to go, and soak it all up. And so that's what I did.

Jim Santos 14:56 
Did you have a favorite part of your trip to Buenos Aires?

Jessica Ramesch 15:00 
The Museo de las Bellas Artes, which I could walk to from my Airbnb in Recoleta. Around the corner from my Airbnb, there was also sort of a brutalist looking library. Not sure I'm using the right term there, but I noticed to the side of it that there was this little gallery, a graphic art gallery, a comic book gallery. And so instead of going into the big library, I went into that gallery, and it ended up being one of my favorite things. And it was on this little plot with a restaurant called Invernadero, and it was just this beautiful, light filtering and elegantly decorated restaurant with, of course, everywhere you go in Argentina, fantastic wines for $2 on the menu. And I had one of the best lunches I've ever had in my life. At Invernadero.

Jim Santos 15:58 
Yeah. That is a city that just has incredible places for food or even just stop for coffee or pastries.

Jessica Ramesch 16:05 
It is incredible. I'm Indian, so I always look for the Indian restaurants. And I found a couple Indian a few Indian restaurants there. And I, of course, had to go and sample one. So it was really nice for me to see the variety because if you're not a huge meat eater, a huge bread eater, which they have fantastic pizza, bread, meat in Argentina, but I'm not as big on those things. And so it was really nice for me to be able to find some other things because otherwise your typical meal is some form of dough, whether it's a very doughy pizza or bread or empanadas with cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. I get heartburn if I eat that way too much. 

But I found there are tons of vegan restaurants. You can get vegan items in any grocery store, whether it's a big or small one. They're very environmentally conscious while being one of the biggest meat eating countries in the world.

Jim Santos 17:00 
Lots of beef.

Jessica Ramesch 17:03 
It's just one of the many interesting things that I observed when I was there. But I'd say that you have a growing awareness there and people are making an effort to maybe, I don't know, if it's one meal a week or what, but making an effort to eat veg sometimes.

Jim Santos 17:26 
It's funny you mentioned the Indian restaurants because we've told people many times that one of the best Indian restaurants we ever ate in was in the San Telmo district, right across from the market there.

Jessica Ramesch 17:38 
See, that's just incredible.

Jim Santos 17:39 
Yeah. Until we ran into a place in Vienna, which is like the last place you'd expect to find a great Indian meal.

Jessica Ramesch 17:47 
It is the last place I would expect. My best Indian outside of India was in Estonia. We're everywhere.

Jim Santos 17:59 
Well, to me, that's the best part of traveling and seeing different things is you get all these little surprises and all this cross pollination of people from all over.

Jessica Ramesch 18:09 
And yet it's so interesting. Argentina still feels so very homogeneous in terms of the vast majority of the restaurants, the food, the people. But at no time did I feel like I stood out or unwelcome or anything at all. I felt like I just could blend in, even though I didn't look like everybody there.

Jim Santos 18:32 
But one of the things that we wanted to talk about, about Argentina and kind of, in a broader sense, the world in you, I assume you're in Argentina. Before the recent election, I was there.

Jessica Ramesch 18:44 
There was a lot of campaigning going on while I was there, and I got a chance to talk to a lot of people. Taxi drivers are the best people to talk to when something like this is brewing. And it was before the first round, and everybody was fairly certain that there was going to be a second round. So there were people handing out pamphlets and there was a lot of spirited discussion, but they were very much in the first stages. 

Now, of course, they've had second round, and Milei has won, and that's the first time a non-Peronist candidate has won in I don't know how many decades. So we'll have to see what, if anything, changes now that he's in power. But he doesn't have a lot of support in Congress, so I don't know what, if anything, he's going to be able to achieve. His coalition is new, and it doesn't have a lot of seats in Congress. He doesn't have a majority. He doesn't have a lot of the powerful governors behind him, I think they said has seven out of 72 seats in the Senate. 

So will things be changing a lot in Argentina? I'm not so sure. I'm not an expert in the politics or the economy, but it doesn't look promising for him. If he's wanting to accomplish big things like dollarization.

Jim Santos 19:59 
Yeah, that seems to be the big thing that most people were concerned about. Argentina has, like, 140% inflation rate and 40% poverty rate. And like you say, it's amazing. You go around the city and people really don't seem to be that concerned about it or affected about it. I mean, maybe it's different in the homes, but I didn't really get a sense of crushing poverty anywhere when I was in Argentina.

Jessica Ramesch 20:25 
I did notice the homelessness, a lot of homeless people. I'm very sensitive to it because I've been living in Panama for so many years, and you just don't see homeless people here. So every time I go back to the States and there are more and more every time I go back, and then this time being in Argentina, it strikes me probably more than it does other people, because I live somewhere where I don't see that.

