“Art is having talent for living a marvelous life.”

That’s a quote I read on a wall of the modern art museum in Buenos Aires. At least, that’s how I translated it.

Modern art doesn’t appeal to me. It seems aimed more at disturbing or confusing. I prefer artists who depict something real; even if it is done in an imaginative way, like Picasso or Rivera.

I suppose that’s an unfair judgement rendered by my own biases. So be it; I think I shouldn’t have to read the title to understand the image. I want to wonder how they saw the shapes and colors and lines that they transferred so beautifully to the page, canvas, or stone.

I like visiting art museums. I try to find inspiration in looking at other people’s art. Maybe an image will spark some memory from my childhood. Or a passage in a blog will shine light on some issue that has been working its way through my subconscious. When that happens, writing feels easy.

Yesterday I toured the museums of Córdoba with a couple of English guys. We had met the night before at the hostel, gone out for a couple of pints, and when they offered me to join them on their museum excursion, I–having already planned to take advantage of the city’s free museum admission on Wednesdays policy–agreed.

Part of me wondered if I was making a mistake coming here. Why did I want to go to South America? And for three months! Was I insane? Or was I just running away from my problems, hoping to bury them in Latin American culture, and alcohol.

And on my own to boot. No one would accompany me on this journey. It would just be me and the road. Surely I would get lonely during my travels.

That hasn’t been the case. My fears were proven unfounded the first night in Santiago. I’ve stayed in hostels full of people just like me–travelers taking an opportunity to see parts of the world new to us.

Each stop on the way has been the same. Whether it’s a welcoming hostel staffer, a gracious AirBnB host, or another nomad on their own trip, I’ve always been surrounded by a fascinating collection of other people.

It’s been great to learn how easy it can be to connect based on just one common interest.

The museums were worth the price of admission.


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