“Last year on the plane back from a short workshop in Sicily, I felt the strong desire to leave for a longer trip and in my head I was mulling over the questions: what could my next destination be? I wrote down an inventory of all the places I would like to travel to before I die, thinking about Cambodia, a return to India, Polynesia. I could not see a purpose that would give me energy, but then a thought came to mind: a journey around the world… I smiled, I dreamt of it for a moment and then I told myself: it would be nice, but… maybe in another life. Indeed, immediately, many different voices appeared in my head, explaining the impossibility of it all: it’s too much money, you have a family, you can’t leave your job now, etc. Yet it is as if a small seed has begun to ripen in me. As a child I was fascinated by the history of “Around the world in 80 days”, at elementary school I wrote in a homework that when I grew up I would be a lonely navigator traveling the world. It was just a dream, and I never thought I could make it happen.
That thought, however, did not leave me and I tried to talk about it, almost for fun, to see the reactions of my family, of my colleagues. When, at the end of December, I realized that I could actually take a break from work, I started looking for information on the web and with an old geographical atlas in my hand to imagine the stops. “Just think about the next step” was my guiding phrase in all the moments of discouragement, I had a few weeks to decide and organize the trip, and I left on February 1st invoking luck to help me for everything that was not organized.
Covid in January still seemed confined to China and I left Italy with confidence. The certainty that I could finish my trip accompanied me all the way to New Zealand, but in mid-March the borders of various countries closed down, the world stopped and my dream was swept away. The forced isolation of 14 days on my return was a useful time to mourn this unfinished project, because this journey will remain unfinished forever. Friends keep telling me: “You can always do the last stops another time, you can start from where you stop”, but it wasn’t just a physical journey, it was an inner process. During a long period of crisis on different aspects of my life, I decided to challenge my limiting beliefs and prove to myself that “it is possible” what I had previously imagined impossible. This journey, even if interrupted, has given me so much: places that I will cherish in my heart, beauty, friendships and I rediscovered forgotten parts of myself, a lot of strength and security. I have not abandoned the idea of doing a new solo ride sooner or later, even though now I’m imagining other trips.” Anna Ghiotti