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Backstory, pt.1: A Free Spirit, Temporarily Caged

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

I don't fit neatly into many categories but "Free Spirit" sure hits the mark. I have few possessions and traveling is my life's passion. I live alone in a small apartment outside the historical center of Florence and normally spend most of the year on the road. For four years I didn’t even have a physical address as I traveled non-stop from Europe to Africa to Asia to the States and then back to Europe again. So putting someone like me into solitary confinement for 2 months during the harsh lockdown of Spring 2020 was like putting a monkey into a closet: expect a lot of thrashing and a big mess afterwards. Instead, the opposite happened. I saw my thoughts slow and sharpen, and my body return to a state of calm after years of frenetic activity. My 25-year career as a guide of active tours has been temporarily put on hold, so I have spent this time exploring the beauty surrounding me here in Tuscany (and beyond, when the borders are open!), taking every opportunity to go out for a hike or hit up a new museum (and we've got plenty of both!).

In an effort to break through the isolation and sudden loss of a job, I began posting my thoughts and experiences in Facebook, which struck a chord with my friends who were similarly stranded around the world. I became a sort of "virtual guide" who continued to show people around on my hikes, bike rides, and into the tourist-free streets of Florence. A year has passed and I've decided to transform this into a blog, a place where I can share stories from my 30 years of traveling this amazing world. You'll find tales from my job as a tour guide (the best, the worst, insider tips, etc.), stories from my personal travel through Asia, Africa, and more, as well as posts from my daily adventures here in Tuscany. I hope you enjoy it, and I thank you for keeping me company during this surreal and strange time. I can't wait for the day we can play in the sun together again!

Here is the view from my perch in the outskirts of Florence. You can see the cupola of the Duomo in the distance.... There are worse places to be locked down!

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