At the Philadelphia airport the day I moved to Argentina, May 2007

Someone recently asked me how I chose Argentina as a place to live. It’s always interesting to see how people make big decisions, so I thought I’d share this one with you.

The more woo-woo out there might say that I somehow knew my soul mate and husband-to-be was waiting for me in Argentina. Sometimes I do make decisions on a very instinctual level, but this one was really quite pragmatic!

My round-the-world trip was an amazing experience, but I had been on the move so much that when it was over, I was really eager to go back to spend more time in one country and have a deeper cultural experience. I didn’t know if that meant moving somewhere for six months, a year, or longer, but I knew it was something I wanted to do.

So why Argentina?

To decide where to go, I first identified what I was looking for: somewhere I could work on my Spanish, that I’d visited before (and liked!), and with a relatively low cost of living.

I pretty quickly thought of three of my favorite places in South America: Arequipa, Peru; Valparaiso, Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

After that, I decided that for my first time living abroad, I’d feel more comfortable in a place where I would physically blend in better with the locals. Since I’m tall and blonde, that crossed Arequipa off the list, where most of the locals are pretty short and have darker skin.

Because I was going by myself, I also wanted to go somewhere I’d feel safe, and I knew that Valparaiso had some dodgy areas so I might not feel able to explore on my own there.

So that’s how I ended up moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina!

I knew pretty early on that it was the right decision, and now, more than six years later, I can safely say that the move was a defining moment in my life, much more so than I anticipated at the time.

How do you make major decisions in your life? Share your experience in the comments! And, if you have any other questions you’d like me to answer, just let me know.

This post was part of a blog challenge I did in October where I published a post every single day for a month.