In her first post, Shivani breaks out her packing lists and shares how she researched and prepared to leave for Buenos Aires. She also considers what she'll be missing out back home while studying abroad, but muses at the opportunity to live like a local and document her time in this global city. Read her open letter about her anticipated journey overseas!
Hola Fam and Friends...
WAZZUP!! IT’S YOUR GIRL SHIV 🤪
So I decided to be super ~extra~ and write a letter to you all before I leave (can’t be extraordinary without being extra :P). As I’ve exclaimed about 42 times in solely the past month, I will be in Argentina until the last week of June. In all honesty that is not a very long time, but in college years it seems like an enormous amount of time. Until recently, I have been ecstatic and don’t get me wrong, I still am. However, as the day of departure approaches, I am getting more and more nervous/nostalgic/EXTRA (surprise, surprise!) about leaving. I am really going to miss you all and our dinners, movie nights, and study sessions for this semester. I am also upset I will not be able to be a part of the many approaching milestones for everyone (birthdays, graduation, etc...).
Dang. I’m listening to Appreciated by Rixton right now and it’s driving me EVEN deeper into my feels.
Anyway, although I will have MAJOR FOMO, I know you guys are going to have so much fun and the next few months will be absolutely amazing. I cannot name all the eventful happenings to come since there are so many, but all I can say is that I know they will be such great times and I hope the best for all of them. In the same way, I know the times ahead for me are filled with a mountain of new experiences, laughter, and surprises.
To prepare for this excursion abroad, I’ve made several packing lists (I feel like I will still forget something and realize only once I land), researched the most random questions (“Is peanut butter a common snack in Argentina??” ...Fun fact: IT’S NOT), and daydreamed about upcoming adventures too many times. My friends got me a journal and polaroid camera for these adventures, which I surely have packed.
Gifts from friends to document my time abroad.
However, in order to really prepare for what is to come as best as I can, I have been skimming through two books about traveling/living in Buenos Aires. I highly recommend the book by the Lonely Planet. It includes not only a background of the city in general, but also more specific details about sites to see, parks, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, sports, and activities in each neighborhood along with pull-out maps. I received the other book from my university after putting in my deposit. It has more broad information about the culture, customs, and history of Argentina.
Guidebooks for Argentina
My packing strategy has included of reading a little bit about the climate, fashion, and common traditions in Buenos Aires. Luckily, the clothing style is quite similar to the United States’, maybe a little bit fancier. Doing this kept me in check with which clothes I should bring to NOT look like a ditzy tourist as well as remind me about the price differences about certain items. Apparently items like sneakers and some workout clothing are a lot more expensive there than in America, so I have planned to bring the appropriate amount of exercise clothing and such from home. Also, looking at CAPA’s packing list helped me a lot in terms of items I did not think as much about such as hair ties, etc...
I know I can always prepare more, but I tried to with the best of my ability by checking other sources, reading blogs, and constantly asking my mother for advice. I will let you know if all this research has come in handy or not! At this point, I am just glad I was able to fit everything into my suitcase…
*cue the extra photos I took of me sitting on my luggage*
Anyway, see you all during a new time, with new experiences to share of yours and mine... can’t wait to hear about all the ways this semester you all shine! HahHAhaHAAhAHahAHa! I’m fine. We’re fine. EvErYtHinG’s FiNe.
I would like to the end this post by saying this: BYEEEE, WE OUTTA HERE ✌🚀
With love and no idea of what is to come,
Shivani Pandya is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2019, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Bioinformatics major at University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.
Shivani's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.