Arrival at “fin del mundo”

December 16, 2014- Tuesday (Buenos Aires- El Calafate- Ushuaia)

By 4:45AM I was awake and packing up my things; I must have checked the room about six times to make sure that I had everything. The hotel provided breakfast which consisted of pastries, orange juice, coffee and tea. The breakfast is quite different from the typical American breakfast; it was much lighter and the pastries served seemed more like something that would be eaten as a dessert in the states. Around 5:30AM we departed for the airport, arriving around 6AM…but it was the wrong terminal, so we had to get back on the bus and go over to the domestic terminal where we checked our bags and headed for the gate. The security in the domestic terminal was very lenient, we were allowed to bring water, weren’t required to take out liquids or remove our shoes, much different from any security in the states. It was kind of nerve wracking for some other students to see such relaxed security, but while discussing it we figured it is likely this way because Argentina doesn’t have many reasons to be as uptight about airport security, especially with domestic flights. The terminal was very small, much smaller than any airport I had ever been in, which was very different from the international terminal in the same airport, which we passed through last night, which was huge. While waiting for the flight myself and some other students formed a little circle where we started to get to know each other better and begin to connect, which made me feel much more comfortable.002We began boarding the plane around 7:50AM and took off around 8:15AM for a 3 hour flight to El Calafate, where we stopped for about 20 minuets while other peopole got off and others boarded. The scenery in El Calafate was beautiful, much like a desert and drastically different than the scenery in Buenos Aires, which made me wish i had a window seat on the plane. The water was so blue, almost turquoise in colour which was a stark contrast to the reddish brown sandy and rock surrounding the water. Around 12PM we took off again and started on our way to Ushuaia.

The airport in Ushuaia was quite small and looked much like a ski lodge. It was a bit cooler that it had been in Buenos Aires, where it was about 80 degrees. When we stepped out of the airport there was the most beautiful mountains (The Southern Andes) right in front of us. They were like nothing i had ever seen before, i instantly took out my camera and continued to take pictures until we arrived at the hostel. The hostel was not what i had imagined,005 it was actually quite nice. There were 4-6 people to each room; each room had three sets of bunk beds. After arriving we had a quick meeting with the professors joining us on the trip, and then we were free to go and explore Ushuaia.


Arriving in South America

December 15, 2014- Monday (Miami to Buenos Aires)

This morning I woke up around 4:45AM to get ready to arrive at Miami International Airport around 5:30AM. I checked in and checked my bag with Aerolineas Argentinas. I was nervous about checking my bag, worried about it getting lost or damaged (the kind of things you always hear about, but hope never happen to you), as well as getting to the gate on time because this is my first international trip. After passing through security I met with the rest of the AUIP group at the gate and anxiously waited for the flight to begin boarding. We boarded the plane around 8:00AM; the plane was bigger than any I had ever been on before. We took off around 8:45AM for a flight that took about 8 hours.

We arrived in Buenos Aires around 7PM; the 8 hours did not feel nearly as long or tedious as I had anticipated. Before claiming our bags we had to go through customs (bring on the first interaction in a Spanish speaking country… for someone who doesn’t speak Spanish). The customs workers at the kiosk didn’t look very happy about a group of American students coming through, but they appeared to understand the general lack of Spanish language skills among us. That night we stayed at a Holiday Inn,  which was much fancier than any Holiday Inn I have ever seen in the states, with a large grand piano in the lobby, a steak house, and an large outdoor infinity edge pool.


After finding our rooms the group came together for dinner at the bar (since us college students probably cannot afford a steak house), but it ended up being quite a struggle. The servers had a hard time understanding us because they spoke very little English, which also meant we had a difficult time understanding them because most of us had absolutely no Spanish language skills whatsoever. One thing that became painfully obvious is that instead of just saying that i should learn Spanish before the trip, i should have actually done it. Now, i recommend to anyone travelling abroad, try to learn the basics of the local language before arriving. Anyway, after much confusion and a bit of waiting, we ate and returned to our rooms for the night and prepared to wake up early once again to catch our flight to Ushuaia( YAY!).

Miami…and onward.

