Gloria, an inspiring traveler, who has spent the last 5 years traveling from one volunteer to another. A great example for those who do not dare to travel because they do not have money, time, or no longer feel the energy to do so.
Tell us, who are you?
Well, my name is Gloria Marina Valle, and I can say that at the moment I enjoy all my time since I have retired from work. I am 64 years old and I am Argentine and Italian. I’m retired as a teacher and anthropologist for 12 years now. In reality, my work as an anthropologist never stopped happening. I have traveled through Canada, USA, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay in America.
I lived a year in Seville in Spain a few years ago and more recently I have worked as a volunteer in several countries in Europe: Denmark, Sweden, Italy, France, Spain and Ireland. I also knew Portugal, Gibraltar, Switzerland and Germany from trips I’ve done before.
We know that several years ago you emigrated from Argentina to Brazil. How was that? What happened in your life Was the decision difficult to make?
Going from Argentina to Brazil was easy since I did it after having been accepted in a 4-year Master’s degree. And I got an academic scholarship year after year that allowed me to survive for the time that the Master lasted. Then I looked for ways to live while teaching, and that’s how things went through.
How did you start with this volunteering? How did you know about this way of traveling? What do you appreciate the most about the experience?
With my daughter who lives in Denmark today, we had planned to volunteer together in England. But then there was a better opportunity for her in Denmark and for me in Sweden. That happened in 2016, and since then I have done many volunteering in Europe returning to my “Base” in Brazil.
My plan to volunteer continues. The most difficult thing is to find good people as a host since it’s common that they are not very balanced psychologically or they only try to get volunteers to avoid paying an employee. There is supposed to be an inherent logic to the host – volunteer relationship that it’s not “So capitalist.” What I appreciate most is having had the opportunity to meet other wonderful volunteers and also lovely people in the role of “Host”.
How do you see traveling in anthropological terms?
“Traveling” In anthropological terms has many meanings depending on the reason or purpose of the trip. There are tourist trips, where the traveler’s gaze has a special slant (that ecstatic look of “The first time”). There are also the trips of transhumant shepherds, business trips, exploratory trips, various study tours, etc.
What is traveling, for you?
For me traveling is much more a tourist trip, I am interested in being in the places I go for a minimum of 5 weeks in order to fully understand the way of living in the place and also to adapt my rhythms to the rhythms of the place. Traveling with a meaning is for me, to be located in a place and to participate in some relevant task in that place, hopefully working as a team, sharing with other people.