Trip Argentina: The Introduction

Once upon a time I was a project manager for a software company.  This software company did a great many things that look good on paper for employee relations, like giving you a month-long sabbatical every five years, during which you could go to a country where you’d never been and they’d cover your airfare and lodging.  I wanted that free international trip, oh yes I did. 

But not enough to not run screaming at the 2.5 year mark, and mostly regret not leaving a year sooner.  I was one of the longer lived employees there.

My buddy John, who got hired at the same time as me, has no sense of self-preservation.  His prior travel experience involves getting dragged to Iceland with me, and then our impromptu New Orleans trip.  So when he was coming up to his five year mark and it was time to start planning his sabbatical he made me an offer: If I did all the planning and legwork for the trip, I could be his +1.  To which I replied, “You know, I was plannning to go to Argentina this year, but the plane tickets were giving me sticker shock.”

John had hesitations.  Going places that don’t speak English when that’s all you speak and you don’t travel much is scary.  And he seems strangely concerned that I’m going to provoke the TSA or Customs into arresting us.  But I promised to get my Spanish back into working shape, and to not plan the entire thing around eating weird food and walking around giant, crowded cities. 

We’ve already had one adventure, namely, booking our flight out like morons.  Leaving Madison at 8:30pm to fly to O’Hare, so we can catch a 5:30am flight to Miami sort of morons.  Apparently American Airlines is awesome, though, and they let me change the flights on Thursday without charging me a ticket change fee.  “Becuase this isn’t you being flaky; nobody would have booked a flight like that on purpose,” the ticket agent explained.  After answering almost immediately when I finished navigating their voicemail system.  Also, one free checked bag.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a new favorite airline, and I had to invent the category “Favorite Airline” in order to put them in it.

Also, pre-emptive thanks to the folks who loaned me e-reader, watch, plug adaptors, and a copy of Dhalgren that is small enough to actually read comfortably.  You know who you are, and you rock!

I have blog posts scheduled to go to keep y’all entertained while I’m away.  I’m also hoping to blog the trip on the fly a bit so I don’t have a whole month of adventure to write and post when I get back.  But if you’re trying to get a hold of me, or you’re a new commentor waiting for approval, or you desperately miss my rather inane tweets, that’s what’s going on. 

Vacation.  I am in you.

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