Things I Miss About South America

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In college, I spent a lot of time exploring South America and latino culture. I felt a natural affinity with the people, the places, the history, like I was somehow meant to be there. Now that I’m back to reality and living in New York City, the most intense city in the United States, I can’t help but miss my Hispanic counterparts.

I truly believe everyone in life needs a balance. Work hard, play hard. Live to the fullest and take each experience with you throughout your continuous journey. And there are definitely some characteristics of Latin American culture that we could learn from.

1. General Happiness

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Image Source: Mother Nature Network

The people in Latin America are so damn happy all the time. Even if they’re in poverty or working three jobs, everyone just seems so optimistic. They look at the bright side, feel blessed for what they have, and try not to worry too much about what they don’t have.

2. Lack of Flakiness

It seems like nowadays nobody wants to follow through with plans. They don’t commit to one event or activity, always wanting to stay open to other options that could come along. In Latin America, people spend time with each other and enjoy the present. They’re not looking for what else could be out there, they just savor the moment they’re in.

3. Spirit for Life

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Image Source: Nbc

Like many places outside the U.S., in Latin America people don’t live to work; they work to live. They have their jobs and their careers, but that’s only one aspect of who they are as a person. They recognize the balance between their professional life and their personal life, and they keep both in check.

4. Latino Time

Ok, yes, when people are late it’s very frustrating. No one likes to wait. But the beauty of “latino time” is that people aren’t constantly in a rush to leave. Like I said before, the general consensus in Latin America is that you exist in the moment you’re in…you’re not constantly checking your phone or feeling rushed to do the next thing on the agenda.

5. Cheap and Good Food

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Image Source: Partaste

In New York, you pretty much have to choose: healthy, cheap, or good. In Latin America, everything is so much more relaxed. You can buy a corn on the cob in the street in Mexico or a sliced mango with lemon juice and paprika (surprisingly amazing) for mere change. When a salad in NYC costs $10, it really makes me miss the fresh and delicious salads in Peru of beets, cucumber, carrots, lime juice, and pepper for a few bucks.


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XpatNation is a Social News and Lifestyle magazine, focusing on the insights and experiences on ex-patriots living in The United States.

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