“Is traditional Argentinian folk music popular in Argentina,” my friend Julia asks. Leonardo, the owner of this quaint, little guitar shop, tells us that it’s listened to, but I get the feeling that it’s not exactly in the Top 40 playlist. He walks to a shelf of CDs and pulls out an album of live music by a seventeen year-old boy who plays traditional Argentinian music. “Lo voy a regalarnos,” he says, “I’m gifting it to you.” Amber, Julia, and I walk out of the guitar shop, me with my new guitar in hand, and Julia with the new album of Argentinian folk music. We comment how that kind gesture by Leonardo is what creates the beautiful moments and lasting memories that tend to come with traveling.
Further down the street, Amber stops to quickly look at some handmade wallets made from repurposed milk cartons that a woman has laid out on a piece of cloth on the ground. As Amber purchases one, Julia asks the woman how she makes the bracelets that she also has for sale. The artisan, Johanna, says that she’s learned over time, and also by asking other artists about patterns that she sees them making. She kindly offers to teach Julia how to make the pattern that creates diamonds rather than the typical single-width band. Julia accepts her offer, and before we know it, we’re all sitting on the sidewalk alongside Johanna: Julia learning to make the bracelet, me playing some songs on my newly purchased guitar, and Amber taking in the beautiful moment that is unfolding in front of us. Again, Amber comments how such an experience is something that creates memories.
The simple happenings that occur when you’re traveling, when you’re experiencing a new culture and place, create beautiful moments. In turn, those moments create memories and stories to carry with you along the way.