Borgomanero and it’s surrounding areas in Italy was never on my radar when I quit my job 8 months or so ago. Infact, it’s never been on my area at all. I had my eye on more permanent travels through more tropical destinations, however after spending over a half a year in Asia and Africa I started to crave a more European vibe.
After a short jump home for summer weddings, birthdays and getting some solid rolls in with my home gym, I took advantage of the super cheap flights out of London, and met up with people who’d met in Bali who had returned home to various spots in Europe.
Starting with flying in to Milan in Italy. This is one of the things that no one can guarantee you when you travel but is undoubtedly one of the best perks of making the commitment to implementing it as one of the biggest focuses of your life, the people. You’ll meet amazing people, from all over the globe, you’ll become friends, and hopefully you’ll get to see them again in their home country where they can go show what makes it great for them.
Even after a short time in Italy I could see how clearly better it is to experience a place through the eyes of someone who has lived there for a long time, rather than follow the guidebooks or online routes.
I’m not against following the guides, and you always find out your own version of what makes a place great, it’s just I would of never even made it to this part of Italy without the people i’d met from my travels, and the experience of being somewhere that isn’t frequently visited by tourists is just so unique, and often very fun.
If I had to write a guidebook for travel I think it would be a couple of pages long and say something like this: ‘Go somewhere and meet a lot of amazing people, then spend the rest of your time catching up with them in their own country’. I might add a second chapter about training jiu jitsu, but we’ll see…
The lifestyle and friendliness of the people I encountered was beautiful. Espresso is everywhere and amazing, there’s often a built in time the for drinks and snacks between lunch and dinner (Aperitif, google it, it’s seriously good), and i’m surrounded by natural beauty in the mountains only a short drive away.
Have I gained a few kilograms of pizza weight? Maybe.
As with all places I visit i’m always astounded as to how little I knew about them. Despite all the amazing leaps we’ve made in connecting the world i’m often still clueless as to what makes a nation in to what it is. Obviously everyone is their own person, but on a whole there’s some thing thats certain countries just define themselves by. Learning these little habits and national identities is one of my favourite parts of travel, it’s something that has to be experiences and lived first hand, and there’s always a few ideas or lessons in a culture you can adopt and bring in to your own life.
On I go exploring, stopping for nothing but espresso.