Expats or Backpackers?

Bill

Registered
I don't differentiate between Expats and backpackers since we're all outsiders. Some live here and have cut all ties with their home country, most haven't. In my opinion, if you've renounced citizenship in your home country and live in Argentine, then you're an expat. In other words, you've become a legal tax-paying citizen of a new country and not a temporary visitor, even if that visit may be for years.
It's more common that expats will sit around and debate if someone is an expat or a tourist. There's this elitism that exists with all the outsiders. Even the backpackers get into fights about who's a tourist and who's a traveler (traveller). I always called myself a glorified tourist for instance, mainly because expat means ex-patriot and "patriot" sounds a bit too American. Lately, I've been calling myself an ex-expat since I don't even live in Argentina right now.
Also for the record, I'm a true backpacker type even though I'm very wealthy and can afford to live however and wherever I want. In my experience, 75% of backpackers have above average educations and consider budget travel an exciting adventure. I know I'm like that since I prefer hostels to hotels. You meet the most interesting people. Of course, I also liked riding chicken buses in Guatemala. Other tourists were horrified by my stories, some couldn't wait to give it a try. To each their own.
I would say tourists spend more money than expats, mainly because they don't work and their spending is less restrictive. Actual residents know the price of tomatoes for example whereas every price is new to a tourist. 20 pesos for a pack of cigarettes.... sounds fair to me!!
Patt.. I'm impressed you mentioned El Bolson. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only poster in this forum that actually travels to places like this. I enjoyed El Bolson with it's artist markets, wood carvings, paragliding cliffs and yes... even the fine herb.
Regarding Granada... this guy has explained or hinted in previous posts why he stays here (family), why he doesn't like it (social values, pollution, etc..) and even why he likes to attack posters here (they're stupid and half are Argentines pretending to be ex-pats). He's actually a clever guy in the way he can get people upset with just a stupid sentence or two and makes it so they're the ones who attack him. I just wish he'd learn how to quote sentences rather than entire posts!!! At least he's an expat I suppose.
Granada ... is nikad an Argentine or expat? Are all the posters here expats or are they diguised in some way?? jaja. Are you ever gonna have that fight with Ernie on a streetcorner? Is Ernie an expat? Is this an expat forum?
 

Patt

Registered
Well I bet there are several others on the forum that have traveled a bit here in Argentina. I spent most of my first year back and forth from USA to ARG not in BA. It is such a beautiful country. I did not know I was going past San Rafael (came to look for a piece of land near the canyon to create a retreat center) so the PINK luggage was not the easiest stuff to haul around. But I would not trade it in.I am a hiker and a cyclist. El Bolson is absolutely lovely - the fruit - maravillosa !!!!! Nothing like the cakes ! And the little breweries (hops are grown in the region) made some of the most interesting beer. I got hooked in quick. I was asked to stay and open up private practice there. It was tempting but the season is way too short. Everything shuts down at Easter and people hibernate from the cold. Great energy there - between the mountains.Other fav "energy" places are in Cordoba provence, and of course Canyon Atuel which is what made me fall in love with Argentina (no - it wasn't a man - waited a year and a half to date because I wanted to make sure that I chose Argentina because I fell in love with the country not a person)AHHHHH - the new moon for Aires ! Glad I waited. ;0)so - I am a hiker but not a backpacker - an explorer...so much here.And I too would love the chicken bus...let me tell you a story about catching a ride near Orange Walk, Belize on the back of a truck filled with dead pigs......JAJA
 

Joeyhurley

Registered
I was a backpacker last year and went round most countries in South America with my backpack.
I travelled in the back of a pick up truck with chickens tied in bags that squawked for a whole 3 hours before giving up the fight and then there is the usual bus in Bolivia which you generally share with a whole variety of wildlife including a Bolivian lady pulling legs off what I think were tiny frogs.
I haven't been any further South than Bariloche but really would love to with or without chickens as company.
I did however backpack through Salta and Jujuy which I absolutley loved and it is a different Argentina to the one here in Buenos Aires but I definetly recommend it!
 

