BAA.mWell, it seems like my trip to Buenos Aires was forever ago, but it has been only a few weeks since I returned from the “Paris of South America” to the mountains of New England.

As I reflect on this most recent stay in Buenos Aires, my third visit to the city in the past five years, I can say that the place still holds a spell over me. It is hard to put my finger on just exactly why. I have been quoted as saying that the city is filthy, decaying, crowded, smelly, and full of dog poop, yet I love every inch of it.

Sure there are grand boulevards, towering monuments and a certain old world meets new world charm. However, the city is devoid of true architectural gems, truly great museums and cultural attractions, and yet the collective quilt of the sprawling metropolis was as compelling and exciting to me as it was on my first visit in 2009.

Even though the Argentine economy has had its ups and down over the past decade (more downs than ups) and there is a sort of decaying façade to the entire city of Buenos Aires, there still lives an optimism in its people and a spirit that anything is possible – and it is infectious.

Among the city’s charms is a sort of nostalgic cast hovering over the city. It is a city where there are café’s on every corner where the locals still spend hours over meals sitting, talking and enjoying a drink. On Buenos Aires’ bustling streets you can still see busy newsstands, flower sheds and shoeshine boys and people living out their daily lives in a truly authentic way.

I found that being in Argentina on this past trip felt like I was very far away from home. Far away from the cold winter. Far away from all the stress and business of my daily life. Part of this, of course, is that Buenos Aires IS very far away from my home – something like 6000 miles. But it is more than that. It took only a few hours in the city before I was moving to its unique pace and rhythms and I felt right at home.

When I returned home to my tiny New Hampshire hamlet, I was struck by just how far away I was. For starters, it was summer in Argentina, and very much winter in New Hampshire. My last day in Buenos Aires had a high temperature of 98 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) and I returned to a low temperature on my first night back in South Tamworth of -19 Celsius (-2 Fahrenheit).

Meanwhile, Buenos Aires proper has a population of 3,050,728 souls with a metro area of over 15 million. My village of South Tamworth has just 178 people with the town of Tamworth hosting a population of about 2,300. City mouse, country mouse.

Now a month on from my trip I have an itch to return to Argentina already. Some of that of course is just the idea that vacation is always better than real life and summer is sweeter than winter. But it is more than that…

…Buenos Aires is in my blood.