One year of Travellingscrittori

Behind the scenes – let’s dig out some dirt

This month is the first anniversary of our travel blog and we thought we’d take time to reflect on our endeavours. 

It’s also start to think about the new normal after Covid and our travel plans.

We generally have a weekly editorial meeting with Gionny in Oz and David in Wales – plays hell with our beauty sleep – but this week we thought we’d have a Q and A session between us.  

a picture of me talking with David on a dial phone
One year of Travelligscrittori and still the same problems:”No Dave, click on the other button!!”

First though our blog wouldn’t be complete without our old friend 

a quote written with the Olivetti 22 with some grammar corrections
Could be “Gionny’s comfort blanket and David’s nemesis; that #$*&%^ Olivetti Lettera 22

GIONNY: So David since starting out on our travel blog how has this past year of adventures been?

DAVID: Gionny you have to be kidding right? OK, in two words; “it sucked.” 

I started the year fleeing Central America. To flee is an emotive verb conjuring up images of escaping marauding hordes. My retreat was more like running away with my tail between my legs as the enormity of the global pandemic rapidly unfolded. I ended up on the shores of Loch Ness – without even the monster for company. 

You can read about all this in our very first two blogs. Eventually I was able to travel to Wales to be near some of my family and was lucky to pick up some carpentry work which has kept me sane all these months. 

David Roberts working on a slab of concrete
David’s office, somewhere in Wales , notice the gentle use of the rubber mallet to stroke the keys…

I often wonder if I should have stayed in Central America. Would I have been OK there if I’d kept my head down? A rhetorical question and one that I’m sure some of our readers will offer opinions upon

The weather would have been a lot more tolerable. Since my return to Wales I’ve had to rely on my memories of travels past for blog entries.

DAVID: What about you mate how has your life been in this weirdest of weird times?

GIONNY: My life has been without air-travel for the first time in many years, not bad to take a break from Europe I must confess. I’ve spent my time working, learning how to write better stories, how to take better pictures and how to restore classic bicycles!

Sandpaper and WD-40 are back into my life!

I’ve also been on long service leave for three months now, but the bonanza is about to end…

A picture of me working in my office
Travellingscrittori Australian HQ

GIONNY:  Yes but what about travel soon? we need some fresh adventures!

DAVID:  Currently we are banned from travelling from the UK except in exceptional circumstances. If discovered leaving the country it is a £5,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.

I can only fantasize about the inevitable discussion with a cell mate when locked up.

Me: “So, what are you in for?”

Him: “Armed robbery, physical assault and conspiracy.”

He would probably then ask why I was inside, to which I could then only answer:

“Oh, I got 10 years for trying to go on holiday.”

Mind boggling really.

GIONNY: Stop whinging. What are your plans once you are free?  

DAVID: My first priority will be to visit my two sons and a daughter in France and Spain who i haven’t seen for nearly two years now. Then I will travel to the Caribbean where another son works as a chef in a top notch restaurant. 

After I’ve outstayed my welcome there I will hitch rides on yachts (finally my years of sailing experience will come in handy) and island hop. My final destination on this odyssey will be Cuba. This has long been on my bucket list and was to be my end point way back last year when in Central America. 

Luxury yachts or those run on a shoe string is not important, either way they’ll be a rich source of stories. Hopefully I’ll be away from the European winter. This year was my first UK winter in decades and was the cow’s bollocks.

The following year I will do a long cherished road trip with my good friend Anne. Starting in Vancouver, where she lives, we will head south and inland ending up in Southern California. From there we’ll head along the western coast of contiguous USA up through western Canada and end up in Alaska then back to BC. Of course we’ll abuse friends hospitality en-route. 

DAVID: And you Gionny?

GIONNY: Funny you should ask, I was planning to catch up with you at some stage, but I was reluctant in visiting your island-nation, which would require me to apply for a visa nowadays.  Knowing you’ll not be there eliminates the hassle; as you know I hate cold, dump places!   

DAVID: Ah yes visas for the UK! Yet another absurdity of the ridiculous Brexit, grrrrrr    

DAVID: Sorry I interrupted your flow.              

GIONNY: Jokes apart, one day (inshallah) I’ll get a vaccine and I have two destinations in mind.

I will first visit my hometown in Italy and spend some time with my folks, then, go to Brest (France) at the start line of the Transcontinental race, to kill myself cycling and collect new adventures for our blog.

Actually, I was wondering if the Travellingscrittori budget could cover my airfare and quarantine hotel? what do you reckon?

I promise I’ll bring back all receipts!

a picture of my bike in the middle of a desert road
Somewhere in the middle of the bush, Australia 2020

DAVID: Dream on.

DAVID: How do you think we’re doing so far with our blog?

GIONNY: I must say I’m blown away by the number of regulars who are periodically reading our stories and asking for more!

In the beginning I thought the rants of two NON-PC geezers would have been a bit out of place in today’s sanitised world. I’m glad I was wrong.

Let’s face it David, we’re not artists, but the way we are not taking ourselves too seriously has been the major contributing factor for establishing a solid base of followers.

The great thing is that NOT only our ex Greenpeace colleagues like our stories, there’s plenty more people we don’t actually know who are enjoying our almost-weekly column.

DAVID: Really? how do you know that?

GIONNY: Because I’ve managed to master WordPress David! and I do remember my password, so I have access to all stats and comments.

DAVID: You twat!

What’s coming next at Travellingscrittori?

DAVID: So, what shall we do next, beside writing more stories?

GIONNY: Come on! don’t you remember? we talked about it a week ago! There are few more fields we want to explore… I’m happy to announce two of them… Once you master the app on your phone we’ll have a few podcasts in the pipeline, so our readers can also hear our stories as they are cooking dinner or riding their bikes.

Furthermore, and that’s on me, we will have some special edition Travellingscrittori T-shirts with the best Olivetti’s typed quotes on it.

GIONNY: What about your book David? I’ve heard you have a work in progress up your sleeve, what can you tell us about it?

DAVID: Do you mean that novel to rival James Joyce’s Ulysses? Or perhaps you refer to that autobiographical account of my 35 years in Greenpeace with a working title of “My Life in Greenpeace and Other Fuck-ups.” 

It’s a work in progress, a few kicks up the backside would help  

travel blog wrote with Olivetti Lettera 22

DAVID: I just realized your well earned sabbatical, or long service leave as you call it, is about to end in a few days. 

Bloody hell mate that was a short 3 months. 

Are you looking forward to getting back to the coal face? Are you champing at the bit? What about your re-ignited passion for doing up really expensive bikes? Beats me why anybody would pay $15K plus for a frame and a couple of wheels. 

But then if that’s what rocks your boat who am I to judge!  

GIONNY: mmm…sick leave? just kidding

Yes, I am ready to get my hands dirty of chain grease and I must go back to the pickle factory! I will indeed miss having free mornings and good sleeps, but another break might come soon, who knows.

Certainly I do look forward to further develop with you and to collect more and more exiting travel adventures, to tell our readers.

Thanks dear readers!! please keep on following us and spread the word.

10 thoughts on “One year of Travellingscrittori

    1. It’s great to hear that Paul, thanks very much for following us, we look forward to have you as a guest blogger once or more?? 😉

  1. Gionny, I have to say there’s few people I’d have preferred to share memories with over this past year. Well, there are some. Actually there’s loads.

  2. Aww, I love the interview style here! I also started a travel blog right before the pandemic started and have sometimes wondered what the heck I was thinking. I hope you guys are able to travel soon!

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