December 14, 2014

This morning at 11:30 AM i left New York from JFK on a flight bound for Miami where tomorrow i will board a group flight to Buenos Aires. Now i am in Miami where it is about 75 degrees and sunny, a welcome change from the cold New York weather. I thought leaving this morning wouldn’t be any different from any other flight, but on the way to the airport i had time to think about the adventure that i am about to set off on and how this experience will affect me. In the midst of the fall semester and completing everything necessary to even be able to go on this trip, i have had very little time to reflect on what this trip may mean, but even after having a bit of time to think it over i still cannot fully wrap my head around the fact that i have been given this opportunity to visit Antarctica, and i don’t think i will truly understand what that means until i arrive there. But for the time being i am going to put my mind at ease and get some rest before an early 4:30 AM wake up and departure to Miami airport for the true beginning to what will likely be the greatest journey of my life.

Preparing for Antarctica

Before i begin i would like to preface this blog by noting that there was no internet access available in Antarctica, which is quite understandable, so i was not able to write each entry in real time. However, i will still be writing this blog day by day as i would have done while abroad.


December 13th, 2014

It is the night before i leave to begin a two week long study abroad program that will take me from Miami to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and on to Antarctica. When i was accepted to the program in April of 2014 it felt like a dream; it was something i would talk about, buy materials for, take a online class for, but it seemed like a day that would never come. Now i am sitting here, less than 24 hours before i get on a plane to Miami still wondering if this is real…and if all my things will fit in a carry-on size suit case and a backpack. Even though this is my first time traveling so far, and for so long, on my own i am surprisingly calm about it all, though i am going to miss my family, especially on Christmas day, i know that tomorrow is the beginning of the journey of a lifetime.

Home !

The much anticipated final blog has arrived, although it does not excite me to say I have been away from Buenos Aires for about 3 weeks now I must admit it is nice to finally be home with the people I love. It should be said that when arriving back to your home country you will feel various emotions coming at you at once and having do deal with these emotions requires patience. Having to say goodbye to new friends, taking your last pictures of all the places you once couldn’t imagine falling in love with and taking your last steps in a country you made your home will not be easy but it will be lovely. Having been home for about 2 weeks and having to travel to another country once again, made my coming home much easier but now that the traveling has ended I find myself melancholy about my past semester and how having to go back to New Paltz will be more difficult than I had anticipated. Reality strikes that I have been away for sometime and I will have to re adjust to the small town of New Paltz, although I am nervous my excitement to go back is not far behind.  So here is to my Senior year as a college Undergrad and thanking you all for following me on this wonderful, amazing, life changing journey.

Also, always remember to be patient – academically things may not always be on your side but do not panic if you are placed in Academic Probation after coming back from a semester abroad, you are one of several students and sometimes the system does not see that. So if things go wrong when you get back just remember to remain patient and work things out slowly and they will get better before you know it.

Thank You all,

Your settled traveler Vera

Last week as a Porteña in Buenos Aires !

Little by little the people I have had the great opportunity to meet  in BsAs are going home, and my heart saddens a bit every time. Now my time has arrived, in just a few days I will be saying “hasta luego” to this lovely city I have called home for the past 5 months. Although I am terribly sad to see my time come to an end I will be making the best of the next few days and taking in the culture and people as best as I can. Travelers should always keep in mind, that traveling is NOT for the faint of heart, always keep and open mind and back pack full of emotions. Studying Abroad will get the BEST of you, the STRESS, the FUN, the SADNESS, the overwhelming JOY and finally your heart. Whether you come to enjoy or hate the place you have chosen to study abroad always remind yourself YOU create the experience YOU want to remember. If you don’t like the city you’re living in, remind yourself that no one else can say they’ve had the same opportunity you have or that they’ve been able to sit on their bed wherever you are and cry themselves to sleep. Whatever the case may be always embrace the moment and enjoy every second of it. Now that I have spent all of my money, stayed up late (attempting) reading, ran around the streets after leaving the club, slept in after some long crazy nights, cried about bad grades, meet some wonderful people, chanted “JUNIOR” at a pub, celebrated my 21st birthday and sharing several great experiences with loved ones- I can say I have seriously had the time of my life here in Buenos Aires. Here is to “See you soon’s” to new friends and having a GREAT last week.

Last trip in Argentina to Mar del Plata.

