During my work in the humanitarian field and in previous travels I collected a diverse network of colleagues and friends all over the world. When I contacted Antonella – who used to be my colleague back in the days in Haiti – I was lucky to find her home in Italy.
She and her partner Roberto invited me to stay and celebrate new year’s eve together. Then she generously offered me her appartment in Tuscany to sit out the winter … and off I went to Gropina, an authentic little village up on a hill above the idyllic small town Loro Ciuffenna, with the keys in my pocket and a drawing on a napkin of how to get there. Entering the centuries-old building felt like coming home. It was home for a while – and now it’s time to move on.
I had the chance to live in Italy for a while, to experience daily life in a place where someone on a motorbike journey to Vladivostok would normally never end up – it was simply the best hibernation cave that I could have ever wished for! Although most people were surprised to see me leaving last autumn, I’m glad I didn’t fear the winter time but set off and took my chances. Most of all, I am incredibly gratefull for the mutual support among travellers and global citizens alike – the persons that make all the difference to my journey.
The best I can do for now is to give Antonella a place on my Super Supporters Wall and to wait for the day that I can offer my help, my support, my generous hospitality in return to other travellers or friends.
Winter has past, spring has arrived: time to move on.
With fully charged batteries I am ready to continue heading east. Tomorrow I’ll be taking the ferry from Italy to Croatia and from there I’ll head south through Montenegro and Albania into Greece where I’ll get some new rubber on the rear wheel. Fingers crossed for King Winter to be done with us for this season!