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Vail man realizes a dream

Mark Cervantes
Special to the Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyFormer Vail resident Mark Cervantes is looking for adventure and new business opportunities in Argentina
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VAIL, Colorado –Have you ever thought about doing something for so long that it reaches the point of becoming more of a dream or unattainable wish that plays like a movie in your head again and again, year after year?

Well I have and it was to return to Argentina to live, work, travel and experience it in all its glory. About six months ago it was if the lights came down in the theater, the credits began to run, my date passed me the popcorn and my movie began. Life has a funny way of presenting opportunities to us all. My dream, unattainable wish, or movie, if we want to call it that, was presented to me in the way of a nationwide economic meltdown during last ski season.

As the senior director of operations at an organization rooted in vacation rental, real estate and mortgage, I could see the iceberg in the distance and wanted no part of the inevitable wreckage to come. My girlfriend and true companion also saw a similar situation at her job, and so the forces of the universe that served as the producers of my movie began to work.



We had some realistic and long-winded conversations about the near future of the economic landscape of the U.S. and our particular jobs at the time. We agreed, at least for us, the next year was not going to be one of great financial gain and we decided to make enjoying life a priority over making money.

With that said, we decided that we would wrap our lives up tightly in boxes, store everything, and spend some of the money we had been working so hard to earn and save. This was the alternative to dragging our economic feet for a year and it was a very appealing one – after all, life is short and jobs as well as money come and go. What won’t come and go is the opportunity to spin the globe, pick a spot and buy a plane ticket.



For many reasons Argentina was a front runner for us almost immediately. First, my backpacking trek over 10 years ago through the entire continent of South America had left me yearning for more of that amazing country. Of all the places I saw, Argentina was the one I had the strongest desire to return to.

Secondly, Marisa is originally from Buenos Aires but has been living in the U.S. for almost 15 years and almost all of them in Vail. She too had a desire to see family, friends and other regions of Argentina that she may have visited as a little girl with her family. She had spoken fondly of her travels that her father had taken her and here family on, but knew that she had seen only the surface of the beauty that her country had to offer.

Third, but not least, was that currently the exchange is roughly 3.85 pesos to one U.S. dollar. These are all very good reasons but the forces of nature just keep getting stronger.



Marisa’s American-born mother had recently purchased a home in Argentina that was constructed in 1906. She had already begun a complete restoration of this home that was steeped in history and beautiful old construction. It was obvious to me that Marisa had a desire to share in the process of bringing this abandoned site back to life.

Preserving the beauty of the original construction done over 100 years ago seemed like a very exciting process to be involved in, not only for Marisa, but me as well. With all of these strong reasons staring us dead in the face we decided that Argentina was the place we would spend at least a year enjoying life and riding out the economic uncertainties back home.

Now you know the reasons why a guy who has lived, worked and loved calling Vail home for 15 years would pack up and go traveling for a year in Argentina. Additionally I should mention these articles that the Vail Daily staff, friends and Marisa have encouraged me to write will probably read more like my stories and experiences in an incredible setting than a Lonely Planet guide to Argentina.

This region of the world has so much to offer in the way of history, culture, beauty, food, amazing ecosystems and, yes, the world renowned sensual dance of tango. Over the next year I will do my best in these articles to share with you the places I see and our experiences in them from coffee shop to coffee shop, mountain top to mountain top and Argentinean to Argentinean. I hope you enjoy them and furthermore I hope you one day put the paper down, open a Web browser, buy a ticket and join us along the way.


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