Blog : Writing

A sense of home 2: Jonathan Magnin

A sense of home 2: Jonathan Magnin

Surviving (and thriving within) nomadism from those living without a fixed home.

In part 2 of this series I speak to French digital nomad Jonathan Magnin. Jon helps people and business to gain clarity and grow. He’s into creativity, start-ups and growth hacking with a social twist.

Which area of the world are you living in right now? How long have you been nomadic?

It’s been a month that I live in Medellin, Colombia. Before Medellin, I spent 6 months in Brazil, 6 months in France, 5 months in Dublin and about 10 months in Pereira, Colombia.

I’ve been a digital nomad for about 3 years.

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A Brazilian Dreamer in Celle

A Brazilian Dreamer in Celle

How an anarchist with a dream birthed a space for creativity

She appeared suddenly one evening in April. Celle di San Vito, the smallest village in the whole of Puglia was covered in snow, with the notorious Cellesi wind that gets right to the cores of your bones, blowing willfully. Like it’s trying to blow out the fire.

Don Michele, owner of the Castello housing the project, an Italian priest in his 80s with a passion for the local Franco Provenziale language and an uncanny ability to churn out back-to-back historical facts about seemingly everything, received a call at 9:30pm.

“Io arrivo”, she said in her trademark mix of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. “Dove?”, asked Don Michele? “Celle”. “Dormo alla tienda”, continuing to explain that she had found a corner next to the Castello’s main door to pitch her tent in, right at the end of Celle’s one “primary” road. There was no need for him to come over from the next village with the key. She could wait until the next morning, she reassured him. Snow, freezing winds and camping right in the middle of a tiny village in Southern Italy do not even faze Carolina Bernardes.

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A sense of home : Gigi Griffis

A sense of home : Gigi Griffis

Surviving (and thriving within) nomadism, from those living without a fixed home

In part 1 of this series of interviews I speak to world-traveling entrepreneur and writer Gigi Griffis. In May 2012, Gigi sold her stuff, left Denver Colorado and took to the road with a growing business and a pint-sized pooch. She’s the author of seven guidebooks and a sassy little travel blog at gigigriffis.com.

Which area of the world are you living in right now? How long have you been nomadic?

I’m currently road tripping across Canada from Quebec City in the east to Vancouver in the west. I’m writing to you from a cute little hotel suite just outside downtown Toronto, where I’m working today. Tomorrow, I’m off to a small town called Marathon on Lake Ontario.

I’ve been nomadic for just over four years now. I boarded a plane for Scotland (my first stop) with my hiking backpack and my small dog on May 30th, 2012.

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Of humans’ need for stories, the power of visuals and the tools we need to decipher them

Of humans’ need for stories, the power of visuals and the tools we need to decipher them

My thoughts and picks from the book I have just finished: “The Age of the Image: Redefining literacy in a world of screens” by Stephen Apkon. Part of my research for my “Words” project.

Stephen Apkon’s ode to the moving picture is motivated by a love for stories and an appreciation for the skills needed to both tell and digest them in an effective manner. The Age of the Image: Redefining literacy in a world of screens is an important read for anyone interested in appreciating the power of imagery on the human mind, together with the mechanics behind this strong but often invisible influence.

Expanding beyond the world of pictures alone, Apkon shows a sense of connection and a strong relationship between the word and the image, illustrating how they inform and enhance each other; which was the very thing that drew me into this book. In Martin Scorsese’s words, Apkon “lays out the tools we need to cultivate awareness of and attention to every message and every gesture, artistic or opportunistic, expressed in print or in pixels.” This is an invitation “to look closely and find the story within”.

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Writing, melancholy and my own hero’s journey

Writing, melancholy and my own hero’s journey

From Brazil I’ve landed in tiny Celle Di San Vito, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village in Puglia, South Italy. I’m here participating in an artistic residence working on two writing projects and dealing with my Brazil withdrawal symptoms. 

I had all kinds of plans to work on my project this morning. To start reading, perhaps writing questions, creating a backbone for what I am so far calling ‘By Doing’. I’m collecting stories through interviews, videos, writings, about people who have really managed to integrate whatever they feel compelled to do (compelled is another possible title) into their life. And specifically the role of struggle in that journey. I want to create an online space where people can recognise themselves and hopefully understand themselves better through it. Where struggle can be looked at, appreciated for the information and development it brings.

This morning though, as I sit and type in the little sunny terrace of the Castello at Celle di San Vito, I feel that I first need to understand myself. I’ve been struggling with melancholy over the past three days I’ve been here and I have not quite been able to put my finger on exactly what this is due to.

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Losing (and finding) my identity

Losing (and finding) my identity

How I coped with exiting the job I hid behind 

Hi, I’m Greta. I’m a marketing manager. That was my opening line on meeting someone. And then I would go on to explain that I worked for the corporate office of an international hotel brand, working on branding and brand consistency management.

I wore suits to work, I spent the vast majority of my time at work, I was addicted to answering work emails and solving work problems. I had just started traveling for work, going to luxury hotels, getting picked up by drivers, having doors opened for me, being treated with an air of respect for my ‘authority’. And I liked it.

I liked going to my room and finding a welcoming note and chocolates from the hotel manager, I liked hotel breakfasts, especially in London where the whiff of opulence and celebrity was even stronger than that emanating from the organic, locally sourced fruit and granola I was nibbling at. It all made me feel special, important, wanted. Like I was finally someone.

Then I started to get the feeling that I wasn’t growing in my work, that as great as the glamour side of things was, I was not feeling like I was expanding exponentially any longer. I started feeling like I wanted more.

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