August, Sicily, two old friends.
This is how my journey starts, a bit like a joke, a bit like a challenge.
We left totally unprepared, with a map, a tambourine – which helped us to raise some money – and without any experience about travelling on the road, just filling a backpack without asking ourselves too many questions.
We left from Siracusa on a sweltering day of August.
The hot temperature made the road look like a sea, the sky was bright blue and I was silent. I looked all that hugeness passing beyond the window and felt small, nullified, invisible. Later on I ended up in a bar, drinking a cappuccino: I was tarrying.
Suddenly I felt excited, my hands were sweating, the car had left and there was no turning back: I did it. I was but a few kilometres from home, but I felt so far, I felt scattered.
Time was passing in a strange way. I was feeling like something had to happen any time.
I was looking at my shoes and waiting for the journey to begin. When my ‘virgin’ shoulders – that’s how I called them when they still had no experience of the weight – felt the backpack for the first time, I was speechless. I was absolutely unable to carry it, I felt pulled to the floor, it was was bigger than me. But I didn’t give up. Like an astronaut, I made a few steps and I was ridiculous.
I moved on with long strides, bent on my knees, the legs wide open. I accidentally got in front of a shop window and saw myself for the first time wrapped with would become my shell, my only certainty, my home made of essentials. I stopped, fascinated by my reflexion: my camera over the neck, the pouch with my block notes and this deformed sphere on my back.
That was me, I truly chose to travel. I turned on one side and the other, unaware it was new life what I was wearing. From Siracusa to Palermo, travelling afoot or hitch-hiking, through every single town or village, down to Favignana Islands, crossing natural reserves, discovering our land. The journey revealed itself as a rampant series of surreal events.
We wanted to interact with all the people we met and it’s incredible how the right behaviour can open any door.
Travelling on the road allows to live fully whatever happens during the journey. Without knowing when you will arrive, what – and if – you will eat and where you will sleep, you discover such optimism and strength you never dreamed of. Everything relies on you, everything is possible: you just have to keep moving.
We walked for days under the Sicilian sun, with over 40 degrees, and we barely noticed the heat. We raised money with the tambourine, singing and dancing – my travel companion is a jazz singer – and those few coins easily paid our bills.
This journey helped us to understand that it is possible to live with few simple things. Truly, it’s going after the superfluous stuff that makes life unnecessarily complicated.