I’ve been on this spiritual path for some years now and today has been one of those occurring existential crisis days. Those days where you just stare into the abyss for an unhealthy amount of time and you have no idea why you’re even on this forsaken planet.
The digital nomad lifestyle is not only about creating digital epicness to an awesome view over a Tuscan beach, it’s also about doing batshit crazy things. Like hanging on to your bare life, whilst you’re riding on the back of a former motorcycle World Champion – Troy Corser. See video below.
I’m not lying when I say his top speed must’ve been 250 km/t when we did the long wheelie that for me lasted 10 lifetimes. He also did some cute little tricks in the swings, like drifting with the motorbike. Yes, with me still on the back. I didn’t even know that motorcycles could drift. Like, don’t they just flip over and turn into a billion pieces?
Anyway, we survived. Proof on the picture below.
That day was me embracing my boyfriend’s digital nomad journey. How he combines his passion for motorcycling and living abroad. It is universal knowledge that Italy is blessed with some good motorcycle tracks and is also one of the reasons why we came here.
So yeah, I crashed the testosterone-party at Mugello Circuit, where he attended Race Academy. He learnt shitloads about motorcycling and I learnt shitloads about his world. Especially after I got the chance to try a pillon-ride with Troy Corser, “The Teacher” at Race Academy.
I’m truly grateful. I’ve always seen race motorcycling as men doing the “huga-buga” Silverback gestures, you know, thomping on their chest to show off their manhood. But, now I saw a different side to it. I saw a community with so much support and brotherhood. There is no: “Oh my God, look at him guys. Such a noobz.”. It’s people working for the same passion and having a mutual respect.
I also saw my man’s bravery, his drive and how he really is passionate about this. I have to say I got some extra butterflies in my stomach after this experience. So proud of you.
This experience has also learnt me another important lesson. It’s not always about me, me, me in relationships. Yes, I’m super spiritual and I have always had the belief that this motorcycle world is all about ego. So I have been fighting it. Fighting Lars. But, I see more love in this community. Even met a guy who is more empathic towards other human beings than vegans. Super blessed.
Right now I’m sitting at a Tuscan lake-beach heaven we randomly found the other day. I’ve found my laptop and accompanied myself with a cold, dewy Corona. This is really the spot I’ve always imagined myself working at as a digital nomad. Like, who wouldn’t like to work from a random beach, eh?
Also, everything that other digital nomads have said about these places, are true; it’s f****** warm, you can barely see the computer screen because of the light and the Wi-Fi connection, I guess, has seen stronger days. Bless.
Yet, I’m happy. Seriously for the first time in my adult life I actually feel like myself and this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. To be free and intuitive. And wiggle my butt wherever and whenever my butt wants to wiggle. It feels like there is nothing calling me home, because I am home. On Earth, the round little rock in the middle of this infinite universe where the inhabitants have decided to separate themselves with borders.
So yeah, I kind of very much like this way of living. Especially those days when doubt doesn’t kick in, because your former ego is calling you “home”. Or your bank balance is closing in on 0. I guess that’s the beauty of this lifestyle. In other words, I’m embracing every side of this journey.
Other cute journeys
This digital nomad journey also took me to some cute, desolate places these past days. We found this lake called Lago di Bilancino. So while Lars did his motorcycle thang, I went off with Opie for some adventure time. I even took my first underwater pictures. They’re crap, but I’ll get better.
And whilst I was super excited to finally post this very short and sweet blog post on the spot, my computer died. As some beautiful beach cafés don’t have an outdoor plug. I love my life.
We stayed in Florence from Tuesday and until Thursday, hoping to avoid the crowd. What we found out was that early weekdays don’t apply on high-season to avoid the masses. The crowd is the same-same and the tourists are scattered everywhere.
You can either find your partner-in-crime and hide in a huge “I’m invisible and safe and all is well”-embrace or you can find cute little streets away from the crowd. It can be a detour if you’re on an A to B mission, but it’ll be the greatest detour of your life. Narrow streets, cute shops and yeah, less people. What’s not to like. See survival examples in the pictures below. Or you can choose the third option; be a vampire and move in the night.
In addition, we had to survive 34 degrees in full blown sun. There were points where we just “NOPE” and just had sacrifice some places and retreat to more silent places. We also have some more Florence travel hacks, just click on the “Florence travel hacks” field below!
Google Map pins: Before you enter the cradle of Renaissance, then find your Google Map and pin all the places you want to see, the places you want to eat and so forth. With the crowd and some waiting in queues, it’ll make your life so much easier.
Firenze Card: If you’re going to spend more than 2-3 days in Florence, then this is your ace in the sleeve. It costs €89 for the Firenze Card, but it is valid for 72 hours, you can enter the majority of the museums for free, you get a priority access once in each museum (aka skip queues) and it has a lot of discounts to different shops and restaurants. I’d seriously pay the amount of money for the Firenze Card, just so I can skip the queueing! We walked almost straight in to the Galleria dell’Accademia, when people were queuing forever in 34 degrees and sun. Suckers.
