After spending one year in New Zealand with a working holiday visa, we came back home with the idea of leaving again soon for another big adventure: a round the world trip. We worked and saved for one year and a half and then left Italy in September 2015. We’ve traveled through China, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand so far and we’re now in Bangkok for a while before getting on the road again!
– What made you decide to leave?
Shortly, we started this trip pushed by the desire to see the amazing places we’ve always wanted to visit. We left home to turn our big dream into reality: travel the world, discover new places, learn from new cultures.
– From the idea to do a round world trip to the moment to leave how long did it take, and how did you organize the trip?
Coming back home after spending one year in New Zealand, we realized straight away how much we loved to travel. That’s why we started working and saving as much money as we could in Italy with the plan to travel again, but this time around the world. We decided to start the journey from Asia, in September, in order to be in all the places in the best season possible both on a meteorological and photographic basis. Then we just bought a one way ticket to China, applied for a tourist visa and left Italy without any particular vaccinations. Apart from the visa for China, we picked up all the other visas along the way, applying from country to country.
– If you can say that, the fact you didn’t have to quit university or a job make things easier to decide to go for a long trip. Did you receive contrary opinions regarding you choice? And if yes what motivated more to leave?
Actually it is the opposite: the urge to travel was so strong we realized that neither the university nor a permanent contract would have been the right way to go for us, or at least not at this particular point of our lives. We chose to chase our dream and we are slowly turning it into our job, I with the blog (www.traveltobealive.com) and Marco with his photos (www.marcograssiphotography.com).
My parents wanted me to go to the university and I thought about it few times, but my dream was and is to see the world. That’s what keeps me motivated.
– Travel… in one word
Travel is… to be alive.
– Did you discover a new yourself that before you didn’t know?
Absolutely yes, when you travel you face certain situations you’re not used to in the everyday life. We discovered positive and negative sides of ourselves that we did not know before.
Getting close to local people, communicate with them despite the language barrier, the ability to manage difficult situations, are all aspects of ourselves we learnt along the way!
– Did you decided a limit of time for the trip? Do you have in mind an itinieray and to goback to Italy at the end?
We had a more or less precise itinerary in mind, but plans are meant to be changed! While there are some places we want to travel to for sure, there are others we might add or remove from our itinerary along the way. We will certainly get back to Italy, but depending on how things will work for us it might not be our “final destination”. About the duration of our journey, we plan to travel for about one year and a half.
– Did you have any difficult to abandon an old habit or to get used of something new?
Not exactly, we had no difficulties in abandoning our routine. Rather we happen to think about it every now and then, but we are happy about the choice we took. Traveling through many countries, we encounter many different cultures and customs, but for now we have not had great difficulties!
– Was there a strange new thing that surprised you, or a particular place that amazed you?
Well, we were pretty much shocked when we saw a “sky burial” with our eyes, in China. It basically is a funeral practice in which a human corpse is placed on a mountaintop to decompose while exposed to the elements or to be eaten by scavenging animals.
I’m not sure if I was more surprised by the actual funeral or by the many Chinese tourists taking selfies with the birds!
– We have a lot of hobbies, and passion is what keep us alive. Sometimes when you decide to travel can become difficult to keep going with our hobbies. Are there some passions that somehow you could adapt and bring it with you during your travels?
Both photography and writing, in our case, are made possible by this trip. At home we would never be able to do what we do now because of the daily routine.
The only difficulty is that it requires a lot of time to update the blog (www.traveltobealive.com) and make order among Marco’s photos (www.marcograssiphotography.com), especially being always on the move. For this reason, sometimes we stop a bit longer in a place to put everything in order before starting a new adventure.
– Literally or metaphorically speaking of what you can’t leave during your trips?
Camera and sense of adventure.
– Your dream place that you are looking forward to reach?
We planned this trip including all the places that we really want to see, so there are many countries we can’t wait to explore. Among them all, even if we’ve visited it already, New Zealand is on top of the list!
– If your trip would be a movie which soundtrack would you choose?
A customized soundtrack for every country!
For a road trip through the endless hills of New Zealand one of our favorite is “Sinking Sun – Mt Warning”. Even now if we listen at it, it reminds us the endless hours of travel through the lush green landscapes of New Zealand.
And probably, before getting to San Francisco we will begin to listen to “San Francisco – Scott McKenzie”.
We love music and at the end of each trip listening to the song that accompanied us takes us through all the unforgettable moments that we spent in the place.
– An advice, a quote or motto that you feel to give to another traveller.
Do not be afraid to chase your dream. If traveling is what you really want to do, then you will find a way to do it. Step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and never give up!