Few words about me

io, Simona

Hi, I’m Simona and I love travelling off the beaten path, off season and off limits. When I travel I like to discover authentic places, immerse myself in the local culture, learn and better myself. I help people to become responsible and conscious travellers, inspiring them to travel with a meaning and go beyond their comfort zone in order to live transformative experiences while having a good impact on the place they visit as well as on their lives once they return home. I also encourage people to seek happiness not in a place but inside themselves sharing my life experiences as expat and my choice to come back to Italy to live in my small village in Northern Tuscany.

More words 🙂

Born and grew up in Italy – Tuscany by Milanese family (that’s why I describe myself as “imported”, you will understand later on why this detail is important) I’ve always been naturally attracted to travel, though my parents never travelled at all. That’s why I’ve attended foreign languages and tourism college and university, with the hope I would become a traveller, as if you needed to study to become one. I spent my childhood in a small village in Lunigiana, unknown area of Northern Tuscany sandwiched between the mountains of the Apennines and the Apuan Alps and the sea of the Cinque Terre. “Gorgeous area” I find myself defining it today, but as a joungster honestly living in such a remote and “old” place with so little to offer for young people it sucked. That’s the reason why I soon moved out looking for bigger and more open-minded places to study and live, going farther and farther from Italy, to Europe to Australia. Excuse was “you don’t learn languages in school”. True. In reality, I was trying to escape from a place I didn’t feel home, probably due to the detail I told you about in the first lines. In fact, being my family from Milan and such hard-worker to spend all day and each day working, they didn’t know anything about the area. As a result, I was raised ignoring the beauty, culture and traditions of this place.

My first long-term experience abroad was in Belgium, where I lived almost permanently for 1 year in a small town in the Wallonia and then my first work experience as an intern in Brussels (read about my experience in “Expat in Belgium”).

Next, the big step into the unknown: Australia. Today you may know everything about downunder thanks to increasing tv series, documentaries, news and an ever-growing number of people who travel there on a working-holiday visa, but when I decided to leave back in 2008, Australia was like a dreamy island far away on the other side of the world that people hardly knew where it was- and that’s exactly why I absolutely wanted to go there!

After 2 wonderful years living and working in Sydney (read about my experience in “Expat in Australia“), I found myself alone 16,000 km from home! Yes, Home. That’s how I finally felt where my home was and, gathered all the courage you need to give up an apparently perfect life, I decided to come back (read about my “Life in Tuscany: Under the Tuscan Sun“). Since then I’ve devoted my life to promote tourism in my Region and I currently work in destination marketing and travel design but I also continue to travel any time I get the chance to. Indeed, I am also a tour leader for millennial groups seeking transformative travel experiences, and I am myself a responsible and transformative traveller who loves to travel both locally and abroad, because

…no matter how far you travel, the most significant journey is the one you take within! Simona