AirBNB: If hotels are sold out or are too expensive, then we’d recommend staying at an AirBNB. If you’re also staying longer, you can find an apartment with your own kitchen, so you spare some dollars on not eating out.
Trenitalia: Can’t even find a decent and cheap place to stay in the middle of Florence? Find a place outside the city, for example Pistoia or Prato. From there you can take a train directly to Firenze Santa Maria Novella next to the old town. The train tickets are super cheap and you can find them here – Trenitalia.
Duomo: Ok, what we didn’t know was that one has to book a slot to come up to the infamous creation of Brunelleschi – The Dome. We had bought the ticket and then saw it was fully booked. So, buy the ticket and book it early here.
4 things to do in Florence Italy
Galleria degli Uffizi
If you don’t have time to go strolling and visiting all them endless gems in Florence, then Uffizi Gallery is the one museum you need to visit! It’s worth the queuing (although, if you have the Firenze Card you get priority access) as you can spend hours in there. It’s FYI considered to be one of the largest museums in the world. How about that.
Your eyes get the pleasure of seeing original creations from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio and many more. Totally a starstruck hive if you have a passion for art, history and culture.
Another tip; keep an eye on the opening hours, as the museum sometimes has opened during the evening and you get the place pretty much to yourself!
The Medici Chapel was an interesting and fascinating place. You could sense it was a space where death is welcomed with open arms. You enter the Chapel below, in the crypt, where the Medici’s remains are kept alongside sacred ornaments containing relics. Reliques in form of bones, pieces from human skulls and all that jazz.
When we went up the staircase, we were met by I sight that seriously took my breath away. Usually you see chapels and churches in bright white, illuminating the whole room. Although, the Cappella dei Principi (“Chapel of the Princes”) was dark and almost gothic in a sense. The stones used to decorate the chapel were dark green, brown, grey, with small golden and red details. All of it illuminated by the dome above.
Last, but not least, we visited The Sagrestia Nuova, designed by the great Michelangelo. We watched a documentary in beforehand and we already knew what was coming – Michelangelo’s subliminal mockery of the Medici family. Once a student, then a silent opponent towards the greedy Medici. As it was for the majority of Florentines back in those days. The statues of the Giuliano and Lorenzo weren’t as grand as they should’ve been by the book. Also, the statues representing Dusk & Dawn and Night & Day, were a symbolic meaning of the passing of time. As with the Medici family.
If you love astronomy, technology, science, compasses, time measuring devices, telescopes, globes, maps and all them kinds of goodies, like moi, then this is your heaven. It’s amazing to see how mathematics and logic could create so complex things, before our modern technology. Well, this was birth of the technology era, but it’s just mind-boggling to see how far they were already back then. All thanks to the father of modern science – Galileo Galilei. I can’t even figure out my phone.
I’d say that Galleria dell’Accademia is not worth the queue if you don’t have secret crush on Michelangelo’s David and if you’re not super interested in sculptures as an artform. I personally felt the grand David was the reason for entering this museum (yup, totally starstruck), as I’m too ignorant about sculptures. Mesmerized, but ignorant.
Although, I later learned that sculptures were one of the most expensive artforms back in the days and were often used to show an economic strength. In addition, in the New Testament, believers were called “living stones”, which gave the sculptures an additional – and symbolic – meaning. My point; don’t be ignorant and life will be more exciting.
Ok, let’s get back on track. The museum also had its own floor where you could admire old frescoes in gothic style. Again, not my cuppa, but maybe yours?
3 things to do in Florence Italy – when things get too crowded
Museo Casa di Dante
Dante’s crib! We found his old house hidden somewhere in Florence. A bit lost at that time, but you’ll find it easily on Google Maps. I have to say I was expecting a bit more, being Dante’s house and all. But, just knowing it was there where he slept and pondered about the world – and Beatrice – made my whole experience.
Otherwise, it was more of a collection of information elaborated from Dante’s scriptures. Aka, it wasn’t always directly about him, but what happened during the time he walked the streets of Florence.
Museo dell’Opfificio delle Pietre Dure
No pictures taken from this little spontaneous trip!
This museum was a collection of different… stones and rocks. Being a rock collector myself back in my days when I was 5 years old, this was definitely was an extension to my rock knowledge. I also have a love for crystals as being spiritual AF, so it was a bonus applied to this experience.
All in all, an interesting little detour, which sparked a further understanding about how rocks and stones were used to decorate differents aspects of the grand life in Florence – and for the Medici family.
