Our Traveler this week is Andrea from Naples, Italy, with Andrea’s Encounters. Hi, Andrea!
This post is part of our YouPaca The Bag Traveler Series. This series looks at how people from all walks of life travel. We analyze what works for them and what doesn’t, their travel planning strategies, obstacles they’ve encountered, destinations they enjoy, their future travel goals, and more. We hope you enjoy reading this series as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together!
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Andrea and I was born and raised in Italy. Even when I was in Italy I moved quite often. At the age of 16 my parents and I moved from Naples (where both my mom and I are from) to somewhere in the province of Rome (my dad’s city). I am also an only child and at the age of six, I chose getting a dog over getting siblings (as I love dogs). Which explains why I love solo traveling; being free has always fascinated me. Who doesn’t like to be free?
I have never considered myself to be the “typical Italian girl.” I always had different dreams about my future and this is why I decided to leave Italy and to start a new adventure in London, UK.
When I was 22 (about to turn 23), I was on my own, making my own decisions (very scary at times), but I loved it. It felt good to know 3 years had gone by and I made it in London. It was great to have a job, a house, and a great boyfriend, but something was missing. I realized I didn’t know what my passion was and I felt without a purpose.
My boyfriend and I had a conversation about me going to Australia for a year. This was after I had seen some pictures of my really good friend enjoying her summer in Sydney. Meanwhile, I was celebrating Christmas in dreary London. In fewer than 2 months, I went to Sydney with a 12 month visa!
Australia changed me. From being a girly makeup addict to not wearing makeup to go to the convenience store. And I loved it! I started to have the travel bug too! I then started traveling to South East Asia, but my first stop had to be Japan (my dream country since I was a kid).
During my travels, I liked who I became. I actually felt alive and curious about stuff like history and geography (it had never been my thing at school). Each one of my travels changed me in a positive way. I decided to start a YouTube channel about my travel experiences to share that feeling with other people because I felt people had to know!
I have been in 6 countries in 12 months since moving. Even visited some countries multiple times! My goal on my YouTube channel is to inspire you to do what makes you happy through what I do. I believe everybody deserves to be happy in order to live in a better world.
Did you grow up traveling? If no, when did you start to travel?
My parents and I had a camper (or caravan depending on what you want to call it) and we used to spend our holidays traveling from Italy to anywhere in Europe. My dad would drive all night. Like that time we went to France, it was a cheap and easy way to travel for us as we had a dog too!
What is your favorite trip you have taken? Why?
My favorite trip is the one I took to Japan. I dreamt about going to Japan since I was little kid and the feelings were just too big to explain when I realized I could finally go there!
How do you normally plan your trips? (Do you plan them, join a group tour, hire an agent, etc.)
I don’t plan my trips, I only plan the necessities (I literally check on google maps and on different websites like booking.com, etc). Decide where I will stay and what are the main things I want to see or do. I leave all the rest for me to discover once I am there. I love adventure and most of the best stories come from unplanned situations!
What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome while traveling?
Not everyone is as clean and tidy as you! My mum taught me to clean after myself and I assumed that everyone in the world would do the same. Soon I realized what was obvious for me, wasn’t for someone else. So I stopped making assumptions of what others would think or what I would do.
Best travel tip you have ever received?
I remember it took me time to adapt to my new situation in Australia. One of my best friends told me to give myself time to comprehend what was happening. In each of my travels I keep that in mind and I go without expectations, once I am there I give myself time to adapt to the situation and it works!
What is a travel essential that you must travel with and why?
I would say I must travel with my external battery. I understand I can’t go far without one of them. It takes a lot of battery power when you are outside the whole day; from checking where to go or how to get somewhere.
Where do you want to visit in the future, why?
I want to go to Hawaii, as it is my second childhood dream destination. I also would like to go to different places where the culture or just the weather are different from where I come from. It is fascinating to know how people live and adapt themselves to those situations.
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