Viktoria Balanzategui

Where did you grow up/study in Australia?
I grew up on a cane farm in North Queensland in the small town of Ingham. Like my older siblings for my tertiary studies I moved to Brisbane and lived on campus at the University of Queensland. The move was refreshing after growing up in a small town and quite the change as the university I was attending had more than double the population of my home town.

Where are some of the interesting places you have lived around the world?
My parents have always encouraged myself and my siblings to travel, I have received the chances to travel to Italy, live in Switzerland for some months to focus on learning Italian and also spend a year abroad living in Brazil. Living abroad in Brazil was one of the best opportunities in my life to date. Leaving Australian shores as a newly 18 year old who did not speak a word of Portuguese proposed as quite the struggle, but returning to Australia with such experiences as having traveled to the Amazon and sleeping in a hammock on a boat for a few weeks, fishing for piranhas, meeting Amazonian communities, going crocodile spotting at night and swimming with pink dolphins, to travelling up the east coast of Brazil to towns that were build on sane dunes on the beach front, to looking over the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru are memories that will stay with me for life.

Where are you currently living?
I am currently completing a six week internship in the wonderful city of New York!

What do you do?
I have just graduated with a Bachelor of Photography majoring in photojournalism, with a minor in documentary and print journalism, and will be studying my masters in journalism this year. I am currently interning at Advance for six weeks.

What's a hidden secret of your city?
Not sure if it's so secret, but the 'pay as you wish' nights at museums and galleries, great for foreigners like myself!

What's your favorite cafe/bar/restaurant in your current city?
Having only been in NY for three weeks, I'm still discovering new places, and being the massive foodie that I am, I love eating out so I'm slowly discovering some great places. Something that I am enjoying are the diners, they're so American, the menus are always extensive, they are also so affordable and always have that welcoming feel.

Describe your adopted hometown/current city in three words.
Chaotic, opportunistic, exciting!

What do you miss most about Australia when you are overseas?
Time spent with my family, the familiarity of my friends, mum's cooking, the comfort of being home on the farm, the beach/ocean, the laid back lifestyle, strong coffee and the heat being a good enough reason to crack open a beer.

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