Bibiloteca Medicea Laurenziana
Barely any people, probably the smallest museum in town – but, damn it is beautiful. This was Medici’s personal library (like holy cow). What I’m about to say now goes against every fiber of my being, but I’d seriously consider becoming as greedy as a Medici just to get a library like that. The vestibule already had me on “I wanna become a Medici.”
Food wise, check these 6 vegan restaurants out in Florence! If you’re not vegan, doesn’t matter – you’ll convert to veganism the moment you take bite.
Ok, so I was a genius before heading to Florence. I marked every single interesting vegan restaurant on Google Maps before heading there. You know, you can like add places and such on Google Maps itself. You can either star them (yellow pin), heart them (red pin) or mark them as “want to go” (green pin).
I will keep it short and sweet this time, and let the pictures do the talking. I’m totally fried right now after some months as a digital nomad and I’m still trying to balance logistics, expenses, travelling and most importantly my dreams. Anyway, Estonia spat me out with 3 infections richer – totally not Estonia’s fault – and here I am, lying back in my Italian feeling sorry for myself. I guess that was the last drop to say that I need to slow down.
Enough about me, more about Estonia! Estonia once more was an amazing reminder of how amazing my birth country is and how my roots stand strong. Blessed to have a family who is as “crazy” as I am aka free spirited, open-minded, empathic and who has a lust to discuss worldly matters. Fuck capitalism and live more, you know. Therefore, yet again, we talked until the morning, discussed deep things, patterns and layers in people and in our family and yeah, just bonded and made up for some lost time.
I also got involved with two exciting projects – was interviewed for a school’s magazine on how it is to be an Estonian abroad (met the interviewer randomly in Venice) and got a volunteer job at Let’s Do It!, which is an NGO fighting illegal dumpsites and trash globally. I’m really excited.
Now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Tallinn – Modern City versus Old Town
Viinistu – A charming, harbour town
Tammneeme – My dad’s roots
Pärnu – My mum’s roots
I’m proud to be Estonian by blood, although I know I’m a globalist at heart. Despite this, I know my digital nomad a** will be back in Estonia at some point, where I also want to give this amazing, innovative, hard-working country a voice and help to lift up what we have lost so many times under occupation – the love for freedom, nature and our culture.
I still remember the day when we had just left Denmark. We drove on the autobahn in Germany, embracing the fact that this highway was the start on our digital nomad life in Europe. I remember feeling true, genuine happiness knowing that we didn’t have a registered address anymore. From there on, we were heading towards an unknown era of freedom. Dreams manifesting and the whole shebang, you know.
First stop: Volta Mantovana
Our first AirBNB base was in Volta Mantovana, a place no one would randomly live in, where rumours abound and where a piece of renaissance still remains. The first thing we did was to pop a local white wine with our lovely host, Margaret. Fluffy kitties welcomed us, we had the sound of grasshoppers in the background and late talks about being globalists.
Sitting there sipping my wine, I was thinking; I can’t believe how blessed I am.
Second stop: Monsummano Terme
Well, around 10.000 km later, some dollars poorer and plenty of experiences richer – we are hereby announcing that we are super tired and somewhat broke. Therefore we have decided to be kind to ourselves and stay at a lovely little apartment in Monsummano Terme until mid-August! You really need to zoom in on Google Maps to even find the place, but the beauty of its location is that it’s actually right between Pisa and Florence. Aka, we can spare ourselves some kilometres and money, yet still see the best Italy has to offer.
Lars has his precious motorcycle track, Mugello, right next door and can embrace his inner world champion. I get to be an hour from the sea where I hopefully can start my underwater photography. Blub blub. We can explore the Tuscany area even more, drink some local Chianti wine and actually live a little. We also have pizza restaurant next door and the local “social-hangout-place” Tiffany’s. Ah, and the apartment has balcony, so that kind of won me over.
More posts will come about how we even managed to reach 10.000 km, how our mini-minivan Opie experiences his travels, some tips regarding a digital nomad life and all that. Stay tuned!
In my last post I wrote about meeting my dark inner self again, because lately I’ve still had some triggers that lead me to minor anxiety attacks and fluctuations from a negative mind to a positive mind. I now understand that the triggers I get, are the small signs to things I need to put my attention towards and work on. In other words, another exciting weekend of digging, crying and developing!
Been off the grid from the blog for awhile (embracing my true self and stuff) and now I’m going off the grid in general for a weekend. To focus more on my blog as an extension of myself. So, I’m back – my authentic self.
I sort of failed on my last minimalism travel to Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, because it went too minimalism! Guess I forgot that I have to be presentable some times.. especially when you’re in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina with your best friend. Like, how many times can one reuse a tank top (the only clothing that is ish presentable)? Well, I’ll tell you, after three times you kind of don’t ever want to wear it again. But then you’re unlucky and have occasions where you have to look presentable at least good 8 days in a row. I did though, and I’ve learnt my lesson.