Jim Santos 20:51 
Now, with this election, the new president, he did get the largest popular vote, I think, since in the 1970s in Argentina. But as you say, the Congress is not really with him. And with nicknames like the Madman and the Wig, he does want to dollarize the economy, which a lot of people think would probably be a good move, but he also wants the right to sell your own organs. He wants to eliminate the Health and Education Ministry. And the strangest thing to me is he's got cloned dogs.

Jessica Ramesch 21:24 
Oh, I didn't know about the dog.

Jim Santos 21:26 
Yeah, he had a dog that he liked so much that he had it cloned. And he has several cloned copies of this dog.

Jessica Ramesch 21:32 
Can you do that? I can just walk in somewhere and get my cat cloned.

Jim Santos 21:36 
Apparently in Argentina you can. They're at the forefront of a lot of tech stuff and medical stuff.

Jessica Ramesch 21:42 
Actually, I didn't know about the cloning, but I did know about the tech and medical.

Jim Santos 21:48 
Yes, he calls them his four pawed children.

Jessica Ramesch 21:50 
Oh, Lord. He's very much after what we saw in Brazil under Bolsonaro, right. So I think we're going to see a bit of a replay, you know.

Jim Santos 22:03 
On that, now, recently we've got, of course, conflict in Israel and Gaza. Just recently there are riots in Dublin. Ecuador had a presidential candidate assassinated this year. Even your own Panama has had some protests in the streets lately. I know people look at this sometimes and they feel like the world's just too dangerous to be out there and traveling. But this is something that expats have to be aware of. But I think it's wrong to kind of obsess with it. 

What was your feeling? You've been to a lot of different places and a lot of these places have their own ups and downs. How do you feel about that?

Jessica Ramesch 22:41 
They do. And every country, Germany, France, Argentina, Panama, you're going to find a lot of activism and a lot of big protests. And I'm glad you asked that, Jim, because I think it's important to address these disruptions with protests and the ones that block traffic and cause gridlock in Panama this year cut off an entire province for the better part of a month where they weren't even able to get gas for their cars or to cook with. These things can happen at any time, anywhere.

But it's when these disruptions happen that I really get a sense of a country's strengths. And so I think if you actually just take a look at it and you're considering living in one of these countries and you familiarize yourself with the way activism takes shape in the country, then you start to be very comfortable with it. 

Because what I'm finding is that in a lot of Latin America, things don't get ugly as quickly as maybe we're accustomed to seeing back in Canada or the US. And so people are very active and they feel deeply and they'll come out on certain issues and there'll be isolated incidents.

There will be a clash with the police here, police abuse there, or vandals who take advantage of the chaos during when a big crowd is out. But overwhelmingly what I find is that it's very peaceful. You're not as afraid that somebody is going to do something crazy like pull out a gun during a peaceful protest. And so you might avoid the gridlock, you might avoid the crowds. But I still feel so happy with my decision to live in this part of the world, knowing that even when times are tough, or knowing in particular when times are tough, that people just generally are not as quick to anger and that there's a calm. 

Not to say that people can't get enraged or angry, but overall, overwhelmingly, culturally, there's so much more calm.

Jim Santos 24:58 
Yeah. And I think you also have to remember that most of the time these conflicts are occurring in very small areas.

Jessica Ramesch 25:05 
It'll be around the presidential palace or the legislative assembly. What we experienced in Panama this year, we've not seen anything on this level where the entire nation came together to say no to a mining project.

Jim Santos 25:23 
Very few countries are perfectly at peace at any time. I mean, it's not like the US. Is not without its problems and its trouble spots. But I think a lot of it sometimes is perception. Like when the riots were going on in Minnesota and in the Pacific Northwest a few years ago, it was heavily covered in the news, but if you talk to people who live in that area, they say, yeah, it was like a couple of blocks. It's not the whole area. 

But now everybody has a cellphone with a camera on it and a recording, and they're posting stuff up on YouTube and everywhere. And I think you get the sense that the whole world is falling apart and that everywhere you turn there's fighting and looting and rioting.

Jessica Ramesch 26:02 
It can be easy to fall into that. And it's so important to keep perspective which part of the reason I love my job is because part of my job is looking for the positive news, and I'm not allowed to just focus on the negative news. And so I'm able to get a clear sense of the fact that things aren't actually getting worse, they're actually getting again. 

You know, I've had people, not many people have written to ask me, what's going on here? Panama doesn't make it into the news as much as other countries, but one person wrote to me and said, oh, I heard about the riots. And I was like, what? Riot? We haven't had a single riot. It's been largely peaceful protests. There were a couple of isolated incidents where somebody pulled out a gun twice. Each of those people was an American citizen. Not Panamanians, though. 

Overall, people here just tend to keep their calm. Yeah, there's always some bad, some harm that comes out, know, striking, protesting. It harms the economy, it harms certain towns here in Panama really were cut off. People really were not able to get to medical appointments or get gas to cook their food.

