As a recent college graduate, I was young but broke and didn’t want to squander my meager savings. So when I decided on a solo trip to Argentina as my first post-college adventure, I was determined to make my budget stretch as far as possible.
When I arrived in Buenos Aires the hostel where I had planned to stay didn’t exist anymore, which a local English-speaking student standing nearby informed me was completely normal. She pointed me in the direction of another one up the street, saying that it was cheaper than the one I had planned on anyway. Cheaper than $8 (24 pesos) a night? Yes, it was one whole dollar (3 pesos) cheaper. At the time, it did not seem like much of a difference. Little did I know how far my measly little dollar could stretch in Argentina.
The peso was about three to the American dollar, which basically meant that I was three times richer than I would be in the States. And so I began my trip by converting pesos into dollars silently in my head before every purchase. And every time I almost had to physically refrain myself from proclaiming my astonishment at the prices: "Only two dollars for a movie ticket?!?" I could really live a life of luxury here with the amount of money I had, with steak and wine every night, and staying in nice hotels and resorts. I had to remind myself that I didn’t come to Argentina for the luxury; I came for experience, which just so happens to be quite a bargain.