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Five Years in Latin America Posted by on Apr 25, 2022 in Spanish Culture, Travel & Geography, Videos

Do you know that old saying “El tiempo vuela cuando te estás divirtiendo” (Time flies when you’re having fun)? Well, it’s certainly true, because I just celebrated a milestone of cinco años en América Latina (five years in Latin America) and that time absolutely flew by! I always like to reflejar (reflect) in moments like these, as half a decade is quite a long time. That’s easy to do thanks to this blog and all the posts I’ve made over the years! Let’s see where the time went…

My home away from home for most of the past 5 years.

Living in Mexico

He vivido en México durante la mayor parte de los últimos cinco años (I’ve lived in Mexico for most of the past five years). Most of that time has been spent in the lovely beach town of Puerto Vallarta. We originally planned to stay for one month and ended up spending 2.5 years there on and off. It’s just that special!

You can read more about my Mexican home away from home in this post – “Bienvenido a Puerto Vallarta.” If you’re curious to hear more about what it’s like living there, we have a very detailed video about it that you can check out:

También visitamos muchos lugares diferentes en México (We also visited many different places in Mexico). One of my favorites is Ciudad de México (Mexico City), also known as CDMX. Read this post to see what you can do with una semana en CDMX (one week in Mexico City). It includes an exploration of the city’s Centro Historico (Historic Center) as well as some awesome day trips.

The top thing to do in CDMX (in my humble opinion) is seeing lucha libre at the arena. The famous Mexican style of professional wrestling is an exciting event that’s fun for the whole family. Read this post for more info and check out a short video:

También hay muchas ruinas interesantes para visitar (There are also many interesting ruins to visit). I recently wrote about some of the most famous Mexican ruins (Part One, Part Two), so head to those posts for more on amazing places like Teotihuacán and Chichén Itzá.

Studying Spanish

Me gusta aprender español mientras viajo (I enjoy learning Spanish as I travel). Before we moved to Mexico, my Spanish was pretty much limited to “Me gusta tacos” and “Una mas cerveza, por favor.” We took a 3-week Level 1 class at Spanish School Vallarta to learn the basics and highly recommend studying there. You can read more about my experience in this post.

Plaza Botero in the center of Medellín.

También tomé clases de español dos veces en Medellín (I also took Spanish classes twice in Medellin). This is a great place to study Spanish and one of the most popular digital nomad destinations in Latin America. I wrote a detailed post about studying Spanish in Medellín if you’d like to learn more. You also might want to go over this intro to Colombian Spanish.

I almost forgot about that time I took a few weeks of Spanish classes in Lima, la capital del Perú (the capital of Peru). We spent a month there and although we didn’t have the best weather, we quite enjoyed the city. Here’s a video about our experience traveling there and Santiago as digital nomads:

Para ser honesto, mi español todavía no es muy bueno (To be honest, my Spanish still isn’t very good). I can get by when traveling in Spanish-speaking countries, although I’m having a bit of a hard time right now as I’m in Barcelona. The Spanish that’s spoken here is quite different than what I’m used to in Mexico!

Amazing Experiences

What stands out most to me when I look back on the past five years is the sheer amount of amazing places I’ve visited. In my travels around the Spanish-speaking world, there have been dozens of unforgettable experiences.

Machu Picchu Jungle Trek

Machu Picchu!

In the past five years, I’ve been able to check a bunch of things off my lista de deseos (bucket list). This includes trekking to Machu Picchu, visiting the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, hiking/camping in the Patagonia region of Chile, and seeing the Semana Santa processions in Guatemala. All of these experiences have been made even better thanks to my Spanish abilities, meager as they may be.

And how can I forget about celebrating Carnaval in Mazatlán and Barranquilla? Wow was that fun! The motto in Barranquilla is “¡Quién lo vive es quién lo goza!,” which basically means “he who lives it enjoys it.” I lived it and I most definitely enjoyed it! Check this video for proof:

I’ll be forever grateful for all of these experiences I’ve had traveling around this fascinating part of the world for the past half-decade. I’m also thankful to Transparent Language for letting me share my stories and videos with you all during that time. I hope my posts have been useful, entertaining, and insightful for all of you interested in learning the Spanish language and the culture of the Spanish-speaking world.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m in Barcelona for the week and I think it’s time for some tapas!

Hasta luego y muchas gracias a todos!

-Sasha

P.S. I’ll still be writing for the Chinese blog and my page, Grateful Gypsies if you care to follow along.

Image taken and used with permission by Sasha Savinov.

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


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