Meet Marina, a local Uruguayan and avid traveler. In this article, she shares her story, passion for travel and dedication to others.
On our short visit to Montevideo in Uruguay, we stayed with Marina in the outskirts of the capital. Marina welcomed us with open arms and heart into her house. We shared stories, delicious food, and thoughts about our future travels. Born in Uruguay, Marina lived in Geneva and came back to her home country. We asked her to share her story with us and inspiration for traveling.
Tell us about your growing up in Uruguay
I was born in the capital city of Uruguay, Montevideo, but I grew up in a small town in Uruguay called Migues. My family moved there because it was a safer place to stay during the military dictatorship. My parents’ ideology was considered “dangerous” by the military government, so they had to quit their public jobs. My father found a job as a primary care physician in Migues. On the opposite, my mother, who was a high school teacher, couldn’t work for 8 years. So I have a bittersweet memory of my childhood because I felt very free in that town where I had many friends and I could see them at any time just by going outside, but at the same time, I could perceive that my parents were worried.
How did you start a career in Medicine?
As a child, I spent time with my father at work, which made me develop an interest in medicine, mostly in Research. When I finished high school in Migues, I moved up to Montevideo to study Medicine. After I got my degree, I came back to Migues to work with my father and at the same time, I started the specialization in Medical Microbiology.
How did your taste in traveling started?
My adventurous spirit led me to accept a scholarship at the Pasteur Institute in Paris when I was 30 years old, in a time when traveling and studying abroad was not as common as it is now. This experience marked my life forever. Since then I have had difficulties staying a long time without traveling, which reminds me that my last trip was exactly 1 year ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic!
Where have your travels taken you? How did you find out about couchsurfing?
Between my period in Paris and today, I’ve traveled a lot and I even lived abroad again for 4 years. This was in Geneva between 2008 and 2012. This is where I learned about Couchsurfing. I loved the idea because of the possibility of meeting people from different cultures and countries. I can’t remember exactly the number but for sure I hosted people from 10 or more countries. I think Joana and Charoula were my last visitors, except for a Brazilian guy who comes regularly from his hometown in Brazil to study an MBA in Uruguay and uses my couch 3 or 4 times a year.
What has travel brought you?
All these exchanges were very rich from a social and cultural point of view. You always learn something from the people you know while traveling, and I always enjoy hanging out with these people, probably because they are as curious as me. Let’s remember that I’m 48 now and I keep intact my adventurous spirit.
When will your next trips be?
I’m waiting for the world to calm down to start touring it again. Meanwhile, I enjoy being home with my two cats, I read and I try to write, and I study, always. Because, in the same way that I still feel young to travel, I still feel young to study new things and develop new projects. After all, that was what allowed me to get out of my bubble to see the world the first time.
Thanks to Joana and Charoula who encouraged me to write this little review that reminds me that I have had a very fun life traveling and meeting wonderful people.
We want to thank Marina for hosting and welcoming us into her home. We really enjoyed the conversations and laughters that we shared, and we hope we will meet each other again in the future, either in Europe or in South America.
Thank you Marina for sharing your story with us!
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