By Sorrel Moseley-Williams
For The Herald
From: Winchester, UK
Lives in: Mendoza
Education: Comparative Literature at King’s College London, NCE journalism
Reading: The Wine Maker
Last film seen: The Life of Pi
Amanda Barnes came to learn more about Argentina’s wine industry for a three-month stint. Four and a half years on, the British journalist lives in Mendoza and set up an education foundation with some friends to help less advantaged families who work in the vineyards.
Having worked in newspapers from the tender age of 15, journalist Amanda Barnes decided it was time for a year-long break to Argentina, Peru and Colombia. Inspired by Latin American literature studied during her degree — namely one particular incomparable Argentine author — almost five years on, she never moved on to those other countries.
She says: “After working in newspapers in England for three years, I decided to take a sabbatical to focus more on food and travel writing. So I came to Argentina — and that was four and a half years ago. I started in Buenos Aires and had studied world literature at university and so I fell in love with Argentina from afar because of Borges. The plan was to start in BA for three months and focus wine, then I was going to go to Lima and focus on food, then go to Colombia, García Márquez’ home, and write about travel — but I never left Argentina.
“I spent about four months in BA and I really enjoyed the city but I decided to learn more about wine and to be close to that at grassroots level. So I got more involved spending time in wineries and felt it was as a great base from which to visit Brazil and Chile, but I still haven’t made it to Peru or Colombia! I’m a very slow traveller, and still consider that I am travelling. Living in a new country means you get new experiences every day and I’m not tired of it. Rather than settling here, I’ve still got lots to explore and that’s why I still enjoy it. Most of my friends have fallen in love with Argentines but I’ve stayed for the wine, which is the honest truth! And the great weather.”
JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY
Given that Amanda was only ever meant to be away from the UK for a year, of course it was a surprise for the folks back home when she didn’t return.
“My family always thought I’d be back after a year but I think I realized after 12 months that i’d still be here for another year and so it goes on. But I don’t see myself moving back any time soon. I never had the intention of staying forever but I’m still discovering so much. I think my family is a bit disappointed I stayed in Argentina as it’s so far way — they’d probably prefer it if I was a bit closer in Europe.
“But I’ve always found living here very easy and I enjoy the social aspect, the time that people put into their friends and family. I enjoy the slower pace of life and the time spent outside the office. Obviously there are frustrations with regard to... (Read More)
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