For just a few days I had the amazing opportunity to travel 5hrs to the south of Argentina to visit the coastal city of Mar del Plata. Although, it was a nice beach and wonderful view, I was not able to jump into the water considering its winter and I didn’t want to freeze to death. The city was actually bigger than I had anticipated and after 2 days my friends and I were able to visit the nice parts of it. From the largest sea shell collection in the world to a water tower and a small park  to relax in, I spent most of my days walking around sight seeing and trying to take as many pictures to remember the moment. My friends and I stayed in a small hostel called “El Refugio”, where the host weren’t really the most helpful or nice, in which we stayed in a six bed room with a different roommate every day. I should also warn travelers that not all hostels are as welcoming as the others, sometimes we just have to push through the stay and enjoy every moment. Another warning would be about the whether. Although you might have researched the place you’re traveling to in advance- whether always changes, therefore you should always be prepared to be unprepared. Enjoy the downs and faults of your trips- they always make for great stories later on. For example my grumpy mood due to the excessive random rain and cold winds make for a great blog about not being grumpy and enjoying the rain and cold winds.Overall, the city of Mar del Plata was truly a great experience, although cold and grumpy at times, it was truly wonderful.

La Plata and The beginning of the end.

This last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the capital of Buenos Aires, the city of La Plata. Although, it is a city and also the capital- La Plata was both small and adorable. It took my friends and I about 2 hours to walk from one end to the other. It was nice, quite and slow paced- the people seemed to keep to themselves and offer smiling faces. We had the chance to visit the Cathedral of La Plata  – which is one of the best known, along with the Zoo and the Science Museum. All of which were a great addition to out trip.

Along with a the nice trip to La Plata, I am finally able to say – I am done with my Junior Year of college. For many the semester has been over for about a month now, but for me the time is now. I finally emailed my last final paper and let out a hug sigh of relief. Now my vacation can begin !

The next few blogs will be short and sweet, about my last two weeks in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For many Studying Abroad is a way to learn about the world and themselves – but for me it has truly become a life chaging experience that is nearing its end.  Just the thought about having to leave my new home here is saddening, but with the beginning of the end  I will cherish every last bit of it.




Just a few weeks ago I had the amazing experience to travel to the southern side of Argentina. Although, Argentina might seem like a small country, I found myself boarding a plane for 3 hours to head to a different place than Buenos Aires.

After the 3 hours flights I -along with 2 other friends arrived at the small town of Calafate. We stayed in a small very luxurious hostel, where we had a chance to sleep in a nice comfy warm bed. On the day of our arrival there was not much we could do, so we trekked around town for sometime- where we made several doggie friends, until it was time to eat dinner. Considering the timing, we settled for a large lunch which we enjoyed while watching a Brazil vs, Argentina soccer match. After our large lunch we headed back to the Hostel.

The next day we headed out early to go on a tour. On the bus tour we learned about the history of the glacier Perrito Moreno that we were going to see later on. After the bus ride, we continued the tour on a boat where we got up close and personal to the glacier. After the glacier and tour excursion we headed back to the hostel for a restless night- due to the insanely hot room we were in.

On our last day, we laid low and rested in the hostel to enjoy a nice quite day in the lovely town of Calafate.



To Finals week and Staying Positive !

So I’ve noticed I have not keep my promise of making my blogs short and sweet, so, this one will be.

Today begins the last week of classes, which means its finals week. Dealing with papers and exams is not the most exciting thing, but knowing I’m almsot wrapping up my Junior year to become a senior- is. I guess I should mention how difficult it is to juggle traveling, six classes, expenses and relationships, which it really is, but if you ever study abroad always remind yourself that YOU come first. As stressing as it may be to juggle all of these things, always remind yourself, YOU decided to travel abroad and learn – not only about the world but about yourself. NO matter the hardships, the beauty of it all, remember that this moment is what counts- if you failed an exam at least you’ll be able to tell other ” Hey I failed an exam [insert country here], have you done that lately?” or even better if you pass, but all in all – it is you who is abroad. Not your friends, family members, certain loved ones, it is you and you should embrace every moment of it and enjoy !!

ON that note, I will be posting a blog soon enough about my wonderful trip to the southern side of Argentina in Patagonia, Calafate and my soon to come adventure to Mar del Plata. 🙂