I AM A SOLO TRAVELER
A chat with travel blogger Fraintesa
«I travel a lot, often alone. At first, it was a challenge of meticulous organization, I paid attention to every little detail. But now, it is an invitation to wander and wonder, be open to what may come and experience people and places with an attitude of discovery, each moment full of possibility».
Francesca Barbieri, known online as Fraintesa, has a very precise idea of what it means to be a travel blogger. It is something that many reduce to a luxuriant vacation, but is in fact a job, that requires a lot of work, being done while traveling.
“Preparing a journey means to prepare myself in advance in order to be able to experience the destination. I have to worry about the arrangements, the transportation, the stages. It means learning how to take professional photos, shoot and edit videos, operate a drone. It also means to respond, in real time, to a tight-knit community that have questions that I must answer. It means managing a digital multimedia communications business that is optimized for search while also keeping up to date on all social channels.”
Francesca, how did you become a travel blogger?
It all started about 15 years ago. At the time, I kept a personal journal where I would write down my experiences abroad while on Erasmus. It was a hobby that I pursued and cultivated passionately, and that with perseverance and dedication, has become my profession.
How does one become a travel blogger in general?
A decade ago travel bloggers made up a small and little know group. I never stopped publishing and through this consistency I was able to carve out a loyal and passionate audience. They pushed me to continue and began to trust me as a reliable person. Simultaneously was the growth of collaborations and sponsorships. Now that the competition between travel bloggers is extremely fierce, I am able to count on my large archive of news and reportage that makes up the core of my blog and inspires my readers to “travel” around the world.
What is your secret?
My community. They identify with me and so continue to support me. People follow me because they are interested in my content, but also because they identify with my style, my way of being and how I travel. There are many today who entrust me with the organizing of their holidays; they call me and tell me, “do it for us because I know we have common interests.”
Your community has also supported you through another secret, one more personal and intense.
It is true. In 2018, I was diagonosed with breast cancer. After months of chemotherapy and surgery, I can say that I have overcome the most difficult part of the treatment. I was lucky. So much so, that I have decided to create a new meaning out of the date of my diagonosis.
In what way?
This upcoming October 8, the day I was diagonosed with cancer, I will leave on a solo trip around the world. It will be a new challenge and a new beginning. I launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary funds. But I am not doing it only for myself; half of the proceeds will be donated to the Fondazione AIRC per la Ricerca sul Cancro. Moreover, during my trip, I will be giving interviews to local media in order to raise awareness about prevention.
"Choosing a wine is like deciding on a journey. I like authentic, local, real flavors, with a touch of surprise.
And to conclude, a customary question: What wine do you like
and which Duchessa Lia labels would you recommend?
Choosing a wine is like deciding on a journey. I like authentic, local, real flavors, with a touch of surprise. As a result, I prefer native vines, perhaps ones that are rare and little known, or made in an unexpected way. My advice is Duchessa Lia’s Asti Secco DOCG, a new way to taste the Muscat grape, one of the most characteristic of Piedmont.
We have forgotten one important thing.
Your holiday tips!
Right! This year, I say to choose Italy. It is a country that never fails to amaze. Head to Cilento for the sea, on the border between Campania and Basilicata. Or Umbria for forests and tranquility. If instead you are seeking the mountains, Val di Zoldo has my heart in the Belluno Dolomites National Park.