But overall, the big issue, people are saying, look, we understand that there's going to be some pain. We get that. But this issue is too important and it is worth it. We have to act. And so it was very positive overall and very inspiring, especially since it was young people sort of leading the charge and saying, look, we really care, and we're going to go ahead and stand up for this for as long as it takes to get the ruling that we want to get. 

And everybody came together and you would see people speaking very seriously about the issues, but they were also playing music and making up songs. The creativity, I can't even tell you, Jim. Rap songs, folklore songs, reggae songs. This has spawned any number of artistic memes, but everybody kind of came together. And sure, there were people who didn't agree, but there was a lot of, yeah, this is hard, but okay, we got to do it. So there was a lot of support. I was surprised.

Jim Santos 28:23 
So in terms of the expat or the traveler, you certainly need to be aware of any trouble spots or any potential problems. But I feel like it's, in a lot of ways, kind of overhyped to get back to Argentina. Like we said, they couldn't have things worse as far as their economy goes. But whenever you're walking around the town and talking to the people there, there seems to be no problem at all. I mean, the attitude of the populace is really amazing.

Jessica Ramesch 28:51 
It is really amazing. And even when you talk to expats who live in Buenos Aires, you'll go on. If you join one of the expat Facebook pages, and I've seen people posting as the elections as we were getting closer to the election, the second round in Argentina, I was planning on coming. Do you think I should come? Do you think that there are going to be protests, riots, dangers? 

And overwhelmingly, you had these expats, and not just new expats, people who've been in Argentina for over ten years saying, don't cancel your plans, just avoid the big crowds. Sure. Because who wants to get caught up in a big crowd demonstration? But they never spill out. Uh, a certain district, as you said before, and the dangers are still it still feels like the dangers are lesser than a lot of places.

Jim Santos 29:44 
Yeah. When we were in Athens just a few months ago, we were walking towards I forget exactly where we were going. I think it was the Agora. We were walking down to some Agora and we started hearing music and then people, and we got to an area and there was some sort of big protest going on, but then a couple of blocks know absolutely nothing. So it's really important, I think, when you're traveling, to keep a perspective, and travel is probably the best thing for perspective, really.

Jessica Ramesch 30:13 
So true. It's so true. Every time I take a trip somewhere new, it opens you up to so much more. And seeing what people do in Argentina, despite adversity with so little, is truly inspiring. It's not a place that's for everyone, but if you go and it is worth going, and you fall in love the way I did, then you start finding yourself. You start telling yourself, well, okay, I can deal with all the bureaucracy and the extra red tape and the crazy parallel economy. There's something here. One of the expats I spoke to said, nothing is easy in Argentina, but everything is possible.

Jim Santos 31:01 
Good words to live by.

Jessica Ramesch 31:05 
Yeah. And I'm excited to go back. I just think there's something really special there. And I think that now is the time to become more familiar with the country and to sort of see if I can get my foot in the door. And I would love to have a place there that I could spend one month a year in and then see what happens in the future because it's a country with so much potential.

Jim Santos 31:29 
Yeah, we definitely want to go back and spend some more time there because we only had a weekend basically in Buenos Aires. And as far as the political situation, well, we'll just see how things go, right?

Jessica Ramesch 31:41 
I think the big question is, are they going to Dollarize? The presidential candidate that just won, that was a huge part of his platform, but he doesn't have a lot of support in government, so I don't know what that means for his plans. We're just going to have to see if they do dollarize, will prices stabilize and will that mean that Argentina is no longer a cheap country? Will it come closer in cost to Uruguay? That's something that remains to be seen. It's not going to happen overnight, but I'm definitely keeping an eye on it.

Jim Santos 32:15 
Well, we've been talking with Jessica Ramesch about Argentina and the importance of staying informed as you select your target country for retirement or even just as you travel the globe. I'm sure you can find future articles from Jessica on Argentina and more in the coming issues of International Living magazine. 

And don't forget, you can meet her and a host of other experts at the Fast Track Panama event, February 16th to 18th in Panama City. You can get the details and register at that's Jessica, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today.

Jessica Ramesch 32:48 
Great being here, Jim. Look forward to seeing you in Panama.

Jim Santos 33:02 
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We created the International Living Podcast to help showcase the ideas we explore in the magazine and our other publications each month, and to grow our community of travel lovers, expats, and experts who believe, as we do, that the world is full of opportunity to create a more interesting, more international life. You don't have to be rich or famous to do that. You just need to know the secrets. And that's what we bring you at International Living.

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We'll continue to scour the globe for more destinations and information. So until next time, this is Jim Santos for International Living, reminding you there's a bigger, better world out there just waiting for you.

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Politics And Unrest—How Safe Is Argentina Now?
Protest And Activism In Latin America—How It Differs From The U.S.
‘Nothing is Easy in Argentina, But Everything is Possible'