Frequent Flyer: Teresa Canto Noronha

Name: Teresa Canto Noronha
Job: Jornalist/ Plastic Artist
Born in: Ponta Delgada, Ilha de S. Miguel, Açores, 1967
Blog: “Notas da Ilha”

Journalist Teresa Canto Noronha is one of those people who can travel the world, but always ends up spending the holidays in the Azores, where she was born. Born in S. Miguel island, she says that her life would have been different if her identity hadn’t been shaped by the feeling of being from an island. She is our “frequent flyer” and, with her, we are going to get to know that way of living.

Born on March 1967, in the city of Ponta Delgada, S. Miguel Island, Teresa Canto Noronha studied Chemical Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa, beginning her studies there in 1985. However, she never finished her degree and becoming a journalist in 1989 was her fate. She started working at the state television, RTP, as an international correspondent.

She was in Brussels and Rome, where she lived between 2000 and 2006. Returning to Lisbon, she started working at the newsroom of the private television channel, SIC, where she currently works. But, alongside the journalist career, Teresa began, in 2001, to work as a plastic artist, having already participated in several individual and collective exhibitions.

In 2017, she started a blog of chronicles named “Notas da Ilha” (“Notes from the Island”) which has now become a book published by the Azorean publisher Letras Lavadas.

Do you think that your life would have been the same without your relationship with the Azores?
It couldn’t be, because a big part of who I am is a direct result of having been born in S. Miguel.
The family, the childhood experiences and my adolescence were so important as the air, the colours, the smells and the ocean from the island where I was born and grew up. Being an Azorean is a characteristic of mine. As important as other personality treats or behaviours that I have acquired throughout my life.
My “Notas da Ilha” clearly reveals how proud I am of being an Azorean, how much I want that love of mine for my island to be known and how much my identity was and is shaped by insularity.

What are your best memories of a trip to the Azores?
There isn’t one trip in particular. There is the trip of an entire life. A trip which was interrupted only by the time I lived in other countries and by the months and years that I spend in Lisbon. Although I haven’t lived in the Azores for more than 30 years, it still is the place where I always return to.
It is in S. Miguel that I spend my summer holidays, always. And they are such busy holidays, but at the same time so calm and relaxing!

How often do you go to the Azores?
I go there at least once a year. But this year, for example, I’ve already been there 4 times: at Carnival time, during the Santo Cristo Festivities, in the summer and also in November, for the literary festival “Arquipélago de Escritores” (“The Archipelago of Writers”).
Every time of the year is a good time to go to the Azores. Because the climate allows the ongoing presence of exuberant flowers and vegetation, which change with the seasons, but that are always there.
Because the ocean, even when it has bigger waves, is always wonderful. Even if only to contemplate and smell it. Because there are always tours to be made, trails to explore and natural swimming pools or hot thermal waters to bathe in. I’ve never got bored or had nothing to do in S. Miguel.

A time that it is really important or that you would like to be in the Azores?
 I hope I can always go in the summer. During the rest of the year, I go whenever I can. And I still want to visit all the islands that I don’t know yet. In the coming years, my main goal is, during the summer holidays, to organize my time in a way that allows me to visit all the islands and get to know the entire archipelago.

What do you carry in your luggage when you travel to the Azores?
Everything that I can fit in there! Even though, in fact, I usually end up not wearing half of the trousers, dresses, t-shirts and sweaters that I take, and that has already become a family joke. I take my boots for the trails and clothes to go to the beach. One or two books to read. Pens for graffiti. And, above all, the desire to be there.