Hailing from ‘a land down under’, Travis Beswick is a father of two, enjoys building things and apparently prefers his fish frozen.
What originally brought you to Estonia and where are you from?
My partner. We met in an aboriginal community in northern Australia 10 years ago. We were both working around Australia, me as a carpenter and she was doing the typical backpacker work from fruit picking to working in cafés.
What were the reasons that made you want to relocate to Estonia?
My first visit here was at Christmas time, I wasn’t really into Christmas that much as it’s more of a retail promotion in Australia than what it is here, where spending family time is valued more than presents. Also the weather, I had never experienced snow or cold before coming to Estonia and in the first visit it was -27°c and I went ice fishing which was something I had always wanted to do to.
Did you experience or how much of a culture shock was it for you to move here?
Huge culture shock! My partner’s family home is located in north-eastern Estonia, where the architecture and culture is heavily influenced by the soviet period.
What are some of your favourite spots in Tallinn?
Old town. With my work in construction I often find myself in old town doing odd jobs and I really enjoy being in the area. In Australia there’s nothing like it, and to have this at our doorstep, it’s really quite nice. Even now, I’m always admiring the buildings when I’m in old town.
How would you describe Estonia as a country, and Estonians?
Peaceful, laid back and clean. Estonians can be a little reserved at first, but most are very genuine people. I wish I was able to speak the language better so I could communicate with them in there language, then I might be able to get their jokes as well.
How is it to live here and does it feel like home now?
Definitely feels like home, in the 5 years of being a resident I have 2 small children, 4 and 2 years old, as well as a good circle of friends and colleagues.
Are there any special projects you are working on or hobbies you enjoy here?
Currently I am working on a project building a cricket, rugby and football sports ground, which has been a great experience. Cricket in Estonia is growing rapidly at the moment and the social side of the sport has made it feel like home more than anything else. Since being involved in the Estonian Cricket Association I have travelled to Croatia twice, and once to Spain to play for Estonia at an International level - which I would have never dreamt of doing in Australia.
What is your favourite Estonian word or words and why?
Kuuuurija (moon explorer) or jäääär (edge of ice). I just like saying them.