Livingtourians with Wings - Silvia Freitas
Where are you from? Tell us a little about your city or region!
I am from the city of Peso da Régua. I think that almost everyone must have heard of this city so important for the production and distribution of the famous Port wine, especially in the past. Located in the Douro region, so talked about and publicized recently that there are few things I can say that have not been said.
When did you join the Living Tours family and what is your role?
I started working in August 2019 as a guide.
Why Living Tours? And why Tourism?
At first, I think it was a lucky break for the destination, because for a long time I wanted to work as a tour guide. But the reason I stayed at Livingtours, as far as I'm concerned, was because being a guide is something I really like to do, it's a job that also gives me personal satisfaction and here at Livingtours I feel that my job was also and is valued. Tourism is an area that puts us in direct and daily contact with people living in other realities, with completely different cultures, which translates into a constant challenge and learning. Furthermore, I am a person who likes to communicate and who loves Portugal, so it is a great pleasure for me to get to know our country.
How is your working day?
My workday is never the same, which is fantastic. Although there is a script with mandatory stops and a more or less planned speech, there are always situations that surprise us. When I take a tour, at first I like to establish visual contact with tourists, because for me it is important to create, or at least try to create, empathy with people, so that this human aspect will never cease to be present, after all , we will share several hours together. Throughout the tour I try to understand the group's preferences and adjust myself whenever possible. For me, it is essential to keep an open mind, that is, without preconceived ideas, because human beings react differently to stimuli. For example, the fact that a person does not ask questions does not mean that he is not interested in knowing, he may just be a shy person. And the most important thing, in my opinion, is to keep the focus on the group, on what is best for the group, while giving importance to the individual, but I never forget that I have a group of people whose well-being is my priority. And these are basically the essential points in my work day.
What are your hobbies, how do you like to spend your free time?
I especially like to learn new things. Besides, I like listening to music, movies, reading and doing yoga. Whenever I have the opportunity, I like to explore our country a little more and take lots of photos! And I love to travel, it's my personal luxury!
How many countries have you traveled so far?
Of all of them, what was your favorite trip and the one that most marked you and why?
New Zealand. It is a country with a "supernatural" natural landscape, with sounds, smells, colors and shapes that really seem to be out of this world. It is in fact a country with an incredible nature, which makes us feel like children again and believe in magic again. It was one of the last countries to suffer the effect of civilization and this is easily understood, because it maintains a large part of its territory in a natural state. I love nature and outdoor walks and in New Zealand I was able to enjoy it all safely.
What is the best experience / tour you had on a trip?
Visit to a colony of penguins, more precisely the blue penguin, which is the smallest penguin in the world. At dusk the penguins return from the sea to their nests and the tour consisted of watching them arrive at the beach and go to the nests. They are very small creatures, with little more than a kilo and about 30 centimeters, and it is impressive to see them come out of the waves and overcome obstacles in such an energetic way.
What is your dream trip to take? And what experience are you looking for on that trip?
My dream trip consists of witnessing the northern lights, being able to see and hear this show of colors that is a natural phenomenon.
What is the best company on a trip for you? with friends, partner, family or alone? It's because?
I think it depends a lot on the destination, but in general, I really enjoy traveling alone, because I can get more out of the trip.
Cultural destination, beach or nature? And what activities do you like to do?
Especially nature, but there are also cultural destinations that attract me. I like to go hiking, I think it's the best way to explore and get to know something, whether in the middle of nature or in a city. I like to carry out activities that allow me to know a little more about the destination in question, be it gastronomic, musical, tours, etc.
If you could travel back in time, when would you travel and why?
For the time of discoveries! Because it was an adventurous time, full of new things to discover and explore. It was a time to question the knowledge we had and test new possibilities.