Retirement On The Pampas
“The older I get, the more the idea appeals to me,” remarked an old friend over drinks the other afternoon. “I’ve always thought we’d return to the States when the time came for retirement, but, more and more, I’m drawn to the wide-open spaces of Argentina.”
My friend and I were sitting outdoors at a café across from the Seine, sipping champagne and watching the river. It was 7 p.m., but the sun shone bright. This time of year in this part of the world, it doesn’t set until well past 10.
My friend, an American, has been living outside the United States with his family for more than 15 years. For most of that time, they’ve been based in Paris. Several years ago, though, my friend bought a piece of land, with an old hacienda, in Argentina. Since then, he’s been trying his hand as a cattle rancher on the pampas. And the idea has grown on him.
“We’ll continue to return to Paris regularly,” he continued, “and we’ll keep our apartment here. But, when I think about my retirement years now, I imagine myself on horseback, riding out each morning to check on the herd or maybe to mend some fences.
“A friend has also purchased a ranch in the same province of Argentina as ours. I can see us meeting up for long rides and then later, back at the house, for an asado.
“I enjoy the way of life down there. Days spent on the land, tinkering with improvements to the property. Evenings spent around the fire. The food, the wine…I’ve really begun to look forward to it…”