I’ve not tended to this blog in the same was that other travel writers might approach theirs.
I didn’t set up this site in order to fund my travels, or start a fledgling career as a social influencer.
Although I could have gotten into the sponsorship game and discussed the best airport parking comparison sites or hotel deal (like some other writers), I knew that my intent was never truly commercial. I intended my blog to be a record of how I chose to leave my old life and go out in search of a new adventure. I believe that I’ve more or less done this and am pleased that I’ve been able to escape my past life and disappear into something altogether different. Despite having only been away from this blog for a year, so much has changed that I feel l51ike I’m almost a completely different person.
When I last left this blog I was in Livorno, enjoying a life of luxury that was mixed in with a strange hobo lifestyle.
I’d moved myself into a tiny apartment above a coffee shop near the marina and had been utterly seduced by the relaxed pace of life that I’d found there. I stayed in Livorno much longer than I’d initially planned. Being less a tourist town and more a functioning fishing settlement, Livorno had been more or less deserted of visitors during the winter which allowed me to blend into the local community. My days were spent chatting with fishermen, sketching the locals and sipping grappa with the workmen in the espresso shops.
This life had been enjoyable for a time, but it had never felt permanent.
As much as I chatted to the locals or hung around the popular community spots, I always felt like an outsider. I longed to be a part of a community, but my lounger/holidaymaker nature made me irrevocably ‘other’. After a few months of hanging around in Livorno, I felt like I’d reached the limit of my stay. I paid up what I owed to the landlord and moved on to my next destination.
Any hope that I had of assimilating with my Italian hosts had now firmly been put to the back of my mind. I knew that there was only way that I could regain the sense of community and that was by getting back into work. Although I’d heard that teaching English as a foreign language was a good way of earning money whilst abroad, I had no intention of heading back into the teaching game. Whatever I was going to do, I knew that I had to stay active. The city called to me from miles away. I’d heard how beautiful Florence was and knew that there was certainly work to be had there, but I wasn’t sure what I’d do once I go there.
The idea presented itself to me as soon as I entered the suburbs. All around me were cyclists in varying fluorescent guises. They were bike couriers, and I was going to become one of them.