Travel with your heart, live with locals and immerse yourself as much as you can, is the message from two Italian backpackers.
Mark Brawler and Stefania Ferrero, are adventure travellers who travel with their family.
The backpackers from Bologna, Italy, have so far travelled over 150 countries with their cute daughter Nora imbibing new cultures.
They try and convey this message to their numerous fans around the globe.
The couple, who claim themselves as luxury world travel experts, blog on Born2travel.it and update their numerous fans through social media. They have always felt the need to share their emotions and experiences around the globe with as many people as they can.
While in Oman they wore ‘dishdasha’ and the prized ‘kuma’ immersing themselves in the discovery of a friendly country.
“Considering that we are quite humble to realise that we were not able to write a book we decided to report all our live experiences on our website and through social media. We hope it can be useful to those who are going to begin a new journey or a way to travel with the fantasy for who cannot do it physically,” they said.
Impressed about Oman and its nature, they enquired regarding travel packages to visit some locations. “They (agents) stared at us as if we had asked for a pound of ham in a jewellery store,” says Stefy.
Oman, according to the travel couple, appears to be similar to Jordan, where tourism is good but needs a bit of organising themselves.
During their journey they spent a whole morning but did not lose out because “travel is also fun, talking, negotiating with locals, arranging a tour.”
At the hotel they met Faisal who was the trump card in addition to their great friend who was with them throughout their stay in the Sultanate.
“The souq of Muttrah is very real. It is made of small squares and alleys where everybody calls you to show you their wares, the smell of incense fills the souq.” “Satisfied we ate two ‘shawarma’ with the usual fresh squeezed orange juice along the sea front,” they reminisce.
Recounts Mark about their experiences during the visit.
He also managed to organise a football match with the local boys! “So we return to the souq to buy a pair of shoes for the game of tomorrow! The trip begins to take shape!”
“In the afternoon we are all on the ‘field’. Everyone, absolutely everyone and we were about 40 people. A game without rules, without off side or goalkeeper, but playing in a quarry, with the mosque next door was simply great.”
Towards the evening with the legendary Faisal and dressed in typical ‘dishdasha’ and ‘kuma’ they strolled around the various shopping malls immersing in the Arabic atmosphere.
“First of all it is a way to keep on travelling even with your mind, fantasy and imagination. Every time I read what I wrote, descripted or photographed, I re-live the feelings I lived again and that’s way I want to share them with others every single wonderful moment I lived. Travelling is to have a star in front of you and a path to walk, it doesn’t matter if the star is unreachable, the important aspect is: ‘go ahead.’ All the life is a continuous journey and all journeys are grown up,” says Mark. Stefy says she cannot travel without her knife.
“I have used it while I was deployed in Afghanistan and from that moment has become very useful for me. It has helped us in many circumstances and it’s a must to bring around,” she adds gleefully.
They never use mattress while camping. They love to feel the real contact with the ground, one with nature, though sometimes it is not that comfortable.
Myanmar was one place which the couple visited and ‘lived’ recently. “It’s not very touristic so far and maybe this is its strength but it’s magic and very interesting.”
“Actually, many horrible experiences happened to me in Afghanistan… but maybe this is another story… into the wild? When during the Annapurna trail in Nepal we were almost hit by a yak,” remembers Stefy.
The couple love to bring back all the ups and downs and adventures in their inseparable ‘travel diaries’. “Our stories have no other claim than to be the faithful testimony of impressions gathered in a world other than ours,” they conclude.
Crazy, daring couple
“Travelling has helped me grow and understand more than just myself, even about the world around me. Travelling has given me the most beautiful and intense emotions: it is difficult to describe what it is like to be alone in boundless landscapes without horizon, under immense fiery or starry skies that you seem to be able to touch with a finger.”
“Travelling is not places or means, landscapes or monuments, people or cultures that determine the uniqueness of the journey, but only our spirit of travellers or, as I often say, of ‘gypsies of the world.”
Mark finds it wonderful to capture images, which are life situations, faces, landscapes that are able to convey emotions to those who look at them.
“I love travelling since I was born thanks also to a family that gave me this passion.
For years I have been exploring Europe with my brothers aboard a camper. My real passion is Africa.” “I feel at home in Africa, when my eyes see the red earth and the immense blue sky above my head.”
Loves to dance the music of the 80s as if there were no tomorrow, cooking in all the kitchens of the world trying to learn some little secrets. She loves to paint and learn techniques from different countries, and especially with regards to cooking. Her dream: To open a hostel in some magical place on earth.