Anna Bonelli, author of the blog Annavagabonda, is a hardened traveller, a nomad by choice. “She was tired of living in a society full of rules that she didn’t feel like hers, so she quit everything and she started travelling around the world”. She decided to realize her dreams and stop to live them just in her mind and, most of all, chose to listen to herself, even if going out of the canonic life path.
Which was your first solo travel?
Nel 2009, avevo 17 anni, sono andata in Australia for 6 months for a school exchange. The first phases of the travel (flight, arrival in the family) had been already organized but in that period I’ve often taken busses or flights completely alone to travel around the country, when my school and work duties allowed me to do that.
How and why did you decide to dedicate yourself to travelling almost full time?
I think I had already decided it during my first year off in 2011-2012, when I worked in Thailandia for some months and I came back to Australia.
I was in my element, it was clear that it was what made me the happiest.
I realized that I didn’t want to bind my life to a permanent job, live a “scripted” life that would not make me happy. I wanted to live my days freely, being nomad, wandering from a place to another without following any established plan and see where the events would have taken me. Anyway I came back to Italy in order to finish my studies at the university and to save some money, but it was already decided that I would have left again. And so I did.
How has all this changed you?
Now I’m even more convinced of my decision. Of course, my last long travel calmed down for a while my desire to travel: I spent more than one year changing “house”, every 3-4 days I was around with my backpack on and I often spent many hours on a bus in order to move from one place to another. It is normal that you get tired at this pace. After a while, I missed the most basic things, such as having a laundry machine in order to wash properly my clothes or having a kitchen where to cook something, because even the best Asian or South American street food makes you tired, sooner or later. I still want to travel but I’d like to do it calmer, perhaps stopping in every place for some months or more.
How do your family and friends live your choice?
I think they are just got used to the fact that I don’t like standing still, especially my friends. I realize that for many my choice is not very “normal” but now we don’t even talk about that, it’s something that was metabolized, as much as my situation is a particular one.
The same for my family. There was someone who has been in favour of my travel plan since the very beginning but most of my close relatives didn’t take it well. Many of them tried to discourage me, I had to face many uncomfortable comments and I had to insist to defend my point of view. I wanted to do this thing, travelling the world without any plan but I wasn’t able to convince them that it was the right thing to do for me. I can understand them, my grandparents and parents generations have grown up convinced that the most important thing in life was looking for a permanent, stable and well paid job, in order to form a family without any preoccupation.
I believe that for some of them it’s a little bit difficult to accept the fact that now we can work wherever in the world, even on a computer, and that is not a mistake changing job and residency any time you want. I’m sure that I haven’t manage to convince them but they don’t try to stop me anymore, therefore, they have at least accepted this singularity of me.
What are your plans now?
I have the idea of staying in Italy for some more months, and then I want to leave again. I’m evaluating some work projects which could adapt to my nomad nature and would allow me to travel and work at the same time. And afterwords I’d like to find a “base”, a place where to stay some months per year and from where I can organize my other travels.
I have many ideas, and projects too but there is still a big confusion. I believe that in the next months I’ll be able to draw a more reasonable plan in order to continue travelling. I’m sure that, this time, I won’t change my location every 3 days, I want to do things calmer and start working in the places where I will go.