I leave this coming September (2016), and will be spending six to eight months doing unpaid volunteering in Italy on vineyards, farmstays, and similar. Independent farms and vineyards are considered by many to be the backbone of Italian society, especially by those in Tuscany. First off, I'll spend one month volunteering at a kennels in Teglio on the Italy-Switzerland border. After that, I will be travelling down to San Godenzo near Florence, and volunteering on a vegetable/olive garden for a month and a half. Following this will be a month and a half in the North of Sardinia, volunteering on an organic farmstay. Further farmstays and vineyards have yet to be arranged for definite, but I will spend the three months or so after that at various other unpaid volunteering sites. After that will come either volunteering on other farmstays or getting a full-time job, depending on the offers I may or may not get from the farmstays I have applied to and am awaiting confirmation from. I may later choose to permanently relocate to, or study at university in, Italy.
The short of it is that I can't bear to be stuck in a day-to-day wake up, work, eat, sleep routine, and I want to find the little joys in life and live for them.
The £3000 would cover: Food And Supplies, Luggage and Equipment, Airfare, Local Travel Expenses, and Medical/Travel/Accident Insurance, for the first six or so months. At which point, I hope to get a paid evening job and settle down in Italy permanently - although on the off-chance I get lots of donations, money raised past the £3000 point will ensure I have a bit of a safety net in case I can't get a job straight away or choose to continue volunteering.
All pledged money, bar flight costs, will be going straight into a savings account which I can't touch until I leave in September. I am, of course, going to be working from now until I leave, trying to save as much of my own money as I can - but, being a student who lives far from her college, with rent, bills, and food to pay for, money is very tight, which is why this GoGetFunding is necessary to my plans.
Read on for a little bit more detail about WHY I've chosen Italy, and the perks awaiting anybody who helps to fund my efforts, as well as a few photographs I've taken so far on my travels.
My love of Italy began when I was a very young girl, when my late grandfather, who was stationed there during the war, told me stories of his adventures there during WWII and in the years that followed, when he visited again and again with his late wife of forty years. I adore learning about Greek History, and incorperating its mythology and tales into my own writing. The cultures and communities of both Greece and Italy mesmirize me. I've visited Athens, Rome, and Venice, and nearby smaller towns/villages of each city, so far.
I'm going to travel for the sheer joy of it, but also to volunteer, write, and film. As an author, I want to get at least one full novel completed whilst there, be it of my usual fantasy, or even a travel book describing each tiny mishap and every meandering tale. I also wish to film a couple of short films, the details of which have yet to be finalised, and create an endless stream of Italian and Greek photography art. Of course, I would be writing a blog the entire time, too, giving tips for people looking to travel in the future, and just generally sharing stories of the countries. I want to seek out the hidden awesome of each place I visit, the little perks and parts of the country or city which make you fall in love with the place over and over again.
Any donation at all is so very welcome. I would be eternally grateful to anybody willing to contribute to the cost of the relocation, and would be only too happy to send you a postcard whilst I'm there. For anybody who wishes to donate a larger sum, I'd be willing to video chat whilst there with you, so that you, too, could experience the breath-taking journey, as well as perhaps send you a personalised letter or a small souvenir from somewhere I stay. Anybody who backs this project, regardless of how much you donate, if you like, can be added to my email list and sent updates from my travel blog and links to any short films I produce over there - make sure to leave your name and email in the comment if you want to be included in this.
I have no idea if I've convinced you to help or not, but, if I have, then thank you, and good luck in life!