Hello, I’m Michele! A Leo and vegan, I’ve lived most of my life in the countryside in Milano, Italy. Formerly a computer technician, now passionate about personal growth, Yoga, nutrition and exploring the world.
My life was perfect: I had a sweet and beautiful wife, a cozy home, a prestigious job, two cars, a scooter, lots of travel photos, security, aperitifs, restaurants, and shopping…
Apparently everything one could want in life.
Yet I was looking out the window longing for what I didn’t know how to define.
I had the feeling that, despite everything I had, I was missing something vital.
Something that required a big change in my life.
Shortly after my 34th birthday and a fabulous trip to the Southwest USA, I asked myself some fateful questions:
If I’m 99 years old on my death bed, could I say I had lived my life fully? What had I done until that moment? What increlible memories did I have to cherish?
And I found the answer. What I longed for was just what I couldn’t buy: TIME. At 99, I would have wished that I had longer time to discover the world and its wonders, time to get to know myself and evolve to the best version of myself, to have lived a slower life and realized all my dreams, and have found my true place in the world.
This gave me the sign that I had to do something (now!) that seemed very simple, and that was to follow my inner voice and put my desires in the center instead of letting them be a little part of my life like the things to keep in the drawer for later.
So, I started a journey within myself first, a journey of reflection and training that consisted of looking into the many voices whispering in my head more closely. I started hearing the rational part of my mind, which had been feeding me with prejudice, fear, and guilt, to such an extent that it immobilized me and made me watch my life like an audience rather than being its lead actor.
But it has not always been this way. As a child, I was intensely living the present, free from any mental patterns and barriers, full of enthusiasm, curiosity and ability to see diversity as a strength and not as something to be afraid of.
That’s when I decided to free myself from the conditioning of the western society in which I’d lived in and listen to the child in me.
I’ve discovered the concepts of going back to the basics and minimalism; sold my TV and all the superfluous objects I had struggled to buy that were stealing my vital energy and time.
With my wife, we put the house on the market, sold or donated all its content, bought two backpacks and travel equipment to start a long journey (read here The ultimate guide to packing light for travel).
Finally I left my job and was ready to go and take on the world!
Suddenly, out of the blue, two months before our departure date to Bangkok with a one-way ticket, my wife decided she no longer wanted to be part of this adventure and left me.
It’s hard to describe my exact feelings but in a simplified way, I felt like I was dying. All of a sudden, I found myself alone, without a job, a car and with the house completely empty.
Resilience: the ability to self-regain after a damage and to succeed in reorganizing the life despite the tough situations, even stronger than before.
Convinced of my choice, I managed to get up and decided to continue my journey alone.
On October 4, 2015, I took a plane to Jakarta, Indonesia.
What happened since then is the most incredible adventure of my life .
After my first trip to Java’s volcanoes, Bali’s mysticism, and a stop in Turkey, in December 2015 I left for Bangkok, Thailand, exactly where I was supposed to go with my wife, which I had fantasized about for months.
My first impression about this Asian metropolis was traumatic, so after a few days, I decided to escape to the south, to an island called Koh Phangan, with the plan of staying there for three days with a fresh coconut in my hand while lying on the beach.
But, on the ferry to the island, something that changed my life forever happened. I offered my help to an Italian couple who was carrying a bunch of heavy luggages. We started chatting and I told them about my story, how I’d turned vegan, and my transformation from the old me. When we spoke about Yoga, (that I’d tried only one Yoga class in my life), I find out they were advanced yoga teachers and had been going to this island for studying and teaching for several years.
Three days after I arrived in Koh Phangan, I had a bungalow in the middle of the jungle, a scooter and I was taking part in an intensive course at one of the most renowned Yoga schools in the world: Agama Yoga.
Since then, I’ve spent almost year in one of the most incredible spiritual communities that I never imagined existed, learning Yoga, participating in devotional singing, various self-development workshops; enjoying the white sand beaches, scooter rides to amazing jungles, waterfalls, hikes, eating sweet tropical fruits, and making dozens of like-minded new friends from all around the world.
I understood that the Universe had led me to exactly what I was looking for and that there was NO turning back!
WHAT’S NEXT? WHERE WILL I GO? WHAT WILL I DO?
I’ve been traveling away from Italy for the last 2 years. I still don’t know what I will do and where I will settle in: But what I know is, I will let my life unfold by itself and I’m sure I will not regret listening to my heart.
I want to fully live the present moment and if I stumble, I will get up stronger than before.
WHY THIS BLOG?
I decided to write this blog to share my experiences with other people, to give and receive tips, and to serve as a source of inspiration if you are thinking of changing your life, just like other bloggers have done for me.
Because travel doesn’t just mean adding more stamps to your passport. When you travel, you learn to face adversities, to see life from a larger perspective, and to face and defeat your fears. There are times when I find myself laughing and experiencing adventures with new friends, other times there are problems and frustrations and I just want to teleport myself somewhere far away. But these are all the experiences that transform me: I learn, I get more aware, and I try again -stronger than before.
Because by traveling you learn to see adversities as opportunities.
You learn to love yourself, love others, love life.
This is not my first blog. As I’m Italian, my English was very poor in the beginning and I started writing in Italian on Karmaecolori.com, that ended up being a journal of my adventures and my deep voyage into the spiritual world.
Besides that, as a super-organized and extremely methodical person, I felt the need to share with other people all the skills that I learned along the way such as detailed travel tips, hacks, and guides.
So, I decided to open a blog focused on “the art of traveling”. This is how MinimalBackpacker is born.
Welcome to my blog!