Posted by: Shanie Matthews | September 22, 2010

Living Abroad in Paradise

As you may know, or not, my husband, Jamie, and I moved to Argentina five years ago, moving to Bariloche two years into living abroad. Being mountain lovers and outdoor adventurists, we first came to Bariloche on a four month sabbatical from the intense and draining San Rafael, Mendoza summer heat. We decided that we would use our time to do two things:

1. study the real estate market

2. play in the outdoors as much as possible

It is safe to say we went at both with fury…

We got to know the city of 150,000. Buying a book of Bariloche maps, we drove around all of the different barrios, getting to know each one…which ones we liked, which ones were definitely out of consideration. We found which ones had the sun, which ones stayed cold. We listened to the chatter of many different real estate agents (and found many to be a bit on the self-serving end). And then we took the information that resonated with us and did our own homework. Listing after listing, there was one property that kept shining bright at us but our realtor that we were working with to see properties didn’t want to show it to us.

When it came to playing outdoors, we enjoyed ourselves as if we were youngsters once again…goofy grins of appreciation sitting on our faces as we took in the extensive lush and healthy forests and lakes of the Parque Nacional de Nahuel Huapi…slack jaws of wonderment as condors flew close enough for us to hear the wind rustling their feathers…sunsets that lasted the length of a well-chilled homemade beer made by the brewery down the road.

We fell in love with Bariloche quick.

this picture was taken during the sabbatical and by chance my hair is pointing at the location of our future Patagonian home

As time went on one thing became more and more clear…there was one area in Bariloche that kept us coming back for more…the Llao Llao area.

And, coincidentally, or not, our investigative work came to show us that Llao Llao was exactly where the property that kept calling out to us in the listings was located. It was only a month into our four months of Bariloche detail when we found the property that would end up being our future home, but we both knew in our hearts that we had found something very, very special.

Now three years later, we are selling our beautiful property and gearing up for the next adventure.

I am so very grateful to have wandered upon this wonderful place on my sendero of life. Mil Gracias Bariloche!



  1. You are a great writer Shanie!

    • Thanks Katherine! I really appreciate your kind words!


    • Thanks Katherine! (:

  2. A very beautiful story…. Great article!! See you in Alaska!!

    • Hi Robert! Thanks so much for the kind comment! Looking forward to seeing you all up in the great northern territory! (:


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