Karen A Higgs, AKA the Guru’Guay, moved to Uruguay in January 2000. Yup, she’s been living and loving living in Montevideo for the last twenty years.
In an interview she shares the thing that she most loves about living in Uruguay (it may surprise you), what brought her to Uruguay and a totally uncanny coincidence that she thinks made Uruguay her DESTINY.
Karen sat down with Regie Folter, a young Brazilian who also loves calling Uruguay her home, to discuss some burning questions.
To see the full interview, check out the video.
Here are some highlights
Regie: How does 20 years in Uruguay feel?
Karen: Oh! Of course it’s passed by really quickly – because life passes by really quickly. It’s a good feeling, a really good feeling. We had traveled around a lot and lived in lots of different places in Europe, in Latin America, in the States, before we came here. Our son didn’t like change at all. So the idea was that we should stay in a place so he could do primary school and make friends. He’s now 24 years old. And we never left!
Regie: What do you love the most about being here?
Karen: I really like the people, especially in a world today that’s so full of conflict. I think that here the people are so reasonable. I went to a political event where four candidates seeking their party’s nomination were debating, and I just remember thinking that the discourse was so reasonable, so amiable. I absolutely love that.
I also love the way that in Uruguay everybody is kind of on the same level. I met the Minister of Tourism and when I asked her if she would be attending an event that I was arranging, she said to me ‘oh yes, I’ve got it in my agenda, let me show you!’, and she got out her cell phone and she was literally next to me flicking through her cell phone, and she’s like ‘oh there it is! I told you that I was going be going!’. When I asked Uruguayan friends how can this this be, they said to me ‘well, you know, we’re a small country, 3.5 million people. She could be your neighbour’.
Regie: When did you realize that Uruguay was going to be your home?
Karen: After having lived here for about 6 years. That was the moment where we could have decided to move on but instead we decided to stay. I have no desire to live anywhere else, to be honest.
Regie: I heard that destiny played an important part in your story regarding Uruguay. Can you tell us why?
Karen: I didn’t actually realize this until we’d been living here for over ten years. A friend of ours sent me a photograph of a photograph, and said ‘can you believe this?’ It was a photo that she’d taken when my partner and I moved to Buenos Aires in 1992. I was 26 years old and very excited about living in Buenos Aires. It was such a cool city. This friend had come to meet us at the airport, then she stayed with us for several days, and took a few photos as we explored.
She took a photo of me hugging a street sign in a completely random neighbourhood. Look at the name of the street, look at the direction that the arrow is pointing, and look at my expression. My understanding is that there are over 30,000 streets with 30,000 names in Buenos Aires. I didn’t even really know that Uruguay existed and certainly not that it was across the water. Don’t you think that’s destiny?
Join the Guru’Guay online
To follow Karen A Higgs, sign up to our mailing list to receive a monthly newsletter where she shares information she doesn’t share elsewhere and also join her on Instagram where she post random images of her day.
Facebook Page The official Guru’Guay page where we curate selected blog posts, top picks and articles about Uruguay from the Guru’Guay website and other sources
Instagram This is the Guru’Guay snapping as she goes about her daily business
Discover Uruguay Facebook group The Guru’Guay community share top picks, tips and general fun stuff you’ll want to know about living and visiting Uruguay. The Guru moderates to keep it a friendly group
YouTube Will be getting off the ground later this year. We currently have a number of great videos in Facebook but that will be changing.
Hi! Thank you for that nice blog about the Uruguay ! Your blog is probably one of the most detailed one I’ve ever read! Thanks!
Thank you, Darina. If you like it, you’ll enjoy our monthly newsletter which you can sign up to in the footer of this page. Best, Karen