The summary of my 2021

travels โœˆ๏ธwork ๐Ÿคตโ€โ™‚๏ธsmartworking ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ปinvestments ๐Ÿ“ˆ
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Posted on 08/01/2022

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The summary of my 2021

The year that has just ended is rightfully at the top of the ranking of the best years I have lived on this little blue planet we call Earth. Started in the worst way having been stuck in lockdown in Puglia for the whole of January, I never expected it to turn out to be so full of travel, work and personal satisfaction.

But what have I done that is so special? Well, in order to get there we have to start from what goals I set myself at the end of 2020 which concern quite different spheres such as investments, travel, work objectives and so on. Let's say that they can be summarized in the following 5 points:

  1. Spend at least 5 months traveling
  2. Learn as many new things as possible by stepping out of my comfort zone
  3. Grow within the company I work for
  4. Carry out at least 2 projects with direct clients and diversify my sources of income
  5. Enter the world of investments

Let's go down in detail to see what I've been up to ๐Ÿง

Spend at least 5 months traveling

Remote work โœ… Positive cash flow โœ… Desire to travel โœ… Solve all outstanding problems in Italy โœ… All the conditions for achieving this goal were there and it was only up to me to organize the year in the best possible way. More than 27000km in flight, over 5000 km by car, hundreds of km on foot and several km by ferry and train later, I can say that the goal has been achieved!

At the end of January I went backpacking to reach the first destination of the year: Tenerife, Canary Islands. Here I spent a month away from the Covid and from the shadow of the lockdown that enveloped the rest of Europe and I really started to feel the quality of life I had always wanted. Going in the morning to visit the highest volcano in Europe, Teide, and then finding yourself in the afternoon in the south of the island with your feet soaked in the Atlantic Ocean are definitely strong sensations. Back in Italy for a few weeks, due to an imminent lockdown in Portugal, the chosen destination for my next trip, I decide to return again to the Canary Islands, this time i Fuerteventura. A month wandering among the desert dunes of Corralejo and its endless beaches, diving in its crystal clear waters and tasting the typical products of the hinterland passed quickly! After one last ride I was with my backpack ready to cross the Bocayna Strait by ferry to land on the third island I would visit, Lanzarote. Active volcanoes, mountains overlooking the sea, underwater museums and contrasting colors characterize this island that I considered very different from the others. Thanks to the bad weather in May, I decide to make my stay in Lanzarote last a little less than expected, not before having made a leap to the last island visited during this long journey, La Graciosa. With approximately 30 kmยฒ of extension, it is the smallest of the Canary Islands and is not paved at any point. Renting a bike for the whole day, I headed to what many call one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, playa de Las Conchas!

A picture is worth a thousand words, pop into my Instagram Profile ๐Ÿ”— to see some shots taken on these fantastic islands.

In June, after a short break wandering around Bologna, Veneto and Abruzzo, I returned to Puglia to spend the summer, interspersing my stay with a few days trip to Greece, Crete more precisely. A few strolls through the narrow streets of Chania, also known as the Venezia d'Oriente for its extreme resemblance to our envied former maritime republic, an immersion in the Cretan Sea, a visit to the Palace of Knossos famous for the legend of the Minotaur and an excursion in the Samaria gorges and I was ready to return to Italy for Turin, what would be my new home for the next few months.

In the last part of the year I was first in Northern Ireland for family reasons, then visiting friends in the Belluno Dolomites and to breathe some fresh mountain air and finally, to conclude of this tour de force, I left for the last trip that led me to find a dear friend of mine in Romania, in Bucharest.

With a trip to Malta skipped due to covid, it can be said that, all in all, this year was not as dramatic as 2020!

Learn as many new things as possible by stepping out of my comfort zone

I will be brief on this part as I am more than satisfied with the results achieved and, really, I could not have done more than this. This is the list in no particular order of the various challenges I faced:

  • I have driven thousands of kilometers mostly abroad (easy you say, but would you say the same knowing that in practice I learnt to drive only in December 2020?). I'm not even dead so it's a very nice result in my opinion ๐Ÿคฃ
  • I became a certified Open Water Diver. Scuba diving in the ocean is a sensation that not even I can explain ... a mix of relaxation and adrenaline. If you can try it, do it!
  • I "lernt" to Surf . Let's say, more or less ๐Ÿ˜ ... the road is still long!
  • I rode a jet ski for the first time. Lots of fun and even some beating ahaha
  • I've climbed a volcano, more than one actually!
  • I went Kayaking for the first time.

Clearly this list includes only the most interesting "activities" that have given me a hard time learing and a great fun doing but I have also done many other things not inlcuded in this list.

Grow within the company I work for

From a working point of view it was very important for me to be able to test myself and I must say that this year the projects I worked on were very demanding and certainly did not make me bored! Working in a company like Mostaza, which encourages its collaborators to work from where they prefer most and allows them to grow not only on a business level but also on a human level, is a great satisfaction for me.

Carry out at least 2 projects with direct clients and diversify my sources of income

There are two main reasons why I decided this year to dedicate myself to managing other projects besides my main job: to travel you don't need huge sums of money, but it's also true that it's not free and to have direct clients while managing projects independently is a source of pride for me and really pushes me to give my best. You can watch some of those projects at the following links:

  1. Website for the B&B la Casa di Nicole. It is always nice to support the activities of your city and here I delighted in the creation of the site for a famous B&B in my own city, Polignano a Mare. Visit the website ๐Ÿ”—
  2. Website for Australian youtuber Randal Thomas. Starting almost for fun, this lasting collaboration has given me and is continuing to give me great satisfaction, always facing demanding challenges. Visit the website ๐Ÿ”—

Read more about these projects in my portfolio ๐Ÿ”— .

The diversification of the sources of income, not only protects me from any default of one of them, but allows me to increase my knowledge horizontally instead of only vertically! We should all actually do it ๐Ÿ˜‰.

Enter the world of investments

The last area of my life that I wanted to focus on is something I've avoided like the plague for as long as possible: investments. Not having had any good family experiences, I've always seen that world as a black hole. The reality is that, like everything, if you do it cleverly and purposly and not to "Get rich quick", it can be a valid ally to protect our savings and make them bear fruit.

The target to be achieved in 2021 was the construction of a diversified portfolio of at least โ‚ฌ 10,000 with the aim of increasing it in the coming years. I'm still at the beginning and I still have a lot to learn but I'm happy I finally started! For the more curious I could also write an article about it and I report here broadly the composition of my portfolio: a PAC in ETF, some shares, various investments in p2p lending and crowdfunding platforms and a very small (very speculative) portion in crypto.


I am more than satisfied with this year and I am also very, very grateful to have done all of this being aware that not everyone has the chance! I will live the year that has just begun with even more desire to do and with greater ambitions.

Happy 2022, Valerio

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