I left my hometown of Missoula, Montana in August of 2006. I was 15 years old, about to enter into high school but taken away from my friends, school, my whole life. Argentina wasn’t necessarily a foreign country to me because my parents and whole family were born there and I had been there many times before on family vacations.
I lived in Tucuman, Argentina. The whole first year was hell. I cried every day; I missed everything about Montana, I didn’t have any friends at school and we still hadn’t found a house yet so we were living in between friend’s houses and hostels. The school I went to was called San Patricio; it was private, religious and rich. And yes, we had to wear uniforms. I didn’t think it would be that bad on my first day, I was actually kind of excited. I knew it would probably take me a while to make good friends but after a couple months went by and I still felt like the awkward new girl… I started thinking something was wrong with me.
It took me about a year to finally get accustomed to living in Argentina. I finally knew the bus routes, my Spanish improved and I actually had a boyfriend. The school year ended and summer time came. Man, did I love summer! We would go to the capital city of Buenos Aires to spend the holidays with my family and if we had the time and the money, we would go to the lovely beach of Miramar; on the eastern coast of Argentina.
February came and school was about to start up again, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand another year at San Patricio so I started making plans to switch to another school. San Javier. Still private and I still had to wear uniforms but more of a middle-class type of school; my kind of people. I remember the morning of the first day of school like it was yesterday. I was extremely nervous but confident at the same time that this school would be a better fit for me. The students lounged around the main hallway, waiting for the bell to ring. I timidly loitered around, eyeing all of the students, waiting for one brave enough to speak to the new girl. After the bell rang, it took me about ten minutes to find my classroom but when I did, a girl frantically came up to me and asked if I was new. I replied yes. San Javier wasn’t so bad; I felt comfortable in my classroom and made several friends.
I came back to Missoula, Montana in August 2008. Almost exactly two years since I had left. I do miss it a lot now but I am not sure if I would go back to live. Maybe someday. I realize now that I was very fortunate to have such a unique opportunity as a teenager. In those two years I feel that I grew tremendously as a person and developed my own identity. I am very proud to say that I had the opportunity to live in the land of my ancestors. Although I shed many tears and faced many obstacles, I now have the most wonderful and memorable moments of my life in Argentina which I know I will carry with me forever.
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