From north to south

Written on: August 27, 2017

In: Thoughts by Elisa Coleclough


When I decided to move to Argentina, I never knew how many things I would face along the way. The simple fact of moving from one place to the other brings us out of our comfort zone. Even more so, the fact to move to another country. It is a very complex subject, and I could write about many things that were unexpected and new for me. Many experiences that have made me a more mature person by shaking me to the bone and questioning all the prior mental paradigms I had.

But this time, I am going to talk about something that had never occurred to me before. As I had travelled to other places, they all had been in the northern hemisphere, and the way our brain actually relates to certain months of the year is just unnoticeably too powerful.

It is maybe customs, that vary from places to places, but also the fact that I was born in January, a freezing month in the middle of the winter. So was my husband, he was also born in January, but in the middle of summer. That was the first thing that got me.

When I arrived to Buenos Aires, I was not expecting this city to be so damned hot. It was as hot as I was in the middle of the Caribbean. People looked at me and they told me: “but you are used to it, right?” . The answer was that I wasn’t. I had been born in Mexico, yes, but in the City of Mexico, not by the beach. And the kind of scorching weather was something I was only able to enjoy during holidays by the nice white-sandy beaches of my country. Certainly this time, I was in the middle of a hot jungle of cement. The only place that had been similar to this kind of hot humid weather was Manhattan. And I remember that I almost melted down in summer then.

So it was my first experience to arrive to live in a place unexpectedly hot and humid such as this city. The first Christmas that I spend away from my family and integrating to a new family (which I barely knew), was nothing like the ones that I was used to. Usually Christmas package came with a nice sweater on, around the X-mas tree and the fire place in a chilly night.  There I was, and it was more like a hot night under the open sky. Everyone wearing shorts and top tanks and enjoying the pool nearby. For me, in my mind, this was not X-mas. I was living in a bizarre dream, that was someone else’s dream, but not mine.

Then the day of my birthday arrived. The 5th of January is usually an icy winter morning, even sometimes you can spot the mountains around the city with some snow on top of them. The first birthday I had here in Buenos Aires, was waking up to some mosquitos killing me, and having to spray repellent all over my body. This was the first time, I had insolation, I didn’t even know that could happen to me… a sun lover, but actually it did and it was awful. To tell you how little prepared I was for this change, I have to say that I got some many mosquitos bites that I had fever. Yes, I am Mexican, and there’s rainforest in Mexico, but as I said before I was not expecting Buenos Aires to be a burning jungle with the sun, the mosquitos, and well… all that!

So, my birthday, had a different flavor. It felt different. It was as I had said before, someone else’s dream not mine.

As days started going and months came by, Easter was instead of a warmer weather it became cooler and fall arrived. Buenos Aires has the kind of wintry weather that is rough for those born in a drier place. It was hard for my mind to understand that June, July and part of August were the coldest months. It took me years. I longed for the shady afternoons of a fall surrounded by pumpkins for Halloween in October, while I found that the days actually were nicer and nicer as the spring had blossomed already.

I never shared this before, but I guess, my brain just like any regular human being, has some memories, some feelings, some seasons, that take years to shift them the other way around. Now it’s August, windy mornings of fresh air in my face as I run along the park. I am used to it. To the wind, to the cold, to the humidity. I have come this far, to understand that just when you think you can actually adapt to everything, life shows you other way and take you for a ride off your comfort zone.

For me Buenos Aires was a challenge and I learnt many things. Don’t get me wrong, I love this city of bright blue skies.  In a nutshell, it has taught me a lot, pushed me further my limits, and as I have said before, has taught me many things about myself, my character, my beliefs, which I am grateful about.

Share with me if you have moved to other places, countries, etc., what has taken you long to adapt? Looking forward to your comment in the box below. Eli