The Polo Diaries Book 3
Before Roxy found herself “Single in Buenos Aires,” she was a single girl in London in search of true love. The third installment of The Polo Diaries series takes us back to that time, and we follow Roxy as she hires a love coach to help her navigate the dating scene. But the love coach comes up with an unexpected assignment: reconnect to a long-forgotten passion. For Roxy this means horses. Within weeks, she finds herself playing polo, thanks to a series of unforeseen events.
Torn between her desire to become the best polo player she can be and the dream of falling in love, Roxy steps fully into the exciting and demanding world of polo, where injury and recovery mix with hard training, and where celebrating the victory of a tournament comes at a high price. Will Roxy eventually become the polo player she dreams to be? And with polo being such a demanding sport, can there be any space left for love?
A Kiss on the Cheek
I’ve travelled to many places in my life. In my teenage years, I travelled all over Europe. In my twenties, it was Africa. I joined two others in a car and we crossed Africa from North to South travelling though more than 20 countries along the way. In my thirties I become more settled. Adventure travel was replaced by business travel and social engagements. And so I moved from the offices of Silicone Valley to those of Moscow and attended weddings and social events from Denmark to Jordan.
By the time I turned 35 I had travelled to more than a third of the countries of the world. And then, I travelled to one more country. One early morning I landed in Argentina.
Its magic hit me from the first moment I stepped out of the plane. The sun was shining with an intensity I didn’t remember from anywhere else. I tried to tell myself that it was normal I felt that way. After all, November is a month of spring in Argentina while back in England, where I was coming from, November is the dullest and darkest month of the year. And yet there was something else, something hard to explain that hit me with the same intensity as the sunlight. I felt I had landed home.
I didn’t know anyone in that country. I had a friend who was there on a business trip and who promised to meet me for dinner. I had two other email addresses of some friends of friends back home. I had come there to play polo and I knew it would be easy enough to find some polo farms or estancias as they call them there. I had a one way ticket, a huge polo gear bag and I was eager to get going with my polo games.
But Argentina taught me that things are not always going to go according to plan. And the more the plan fails, the better life gets.
I did play polo as I intended. I went to polo estancias and played games and tournaments. It was fun and I told myself I made a good choice. But this was only the beginning. Argentina had a lot more wonders in store for me.
I started to meet people and soon became accustomed to their ways of social interaction. I had noticed pretty early that in Argentina, in order to say hi you give a kiss on the cheek – the right cheek to be more precise – to everyone you meet. And when I say everyone, it’s really everyone. Need to see a doctor? Kiss him on the right cheek. Dentist? Same. Meeting friends? The kiss is a must. Getting introduced to friends of friends? You kiss again. Going to a party with two hundred people? You’re expected to kiss all of them on the right cheek when you get there, and again before you leave. I was almost starting to kiss taxi drivers until a friend told me that I can stop there – taxi drivers and shop attendants were an exception from the ever-present kiss rule.
Soon, I realised I had a circle of friends there. It all started with the two email addresses of the friends of my friends in London. I got invited to their homes. I got introduced to their friends, who gave me a kiss on the cheek and invited me to social events, meals, parties and barbeques and introduced me to their friends. More kisses on the cheek. More invites. I went to the hairdresser and got kissed on the cheek and before I knew it I became friends with the hairdresser. She invited me out and I met her friends too. I started studying Spanish and training with a personal trainer and I became friends with these people too. It must have been due to the ever present kiss on the cheek rule. Soon, my number of friends and social life in Argentina greatly surpassed that of my own home country.
And then I went to play polo with a family who owned a farm outside Buenos Aires and this is where Argentina showed me the next level from the kiss on the cheek quick friendship. We played polo together and then they invited me to stay for Christmas. I met the whole family at the Christmas party, there were about one hundred people. I gave a kiss on the cheek to all of them. And then, a few days later, I hurt my back riding and they invited me to stay with them until I recovered. And I did.
I left but I came back soon. And then I came back again. And again. I kept on coming back to my adoptive Argentine family until I realised one thing: I could never fully leave. This was not just another country that I travelled to. It was a lot more. It may have started with a kiss on the cheek but as I came back time and time again I finally got it: I have become one of them.
And this was the most precious and unexpected gift Argentina had in store for me.
And if you want to know more about how a polo girl got to know Argentina, read The Polo Diaries Series!
Thank you, Roxana Valea and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.
As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate Word is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband between England and Spain, and splits her time between writing, coaching and therapy work, but her first passion remains writing.
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