If you've been following this blog for a while, you probably already know about my story and what brought me here. If you don't, keep reading.
I was born in a small village near Venice, Italy about 30 years ago. For my entire childhood, I knew only one thing for sure. I wanted to travel to the places I had read about in the dozens of books I put my nose in. It's hard to explain, but for me, there has never been anything more important than seeing the world and understanding how people lived on the other side of the world. It was a call I couldn't resist. Or forget.
I told myself
Whatever it takes,
I will see the entire world one day.
But lets start from the beginning. First of all, aged 22, I moved to London for an internship. It was my first opportunity to really see and experience something completely different from the place I grew up in.
London, majestic, magical London. It was a shock at first: the weather, the language, the food. But I was exactly where I was meant to be. Where I wanted to be.
After climbing the corporate ladder for eight years, firstly in consultancy and later in a large online corporate firm, I told myself it was time to go.
In September 2015, I left my well-paid job, my safety net and comfortable life in a gorgeous apartment in zone 1 in London and set off for a 6-month sabbatical. Or what I thought it would be a six-month sabbatical. After three months of getting lost in India and three months enjoying the waves of the East Coast of Australia and I had no intention of returning to London or what I now call "my previous life". Once the travel bug set inside me, I knew I had to keep going for as long as possible.
It was there, in Sydney, that I realised that life was really short. But also long enough to really fit in many lives and more than one dream. I knew I could go back to my career in London and I was pretty sure I could find an equivalent - or even better - job in a matter of days. But why?
I had achieved what I wanted in that field. Why go back?
After three months I left Sydney and embarked on a road trip aroundTasmania and then through the Red Centre, down the West Coast and then back on the East Coast up to Cape York. Travelling by car/van gives you a sense of how little you are in the universe and how slow time is. You can drive for hours, even days, without meeting anyone else. For me, used to the crazy hustle and bustle of London, it was like a healing balm on my soul.
Once my travel buddies left to go home or for their next destination, I flew to New Zealand for another long road trip and later on, I disappeared in the gorgeous archipelagos of the Pacific Ocean for a couple of months. From Samoa, the furthest country from Italy, I flew to Thailand. Again, without plans or projects. Just freedom as my compass and the idea of living a remarkable life. On my own rules. Initially, I booked a guest house and every morning I would tell the old guy at the reception if I was going to stay for another night or not. I wanted to have that flexibility, the idea that I was detached from everything and everyone. That I was finally free to go or to stay. Whenever.
Every day was different from the one before. I was 100% in charge of deciding exactly what to do with my day, free of commuting in the busy London underground and especially free to be in a place at a set time.
After a decade of paying rent and having responsibilities and duties, I enjoyed being free from having a place and zero routines. I was free.
From Thailand, where I spent two months learning more about social media and content writing, I felt it was time to go and for the next six months, once again I was on the road. In South-East Asia this time. Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bali. Slowly. Breathing in the culture, exhaling the demanding rhythms of my previous life. Wondering if my new acquired lifestyle could last forever.
Once I was in Bali - people say it's a magical island, and I think so too - I knew I could never go back to a normal job in an office. I knew that I had gone too far and too wide to ever seeing myself again within four walls with the usual routine of office life.
I love my life as it is. I slowly travel from place to place. I learn about new cultures and languages. I have more friends around the world than in my home town. I know I can pick up the phone and get a sofa or a bed almost in every country I travel to. Some days I miss having an actual home but knowing that the world is my huge, incredibly beautiful home is priceless. In September this year, I will celebrate my first four years as a digital nomad. When I think about it, it seems impossible and incredible.
Did I really made it?
Am I really free?
Then, as I wrap up my story here, in my new home office in the garden of this gorgeous flat in Spain, as I look at the sun setting, I realise that yes.
I AM free.
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