As you discover the world of wool, you’ll find there’s a sort of a cult love around the fibre, and with good reason! It’s a bit of a magic material because it’s both insulating and ventilating at the same time, moisture and stain resistant, and just plain soft. Let’s just say, sheep really know how to dress themselves. These properties make it our favourite snuggle buddy and a trusty travel companion. Our TBCo. Travels series came from the many times we’ve opened our suitcases and high-fived our past selves for remembering to bring some wool. On this occasion, we sent Fre Perez out on the road with a Recycled Wool Blanket in Dark Grey Stripe into Switzerland, Italy, and beyond!
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Francesco Perez and I live in Modena in Italy. I’m a 23-year-old university student studying Communication Science. I’ve been following my love for photography, especially when I go on “low cost” adventures. Since I was a child, travel and adventure have always been my greatest passions, and today this disposition has only grown and strengthened in me. Thanks to social media, I'm able to share my travel photos and meet many people along the way!
What inspired you and your friends to do your road trip?
This year, I met many people from all over Italy who share my love for photography and "the journey". Though I originally met them on instagram, they soon became real life friends. So, I decided to hit the road and spend time with my new friends around Italy, and this is what inspired our road trip that ended up taking us from Switzerland to Abruzzo’s coasts.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to plan their own trip? Especially if they haven’t done much travelling in the past?
First of all, you have to choose your way of travel: planes, cars or public transport. I always prefer travel by car because I have been fascinated by “life on the road,” and especially because you always have the chance to change your plans, stay longer in the places that you like most, and above all, discover new places. So, the main advice I have for someone planning their own trip is:
- Have clear ideas about the place you want to visit and points of interests. Do some research and know a little about where you are going to go.
- Carry a light but efficient backpack.
- Good company is everything.
Let yourself be taken by the thrill of the adventure (it’s okay to be prepared, but we must not forget that the best journeys come from unexpected experiences).
You seem to find a lot of "off the beaten path" places and avoid other tourists, any tips for that?
Holiday crowds are always the tough part about a journey. I have always avoided tourist areas, especially in times of the year I know a place is crowded.
I use Mapify to choose destinations. It helps me find the most inspirational and photogenic places for each place I go.
You must let yourself get carried away by the desire to discover, and you have to look around where you are.
Where were some of your favourite places you went?
This is a difficult question! One of my favourite places is Sorapis’ Lake, an ancient dolomitic lake born from an ex-crater of a volcano. Not very easy to reach! It’s a very long and difficult path, but when you reach the top you are rewarded with a wonderful landscape.
Another epic place was Castelluccio of Norcia in Abruzzo. It’s a plain surrounded by mountains, and it reminds me of the highways in America’s great deserts. The plain was actually the heart of several Italian movie sets, and the best part is watching wild horses run around the valley. Every time I see them, it's always like the first time; they communicate a sense of freedom.
Journeys and photography are the answer. The true meaning of travel is to pack only the absolute essentials and, thanks to that, enjoy the trip without too much technology. When I travel, my camera is the only tech I bring.
There’s no better feeling than being detached from technology when you are travelling. Every single moment seems unique. Taking a break from daily life helps me to see things from a different perspective. It’s sort of meditation: it’s peace of mind.