Human Mind and Migration —
Crossing Borders for the Pleasure of Discovery
The students of Messaggero Veneto Scuola are part of the impactmania’s internship program for the 2020-2021 academic year. A series of migration topics were explored in this Program that will culminate in an online exhibition and presentation, May 2021.
COVID made us all Digital Nomads, however, it didn’t stop us from cross-cultural, interdisciplinary learning.
BY CHIARA DELLA BIANCA
Guglielmo Biason and Valentina Vitali, respectively from Pordenone and Treviglio, Italy, work in the world of finance in the British capital, where they met in 2008 through a mutual friend. Since they met, they have started a Youtube channel, where they publish their travel documentaries. A way not only to travel geographically but also in time, through the imagination. Mongolia, Myanmar, Uganda, Sri Lanka are some of the most popular videos on Youtube over the years.
The channel then evolves not only around travel, but also around other initiatives, always with a historical and cultural character. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, they have started a series of more introspective videos, through which they tell their lands of origin from the point of view of those who emigrated.
Since the pandemic began, they have started a series of more introspective videos, where they tell their lands of origin from the point of view of those who have emigrated.
Their goal, from the birth of their channel, is above all informative: through social media, they stimulate people’s curiosity, introducing them to new cultures and trying to break down various prejudices.
How was the Youtube channel born and what is its purpose now?
Since we met, we’ve been traveling together. We wanted to tell our experiences and the emotions we felt during a trip. Often, however, it is not easy to be able to emotionally involve those at home. The words and not even the photos succeed. That’s why we decided to film our travels: to make our friends and, first of all, our families, as much as possible participants in our experiences. From here comes the idea of Youtube and immediately we started our channel. Our aim is mainly informative: curiosity is in fact one of the most precious characteristics of man and we must never stop cultivating it.
Of the places we visit we try to tell a story, possibly told by the people we met. We look for the aspects that distinguish each trip, identifying a main theme; for the trip to Ecuador, for example, we structured the documentary on the ethnic theme. Through our videos then we try to be a source of inspiration for all those who would like to travel more, but who maybe are afraid to get out of their comfort-zone.
How does the world of Youtube work?
Youtube is one of the main sources of entertainment and the quality it offers is always higher. Bringing good content, however, requires commitment and energy but above all a lot of time. To capture the attention of users, it is necessary to be attractive and original. In addition to documentaries, we bring various historical and cultural content, addressing both Italian and foreign audiences.
What are the main reasons to travel?
You have to make a distinction between going on holiday and traveling. Going on holiday is simply the need to escape for a while from the usual everyday life that has proven stressful. Traveling, however, is the search for something new and different from our reality. The engine of travel is undoubtedly curiosity, the desire to learn new things.
The trip then becomes an opportunity to meet: traveling with friends is one of the most beautiful experiences that you can do. It’s our way of promoting friendship and sharing the happiness that comes from exploring this beautiful planet.
Do the new generations want to discover new things? How are they influenced by the environment around them? What advice would you give them to travel more?
Surely one step at a time, always keeping your head on your shoulders. It’s important to be able to seize the simplest opportunities to learn to move without problems. In this context, study holidays can also be a good opportunity to learn the language. However, for this to happen, the ideal for a person would be to interact with people of different nationalities and disengage from the group of only Italians, especially to improve the knowledge of the language.
Nowadays, in addition to being spurred on by parents, adolescents are very influenced by social media, tools that now invest a predominant role within our society. Just think of some young Youtubers who propose various initiatives, such as group trips, exploiting their popularity.
The most surprising thing is how some young people just 18-20 years old manage to convey their passions through short videos, in which they deal with topics of “niche” that can cover various areas, including the theme of travel, but also geography, or politics. Their productions reveal that innate curiosity that we all have since our birth. A concrete example is our little girl, Bianca, two and a half years old, who wants to discover the reality around her.
How have you been welcomed by the local people you meet during a trip?
First of all we must admit that it is not always easy to get in touch with local people who are not a tour guide or the manager of a restaurant. You have to know how to look for the right opportunities: in Ecuador, for example, we had the opportunity to stay at the home of some local families.
Even if in reality the most beautiful experiences arise from an unexpected that forces you to interact with others even to ask for simple information. After all, despite the apparent differences that can divide us, we are all human beings.
Moreover, thanks to the progress of communications, the world is now cosmopolitan. Then, of course, in some places you “camouflage” better, such as in South America.
Instead, in Asia, we felt like real celebrities: we were constantly stopped by parents to let us take a picture with their children. Even in Lebanon they were curious about where we came from. It basically depends on the people you meet and the background they live in.
Did you feel welcomed in London? How did your habits change?
The transfer was not a problem: working, living, relating to people of different nationalities is very stimulating. We have made friends with people from all over the world including Italians, South Americans, and Spaniards. London, in fact, is a multi-ethnic city and welcomes everyone, so it is rather easy to establish new friendships. Living in the British capital has certainly influenced our way of life: inevitably you have to adapt in certain respects. Sometimes discovering new habits has proven beneficial to our routine. However, although we are well integrated, we will also continue to feel Italian.
What are the latest projects you have worked on and what are the ones you propose for the future?
Since the pandemic broke out, we’ve been forced to stay away from our loved ones. So to feel closer, we told the story of our homelands from the point of view of those who emigrated in a series of more introspective videos.
For 2021, one of the objectives is to continue to tell the story of Friuli thanks to the e-bike. We have discovered, in fact, how this means can revolutionize not only transport but also tourism in a region like ours. But not only that: the list of planned trips is truly endless! Without a doubt Nepal and Japan will be two of the next trips.
Featured photo: Guglielmo Biason and Valentina Vitali in the city of Petra, Jordan. All images: Guglielmo Biason and Valentina Vitali.
Chiara Della Bianca was born in Latisana, Italy, in 2004. Chiara currently attends the third year of the mathematical high school I.S.I.S. Arturo Malignani in Udine. Among her interests are certainly writing, the desire to travel, and learn about new lands and scientific subjects. Chiara is part of the editorial staff of the local newspaper Messaggero Veneto Scuola and the internship program of impactmania.