Hello, my name is Gilda.
Since reaching a certain “milestone age” I have found myself feeling a great sense of urgency to make changes of lifestyle that would better suit this stage of my life. I have found a greater need to ensure I use my time wisely and follow dreams not yet realised. I have just taken early retirement, from a job I loved to search for adventure. I feel the moment has arrived to explore the world, create new experiences, let curiosity take me away from my comfort zone.
I was born in the South of Brazil, my grandparents were Italian Immigrants. Listening to their stories has certainly played a part in firing up my curiosity about other countries, other languages and cultures. My grandparents were brave people, they left behind the comforts of their motherland to face many difficulties and hardship. Together with their families and also other Italian Immigrants, they boarded a ship bound for a faraway land, a new and underdeveloped country. They’re lives changed forever.
My grandmother, who was also called “Gilda”, used to speak to me in Italian sometimes and I was fascinated by the idea of speaking other languages.
As a teenager, I wanted to learn to speak English, since I loved so many British and American bands and singers and was very curious to understand the lyrics to my favourite songs.
My first trip outside of my state (RS ) was to visit Rio de Janeiro. A 24 hours journey on a tour bus from the South of Brazil, I loved every minute of it and soon after that, I started planning the next trip, this time to visit the neighbouring country of Uruguay.
The idea of backpacking around Europe was something I started dreaming and talking about, over and over with my sister Virginia, who I shared an apartment with, in the capital city of Porto Alegre, where I lived, worked and attended University.
In October 1987 I quit my job in a bank, took a sabbatical from my evening university course and bought a ticket to London. It was the beginning of my adventure in a foreign land.
I fell in love with London as soon as I arrived, it was so exciting to be somewhere so cosmopolitan, all the different languages that were spoken in the underground, cultures from all over the world mixing together and interacting. London was the antidote that I needed to feel alive again.
I met Brian, my now husband in February 1988, It was love at first sight for both of us. We married in December 1988 and I became a ” traveller interrupted” my plans of extensive travelling on hold for the next 30 years.
I have now lived most of my adult life in England, I even went to University here and qualified as a Dietitian, a job I loved, now recently retired from.
I was never able to realise my dream of backpacking around the world, and although I have had many amazing holidays and travelled extensively, all my trips have been the usual one or two weeks holiday or a long weekend, like most people who have a busy job and other commitments.
I have no regrets about the choices I made, of getting married to a great man, settling down in England, having my gorgeous children, but more recently I have started to feel a need of travelling more regularly and I would love to dust off my backpack and set off for an indefinite period of time with no return date and to be able to explore the world freely.
My children are now adults with their own jobs and commitments, my time has finally arrived to throw caution to the wind and set off on some new adventures. I am no longer a “traveller interrupted”…so watch this space 🙂