In 2015, Shanny lived with a family in Italy and was a part time au pair, and part time tutor with the Walk and Talk program through GeoVisions. She has been involved with the GeoVisions Alumni community since her return, and is our April Alumni of the Month! Take a look at her video from her time in Italy and get to know Shanny in our interview with her below.
What music should we be listening to as we read your answers?
Buon viaggio (share the love) – Cesare Cremonini
Our motto is ‘Experiences are more important than landmarks’ – in a couple of sentences, share an experience you had on your program (or a weekend adventuring on your own) that stands out to you.
Il Ponte Vecchio is this grand medieval arch-bridge that connects both sides of Florence over the Arno River. A notable landmark that has the heart of the Italian Tuscany region embodied in it. Overlooking it from one of the street you can appreciate it’s beauty, but it wasn’t until i was standing on top of it, surrounded by all the people among its famous jewelry stores, listening to this Italian guitarist playing ballads and enjoying the sunset, that I understood that the perspective from that landmark was more beautiful that the actual view of it. I was living that place, and not looking at it.
There are great travel apps out there that help you convert currency, translate words or menus and mapping apps. If you used technology abroad – what was your ‘go-to’ app or platform while traveling?
The Maps and/or Google Maps app.
I’ve always felt fascinated about looking and following maps, to transit the streets of a city as if they were the veins of a place slowly coming alive while you flow in them. It’s amazing to have an interactive and moving city on your fingertips that allows you to discover places to stay, eat, visit, where and how to move from one place to another and a real perspective of were you are in that exact moment.
What would be the advantages and disadvantages of living permanently where you had your GeoVisions program?
There’s a reason why Italy is called “Il Bel paese”, the beautiful country. The sights, the food, the music, art, it’s story, the people… they all create this living masterpiece of a country. The fact that I speak Italian gives me a great advantage, since I can completely sink into this lovely culture.
Thought this idea sounds great, it is halfway around the world from home, so I would terribly miss my family and friends.
What sense do you value most while traveling?
Sight. They say “out of sight, out of mind”, and I agree. It’s hard to truly grasp some experiences and places if we cannot see them with our own eyes.
Do you have a favorite travel quote or mantra?
I repeat the word “wanderlust” in my mind over and over again every time that I feel that urge to go and explore, it eases me and gives my travels a much deeper meaning. Centers me in the idea that to travel is also to stroll round without a defined purpose.
Describe the most interesting person you met on one of your travels.
This question gets harder to answer the more I travel, since I’ve encountered so many amazingly beautiful people throughout my travels: from various places, with different stories that arrived to my life in multiple ways and staying in it for a different amount of time. They are all unique and special that is impossible to compare them, therefore, to choose one.
I believe we are the sum of every human being we come across with, we give and take a little bit in every human interaction, we become a living product of a network of people that crossed our paths in life.
Did you ever get lost while traveling? If so, tell us about it.
I can honestly say that I got lost on purpose. Only by following your own spirit, your gut and that sense of adventure, will take you to places beyond the existence of many. The places we discover when we are not looking for them and happen as an accident in our lives, sometimes are the most meaningful ones. That’s how I ended inside a beautiful hidden cave in Capri Island in Italy, admiring the Faraglioli rocks in peaceful solitude, the place I can now call my favorite in this whole world.
What are your plans now that you are back home? Any great new adventures you’ll be embarking on?
I finished my Walk and Talk Program back in 2015, went back home to Mexico to graduate and embarked on yet another international and longer adventure.
I’m currently living in Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, working for a luxurious boutique hotel that is rated as a 4-stars Forbes hotel, the Inn and Club at Harbor Town.
I got this internship in the Front Desk and Guest Relations position to be able to work in the hospitality industry since it’s my true passion and to gain experience from a world class company.
As much as I love my country, I have my mind on settling down in the USA. Where? That’s an question I’m still working on finding the answer to!
Are you interested in the Italy Walk & Talk Program? Learn more about it here.
Want to be our next Alumni of the Month? Fill out the form below to get started!