It's been a while since I last posted, and in lieu of a post with a central theme, I thought I'd just give a brain dump on where I'm at mentally and emotionally as the first leg of my trip starts to wind down.
I've spent lots of time following the election and the aftermath over the last week, and part of me sympathizes for friends and family back home who have a harder time getting away from the wall-to-wall coverage than I do. On election night, I watched along on CNN (which they broadcast in English), and stayed up til about 5:30 local time until his speech was wrapped up and I had read an excessive amount of election coverage breakdown. In fact it was the first time I've seen the sun rise sober in a long long time. At one point, I had planned to write a long post based solely on politics/division/views from abroad/etc, but instead I'll mention a few quick things to ponder.
Even though I'm out of the US, I still feel fairly connected to US through social media and the like, and the split in our country truly worries me. Whether it's race, class, income level, or level of education, sides seem to be as far apart as I can remember in my young life (I can still call myself young for 27 more days). Across the board, regardless of affiliation, there's an increased level of defensiveness and a troubling lack of empathy. And while I don't think Fox News or MSNBC are going to be changing their programming strategy anytime soon, we can all make an effort to empathize and understand those who disagree with us. One method I'm using to do this, and one which I can highly recommend, is a series of podcasts called 'Intelligence Squared US Debates'. They have several years worth of topics on a wide variety of subject, and they bring in well-educated and (mostly) civil people to debate their side. It's a great way to get an introduction to subjects about which you may not think you know enough, and it's fairly heavily moderated so you can actually hear debate on policy, which we've been so sorely lacking recently. Give it a shot with an open-mind and let me know what you think.
Outside of that, I'm getting very close to the end of my stay in Buenos Aires, having 2 weeks until my feet will land on US soil. This whole time I've been so excited to meet new people, develop relationships, and so on. But as I get closer to the departure date, my mindset has started to change. I'm not sure I can even eloquently describe it but it is slowly starting to become me getting ready to leave versus living life day by day. I suppose it's a feeling people feel every time you move but as someone who has lived in Atlanta the vast majority of their life, it's not one I have often faced. My goal over the net two weeks is simply to have as much fun as I can, mark some final things off the Buenos Aires to-do list, and soak in the experiences unique to this place which I'm sure I will miss soon after I get off the plane. That being said, I am excited to see friends and family soon. The comforts of home will be welcomed, if not the cold weather.