What are you running away from?
Check out this recent AP article, titled Run away to South America. The author mentions that most of the single expatriates she met in a Chile language school "came here to escape something." Doing a Google search on the phrase "move to South America" brings up the website called Escape Artist, which provides "resources for Americans fleeing America."
What I Was Escaping From...
I wasn't running from any one thing in particular, but rather an idea of what my life would become if I stayed in the United States. My life was quickly headed towards the bland and uninteresting existence that awaits most college gradates. I had just finished college and reached a turning point - I could focus 100% on my small business and try to seriously grow it, or take a job at one of the many large corporations recruiting out of the university. I watched as all my peers took jobs at Fortune 500s, moving to various places around the country that all seemed boring to me doing jobs that all seemed boring as well.
I decided I would focus on my own business and give it my all. That would require coming to Argentina, as my office, employees, and business partners were all here. More than that, though, it would be something challenging. I would be a fish out of water, forced to adapt to a new language, culture, and way of doing things.
I think I had just seen the movie About Schmidt and, despite being just 25 at the time, I had the very real fear of waking up in another 35 years at some corporate office having wasted my life and never done anything exciting. So, I made the decision to come here. Perhaps it wasn't the safe or conservative thing to do, but it felt right.
In the end, it ended up costing me a lot, and I don't just mean monetarily. In addition to selling everything I owned, I lost a 5-year relationship, the opportunity to easily visit with friends & family, and certainly all my built-in understanding about how society and things work. Things that I took for granted back in the U.S. have to be learned all over again here.
Still, I'm glad I did it. While I'm still adjusting here (hasn't even been a full year yet), I'm doing much better than when I first arrived. I'm learning about how things work and starting to understand the culture better. I don't see myself leaving anytime soon. In fact, I just signed a two year lease on an apartment.
I'd very much like to hear from the rest of the readers out there. Why did you or are you planning to come to Argentina? Are you running from something?