Argentina can be otherworldly...

Argentina can be otherworldly...

An inspiration for writing about fishing only began after completing a part of what makes me, me, in addition to the fisherman inside me. It’s like the moment you added the baking soda to your volcano science project, it didn’t erupt until the necessary ingredient was added. In my case, it was an unexpected assignment to work temporarily in Argentina that ended up becoming my home.

Argentina has a great number of places to fish and varieties of fish to keep you coming back for more year after year. It’s one of my favorite places to fish in South America. The terrain varies from North to South, East to West and although they have species you’ll find in other parts of the world (not to mention what you won’t find elsewhere), the Argentine fishing experience like no other.

You will find an endless number of books, blogs, sites and other sources of information about every outdoor adventure or sport one could imagine. So instead of trying to tell you something you don’t  know, or can’t otherwise find about Argentine outdoor adventures, I thought I’d try to give some something else to bring along with you if you should travel to the Republic: a frame of mind.

Argentina is often a strange combination of untouched wilderness combined with modern day comforts. But that is what characterizes Argentina for so many people. A country of “extremes”, it could never be explained as dull or ordinary.

It is an anomaly which can’t last forever.

Don’t try to figure it out. You’ll be frustrated trying to understand this country and its people if you compare it to everything else you already know or believe about how the world works. You can only start to understand if  you immerse yourself and relearn everything about relationships, politics, economics… and even mechanics, from scratch. It’s like learning a new language. Can you really say you understand a language unless you immerse yourself and eventually “think” in that language? If you want to understand Argentina and Argentinians, you have to “think Argentine”.

Sure. You can come as a tourist and enjoy the beef, wine, hospitality, eco-tourism, etc. You’ll go away very pleased, but you have to think Argentine to begin to understand it and truly enjoy some things that you would otherwise rarely find in a lifetime.

But, let this be a warning, if you are prepared to think Argentine, it may change your life in ways you didn’t expect and won’t ever be able to undo. It’s like Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole… You’ll think you’re now seeing the real world for the first time.

Living here, and initially thinking that maybe I could play a part in changing some things about this country, I realize that so far I’m the one that has been changed. It is sometimes bitter sweet, but I have no regrets because I believe that it’s all been for the better.

The wonders of this country, natual and cultural, are unique in the world. Reading history and Borges will only get you started. It’s ‘untamed nature’ is the one thing that runs true through everything. It’s the key to thinking Argentine and beginning to understand the people and culture.

I haven’t figured it out yet, and honestly, I think I’ve stopped trying. I’ve just given myself to it and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alive.

If you plan on taking a trip in your lifetime that you think will perhaps change your life; like seeing the Great Wall or the Eqyptian pyramids, consider spending time (not just a 10 day visit) in Argentina. Travel the provinces, take in the culture, see the popular sites, but also take your time to browse through the countryside. Incorporate things into your  routine like a daily siesta, marienda, the late afternoon café or tea house, all-day Sunday “fiaca” laying in bed reading and ordering out for facturas in the morning and empanadas in the afternoon. Buy yourself a pair of bombachas de campo and alpargatas shoes. Don’t rush to do anything and don’t plan too much. Just take life as it comes. Move from the extreme of the life you have lived, to the opposite extreme.

If eventually you find yourself drifting back and forth from one extreme to the other, you are finally beginning to think Argentine. It’s a country of extremes.

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