My name is Shweta and I am volunteering at Talkers for 3 weeks. I love meeting new people, learning about the culture in Rio Grande do Sul and practicing Portuguese. I was born in London, England but have been living in Australia for 7 years. Right now I am travelling around South America and volunteering in each country to learn more about different cultures.
I have been to many countries in Europe including: France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Italy, Portugal, Denmark and Slovakia. When I was 20, I spent 3 months working in Pennsylvania, USA. I have also travelled around Asia visiting countries such as India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
My favourite country that I have visited so far is Tanzania in Africa. I travelled there on a tour in 2013 and went on safaris around the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. During the day we would drive long distances to get to the safari game parks, and at night, as it was a camping tour, we would have campfires, cook together and sleep in tents under the stars. I saw so many animals in the wild, it was a dream come true. I made great friends in the tour group and we are still in touch. Tours are a great way to meet other travelers, and also to learn more about the places you are visiting as the tour guide can provide a lot of information. Sometimes I like to travel by myself if I want to stop for longer in places or go to different towns. Spending longer in a place you can get to know the town better, and hopefully make some nice local friends!
When I was 26, I decided that instead of taking short holidays all the time, I wanted to travel for a year. I chose to travel around Australia and because I had a whole year, I took my time to volunteer around the country and I took short bus journeys stopping regularly at small towns. I felt that I learnt a lot more about the country this way. I spent 10 months travelling around and then I applied for a job in Alice Springs, Central Australia at a travel agency. My boss was so impressed with my knowledge of the country - he stated that I had been to more places in Australia than most Australians! This job led to another job in tourism and I was sponsored by my new employer to stay in the country longer and get permanent residency. After 3 years I applied for Citizenship and received my Australian passport. This was a very proud moment in my life.
In my travel experience, I have learnt that language is important, and knowing 2 or 3 languages can be a great benefit. To travel around Brazil and the rest of South America, I am learning Portuguese and Spanish. If you want to travel, English is a useful language to know as it is the most common second language in the world, therefore, learning English is important as it enables you to communicate with people in other countries.
I had no idea that when I left England in 2011 to travel to Australia, that I would love it so much and stay there. That´s what I love about travelling, it opens your mind to new possibilities and adventures.
SHWETA TANNA - UNIDADE FARROUPILHA