As a kid, I used to read more than play. My books and the adventures depicted in them were a means of escaping from a reality I didn’t want to see. Some of these books might have left a mark on me: Journey to the Center of the Earth, Treasure Island, From the Earth to the Moon.
I grew up as a metropolitan girl in a suburb of Rome, Italy. As time went by, I started seeing the place I was born in as temporary. I began travelling when I was 24. I now own thousands of photos and have a few favorite places scattered around the world, and impressed in my memory. I’ll visit them again, one day.
The pull towards distant places has been with me forever, sometimes in the background, but sometimes it was overflowing. I studied foreign languages because I knew one day I would fly away. My heart was waiting for me in Asia, ever since I had met Buddhism through a book about Tibet on my auntie’s bookshelf.
So much of who we are is where we have been.”
In 2011, after trying different jobs in Italy and graduating from university, I moved to China. The transfer was a leap into the unknown, but I was more than happy to leave a place that was offering me so many disappointments.
If I could turn back time, I’d make the same choice again!
Living abroad freed my mind of useless, invisible baggage and introduced me to other ways of thinking and living, even wiser than the ones I was accustomed to. I started looking at myself with a clarity I did not have in Italy. The biggest lesson of my twenties was finding out that by changing latitude, my life could change, too, and for the better.
And then my solo-travels season opened. Moving to China was the first step, a trial stage during which I found the courage to travel solo, even for weeks at a time: visiting places not for study or job reasons, or for sharing them with another person, but following a desire for exploration and discovery which had been with me from the beginning.
Travelling was for me a cure on many occasions, and sometimes saved me.
As the contemporary philosopher, Eckhart Tolle, once said, travelling is a way to heal your mind: when moving through unfamiliar places, you need to be aware of yourself in the present, freeing yourself from unnecessary and distracting thoughts and giving full attention to the moment you are living, to what surrounds you.
In Zen philosophy, travelling is considered one of the most efficient techniques for getting to know oneself, letting go of reference points, of the balance we have built around ourselves for the sake of a deeper balance, of the essence which has always been our center and will stay with us until the end.
Have a great journey 🙂