Making friends while you’re traveling is a weird thing. It’s a different kind of friendship than the ones that happen naturally, under regular circumstances. There’s an intense, almost instant bond that occurs because you’re together in a foreign land; this odd, survivalist sense of “us vs. them” takes hold very quickly. And they burn so intensely, in part, because it is understood that they have a built-in expiration date; after a few days you’ll go your separate ways, perhaps maintaining casual contact through social media, but never really returning to that initial level. It’s a short and fleeting thing.
Sometimes, though, you find yourself reuniting. Sometimes those “temporary friends” return, pitch a tent in the campsite of your life and become fixtures in your everyday existence. And so you find yourself in this funky situation of rekindling that initial intensity, while trying not to deplete yourself emotionally. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it results in you driving each other up the wall. Sometimes it’s both.
Rease Kirchner was one of those friends for me. We met at a grungy Buenos Aires hostel a long time ago, remained Internet buddies for a while, and then became part of each other’s everyday life when she moved back to Buenos Aires. She lived here for about two years– two of the strangest, funnest, most frustrating and ridiculous years I’ve ever seen anybody live through. As a travel blogger, she has dedicated herself to capturing the joy, pain, and sheer absurdity of cross-cultural exchange through traveling, and keeps a blog titled Indecisive Traveler, a kind of ongoing celebration of happy desultoriness. Since we’re so dissimilar in so many different ways, yet so close as friends, we have an interesting almost brother-sister rapport, so it was a natural fit to have her on as a guest.
We talked about the weirdness of her time in Buenos Aires, being hit on by incredibly creepy Argentine dudes, and the joys of ice cream, among other things. She also put together a playlist of some of her favorite music for us to listen to. Here are the songs Rease chose to feature in this episode:
Death Cab For Cutie- “Crooked Teeth”
Pedro the Lion- “Priests and Paramedics”
Rise Against- “Bricks”
The Weatherthans- “Aside”
Against Me!- “Sink, Florida, Sink”
Listen to our conversation by clicking the player below: