Traveler Interviews – Giancarlo Gentili
Where have you traveled?
I started traveling in Australia over 10 years ago with the intention of learning a new language. I put my career on hold at the university and traveled to Australia. The language has always been a motivation to travel besides leaving the comfort zone. I always try to find destinations where I do not feel so comfortable, and where I can share with different people.
Soccer has also become one of the biggest motivations I have when I travel. I went to Argentina in 2011, to Russia in 2017, and to the Copa America this year. I have always liked to follow the national team and to live the mystique that is lived by being on this type of trip, which is different from other trips. Sharing with Chileans from different parts of the world and talking about their perspectives on issues that we have in common like Chile itself, is something unique and incredible. That’s why I love traveling for soccer.
I also did an MBA in the US which allowed me to take advantage of the opportunity not only traveling and understanding the culture through the US but also, of what the whole study experience gave me in addition to improve my English.
I have also had the good fortune to travel a lot in Europe and South America, which has allowed me to travel under different conditions, always trying to get out of the comfort zone.
What Motivated You to Do a Magister?
In relation to the MBA, I first decided to leave the country and then to do a master’s degree, so I think it’s a big fact that I made the decision to leave my friends, my family to go to live a different experience. What motivated me the most was to be in a distant country, to live alone, to learn the language well, and that ideally, I could open doors professionally, so doing an MBA connected those 3 wishes. I also wanted to get out of the routine and to enjoy life, that’s why I chose to study this master and not another since I consider that this school is probably where you can socialize the most with classmates. Classes are measured at 50% in participation and there are events practically every day, therefore it is ideal if you are looking for this.
What would you say to someone who wants to do a Master’s Abroad or who wants to have the experience of studying abroad?
I have seen two cases, people who want to do an MBA and who ends up doing it in Chile, and on the other hand, others who want to study outside but end up studying something that probably is not very useful for their professional career. I think that in that sense anyone has the ability to do anything. If you question yourself about what you really want, and if you are able to understand what you really like or not, it will be easier to make a decision around what you are really looking for. I think things are always going to happen when you are sure of what you want to do. Now, it is also important to be flexible, since things not always happen exactly as you imagined, but if you have the right attitude, you will end up realizing that you can always do the things one wants. In terms of money, it was an expensive experience, where me along with my friends who did this, we asked for a loan, but in that sense, there are certain careers where after graduation you can easily recover the investment, so my advice is to be rational in this sense and to consider if the return on investment is obviously positive.
And once on the trip, when the experience is lived, What advice would you give to those who are in that process?
Once in the experience itself, my advice would be to release. To release family, friends, to release everything about your country of origin, and to surrender as much as possible to the experiences and the new people.
Something important too, It’s to avoid prejudices, since you will tend to get along with people similar to you, but you can find that in anyone, independent if they belong to our country if they speak the same language or the physical characteristics that they may have. You can find people who share not only the same visions, but also the desire to have a good time and the same way of seeing the world, so it is important to breathe deeply and to give everyone a fair chance. We shouldn’t close ourselves to new things, and at the same time, it’s important to try to understand and to embrace what you are, because in that way, you can get to know another person better.
What would you say to someone who may want to do this, but who is afraid?
In relation to fear, I have never been afraid to travel so it is hard for me to understand what could stop someone from doing so. I imagine it has to do with facing the unknown, but the truth is that as I don’t understand very well I prefer not to answer this question.
What is traveling for you?
For me traveling is one of the many possibilities that allow you to know yourself deeper. I think that traveling has helped me a lot to get to know me, but at the same time, I consider that it is not necessary to travel to know yourself. While traveling, you have the advantage of time since there are more spaces of time where you think, where you can be aware of your interaction with other people, to ponder on situations in which you acted with another person, and even to tear down preconceived concepts.
Many times when we interact with the same people all the time, we have automatic reactions. On the other hand, by interacting with new people for a long time, you understand better the way in which you react to different situations which makes it a perfect scenario for internal observation.
What is your favorite place in the world?
Wow, how difficult! … I think I would say that one of those is Russia, Moscow especially, since I fell in love with this country without expecting it. Perhaps It’s motivated by the low previous expectations I had in front of the country. But I found the Kremlin square was majestic. The Basilica, the government palace, and the entire red-walled area were spectacular.
It also coincided that I traveled with my dad, my sister and a friend. We were encouraging Chile, following the national soccer team. I would also say that the fact of being in the middle of such a different culture had a special flavor, surrounded by very different people with whom only with the help of google translator we achieved some communication. A wonderful experience, which I really loved. Now, this happened in summer, with 3 hours of night and 21 hours of day, so I think that so many hours of sun also energized us quite a lot.
And the other favorite place in the world for me, and this one probably has more to do with the place than with the moment, is Ilha Grande in Brazil, near Rio du Janeiro. An impressive place, very natural.
Obviously many people live there, there are hostels and a whole tourist industry, but the truth is that the island is very well maintained, and the energy of the place is beautiful, with very cool people. I liked it so much that I seriously thought about staying there. It’s still in my head, but maybe for a less time. I loved everything about Ilha Grande.