Relocating to Estonia

Augusto was living in Estonia between 2015 and 2019. The reason for moving here was that he is married an Estonian woman. He moved back to Madrid in 2019 because his wife was appointed there as the Estonian ambassador to Spain.

It was a difficult thing to move to a new country and he thinks that the Settle in Estonia program really helped him – he started learning the local language and got to know about the culture. He thinks that it is essential, if people move to a new country, the first thing they should do is to learn the language. He thinks that Settle in Estonia is a good program because not only he learned the language, but he got to meet so many different people from different countries.

Augusto thinks that generally Estonian women are more talkative than Estonian men. He noticed that with his new relatives like for example his brother-in-law, even now that he can actually speak Estonian there is often not too much talking going on between men in Estonia.  It is difficult to talk to people because most people do not want to talk, and they prefer to talk more in nonverbal ways. Also, Augusto feels that people do not like small talk, they are very direct if they want, they won’t beat around the bush and say things directly.

He faced that finding a job might be tricky at first, especially if a person does not belong to the IT world and the level of the Estonian language is not high enough. Augusto applied to many jobs where special communication skills were not required in order to save his burden with the language. Unfortunately, most employers didn’t even answer his emails.

 

Finally, he got an answer where the employer was concerned that the job he had applied for was much lower than his qualifications. Augusto still insisted to have an interview and finally managed to get his first official job in Estonia – he became then the caretaker of the territories of three kindergartens in Tabasalu. That was a new experience for him because the job had to be done before 7 am, the time that kids started to arrive. He took it as going to the gym and even getting money for it – he really enjoyed being outside.  He managed to get the full-time contract and his tasks expanded. He stopped working at the kindergarten after he was offered the job of the Head of Maintenance at a hotel in Tallinn. So, he thinks that it is not difficult to find a job in Estonia, when a person is opened to different things.

 

 A 4000 km long walk between Tallinn and Madrid to celebrate the 100th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Estonia and Spain

Augusto is planning to do a hike from Tallinn to Madrid, traveling through 12 different countries and covering around 4,000 kilometers. The idea for this expedition is based on three things

  • First, it is the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Spain, and as his wife is the present ambassador of Estonia in Spain, so this is the special year to do this expedition.
  • Secondly, European geography, because he has many friends in different parts of
  • Lastly, he has restless leg syndrome, which forces him to move after a while and walking is soothing that.

At first, the idea was to walk from Madrid to Tallinn and he wanted to start his journey on the 10th of March because the 8th of March was the day when Spain recognized Estonia as an independent country. However, due to the pandemic situation, he could not do so because he must travel through many countries. Due to the unexpected postponement of the adventure, Augusto had to rethink the original plan and decided to walk from Tallinn to Madrid instead of Madrid to Tallinn because then there will be more daylight in autumn and winter while traveling from northern Europe to southern Europe.

He had to start over and rethink the track. By the end of March 2021, he knows his way from Tallinn to the Czech and German border, which is around 40 days of walking from Tallinn.

Even though sports had always been a big part of his life, he is using now the motto that “you cannot train differently than doing the action itself”. Therefore, he is walking and carrying the bag with a weight of 14 kilograms every other day. He has also tested to walk a long distance on a cycling track in Madrid about 65 kilometers long and he finished it in around 11 hours without preparation. Starting from April, he plans to train and walk at least 20 kilometers every day.

On the journey, he plans to cover 42 to 45 kilometers every day and try to cover the distance in 100 days, as it is the 100th anniversary.

Therefore, he must traverse around a straight distance between Tallinn and Madrid, but at the same time he has to find sleeping places every day and it will be difficult to stay on the line because the sleeping place might be somewhere else. The biggest challenge in his mind is to find sleeping places close enough to his walking path and this is something that will take time while preparing the track.

He is highly motivated and enthusiastic about his plan and hopefully, this summer, he will start his journey. With all the good news related to vaccination and a digital vaccine passport for traveling, he hopes that everything will be fine, and he will start somewhere in August and he will finish sometime in December. He will do it alone but would like to welcome anyone who would like to join him.

He believes that walking is a big part of our lives. It helps to socialize with people, have a talk with them about different things. He plans to take photos and videos of his tour and go to small cities and talk to the people who are living there and learn about their culture. Because most people know about the big cities, but the small places and towns usually get overlooked.

With this journey, he hopes to get some attention in Estonia and Spain, so it will be a good opportunity to raise some awareness as well. There is an NGO in Spain which is known as Action Against Hunger and they also have some presence in Estonia and he is in talks with them and probably they will get some awareness with his campaign.

Follow Augusto’s experience of a lifetime: https://augustontheway.wordpress.com