auntieapple

Registered
Bill ,
Loved your open and honest post.
First of all I am curious as to why would half of the people here pretend to be expats? I doubt anyone is pretending to be an expat here. A couple of trolls are Argentines and do not deny that they are. A couple of fabulous members here are Argentines, but were for a long time expats in our countries and therefore feel an affinity with us, our cultures and our lifestyle. They contribute alot to this site because they see things from all sides. They have greater understanding of the frustration we encounter here when things do no run as smoothly as we would like them to. They understand this frustration and do not just see it as arrogance. As they too suffer the same frustrations on returning to Argentina, but have a better understanding of the dynamics of Argentine society.
I do think though that it is odd that there are members here that are not expats, nor Argentine. Have never had any connection with Argentina either through family, visiting here or living here or intention to visit or live here and that make outlandish comments here when they have no understanding of the dynamics of life on a daily basis in Argentina. That is wierd!
The term expat as we all know signifies that you are living in a country that is not your homeland and in my book it does not mean living there indefinately. I would call that immigrant. My father worked for the MOD and I grew up in the far east in the"expat community" as it was known. Expat is a very colonial expression amongst diplomatic and M.O.D. families. Most of the families were overseas for many years due to their parents postings abroad. Expat meant that you were living abroad on a semi-permanent basis. Working there, children attending school etc. It does not however mean that you are an immigrant/emmigrant and are planning to live there forever. Of course there is a big difference between people who are here on a gap year. That is not ex-pat. Young people travelling, whether it be for months, that is not expat. Having to integrate into local life due to work and business for a long period of time is as far as Im concerned expat. My husband is Argentine and due to family obligations I have to live here but i do not see Argentina as my home for the ever distant future. I do really fancy North Africa, but thats another story!
quote bill
"Also for the record, I'm a true backpacker type even though I'm very wealthy and can afford to live however and wherever I want."
SSSSSSSSSHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! watch out for the poverty police!

besos
 

tangobob

Registered
I'm not very wealthy and must live where I work (yawn ) to avoid the poverty police send all your money to me and I promise (not) to waste any (all) of it.
 

citygirl

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Granada - I notice you didn't answer my question. Truly, I'm puzzled why you consistenly only post negative comments & yet are here? (and by here, I mean both in Argentina & on this board)
And if you were posing it in any serious way, I'm happy to answer your comment.I traveled 3x to Argentina in the last 18 months before I made the decision to move here. I had a lucrative job in NYC & had a very good life. However, I had the opportunity to move here & assist a friend in starting a business. I also loved the city & had the benefit of being good friends with local people. It definitely helped with my transition. And as someone who rides horses semi-seriously, Argentina is one of the few places I could come & train seriously & have access to both amazing horses & amazing trainers while living in a major metropolitan area.
I have done the "backpacking thing" in my youth but moved here as an expat with the intent of being here at least for the forseeable future & if things work out - becoming someone who splits her time btwn the States & here for business reasons. To me - a backpacker is someone who is "traveling through" while an expat is someone who is creating a new life in a new country... (Sorry for being a bit off-topic people!)
 

Mitscherman

Registered
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

Meaning: What matters is what something is, not what it is called.
From
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, 1594:
JULIET:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What's in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

And for that name which is no part of thee

Take all myself.
 

Granadaiscool

Registered
"citygirl" said:
Granada - I notice you didn't answer my question. Truly, I'm puzzled why you consistenly only post negative comments & yet are here? (and by here, I mean both in Argentina & on this board)

And if you were posing it in any serious way, I'm happy to answer your comment.
I traveled 3x to Argentina in the last 18 months before I made the decision to move here. I had a lucrative job in NYC & had a very good life. However, I had the opportunity to move here & assist a friend in starting a business. I also loved the city & had the benefit of being good friends with local people. It definitely helped with my transition. And as someone who rides horses semi-seriously, Argentina is one of the few places I could come & train seriously & have access to both amazing horses & amazing trainers while living in a major metropolitan area.

I have done the "backpacking thing" in my youth but moved here as an expat with the intent of being here at least for the forseeable future & if things work out - becoming someone who splits her time btwn the States & here for business reasons.
To me - a backpacker is someone who is "traveling through" while an expat is someone who is creating a new life in a new country...
(Sorry for being a bit off-topic people!)
Send me an email in 2010

 

citygirl

Registered
Granada - since you are obviously incapable of having a rational conversation, I'll go back to ignoring your inane comments. Cheers.
 
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