EMPATHY INTERVIEW / GIANLUCA GOTTO
Inspiration is served on a golden plate!
Let me take you by the hand and discover together the protagonist of the day: Gianluca Gotto, writer, traveler, digital nomad, and incredible human being with a pure, beautiful soul.
His books are not translated into the English language yet, but believe me when I say that this Empathy interview will feed your eyes, and leave your heart inspired!
Read on, dear soul.
Beyond + Towards.
Two vibrant and magic words.
Two words that deprive themselves of the obvious to wear their deepest meanings.
Two words that dance to the rhythm of purest inspir:a(c)tion and harmony.
Two words that hug, interconnect each other so tight, and flirt together wonderfully.
For me, these two words represent the perfect blend to describe the protagonist of this exclusive Empathy Interview.
Focus on: Gianluca Gotto.
A traveler. Beyond the travel, towards the rich experiences.
An explorer. Beyond the literal borders of the world, towards the real beauty of cultures and of the world itself.
A Human Being. Beyond superficiality, towards empathy and humanity.
A deep, real, wonderful, incredibly genuine Soul, capable of touching people's souls with light but strong ease.
A pair of dark eyes that smile and light everything and everyone, happy eyes willing to go beyond stereotypes and ordinary habits.
Towards Love and Essence, two words that smell of rebel kindness.
Gianluca Gotto, born in Turin (Italy), grew (and still growing up) around the world.
After leaving a (false) world of (un)certainties, he decides to turn all upside-down and revolutionize his life on the road, to travel and live his path of happiness.
He is a writer, author of the popular blog Mangia Vivi Viaggia (Eat Live Travel), digital nomad, traveler, dreamer, and more.
An ordinary man that designed his coordinates of happiness in a special way, with Claudia, his special woman, with whom he shares this incredible adventure that is life itself, for many years.
He goes beyond the surface blanket, through tales, travel stories, words filled with meaning, capable of leaving a mark.
To inspire himself and everyone, me included, to go towards the most beautiful peaks of his inner and outer travel.
Gianluca is a human being I only met virtually (for now) and seemed to appear into a precise and difficult personal phase of my life.
As we know, nothing happens by chance. And everything that happens to us, comes to teach us something, as much as books do. Books choose you in a specific moment, disguised as teachers too.
A few years ago, my eyes were captured by the title of a book, “Le coordinate della felicità” ("The coordinates of happiness"), written by Gianluca Gotto.
A strong title that turned into a compass to show direction.
After reading and loving every page of this book, I started to follow Gianluca's fascinating adventure, also by reading his other two books, “Come una notte a Bali” ("Like a night in Bali") and “Succede sempre qualcosa di meraviglioso” ("There's always something wonderful happening"). And keep feeding my spirit by his inspiring blog, balm for the soul.
Everything Gianluca gifts us is pure Love, Empathy, Beauty, Respect, Growth, Trust, Inter:connection. And more.
For this unique Empathy interview, I chose the most beautiful threads dressed as letters, words, admir:a(c)tion and A:more (more Love), to sew Inter:connection, between Gianluca, me, and you beautiful soul who is reading this article.
11 is my number.
11 are the questions for this wonderful Human Being who knows how to be human.
Infinite is the feeling of gratitude I nurture for Gianluca, who let me create this interview.
Infinite is the feeling of wonder who will permeate the souls of all of you, after reading this Empathy interview.
Hi Gianluca! It's a great honor for me to interview you, so we all thank you for the time you're gifting us and me. Please, tell us about you and your world, dear soul.
Hello Alessandra, thank you for your hospitality. My name is Gianluca, and I am a writer and a traveler who, after exploring the world and its wonders, has decided to embark on a different journey, the most important of all: the inner journey.
Today, my mission is to share everything I have discovered and learned from my outer as much as my inner journeys. I do it through my books, on social media, and on the blog that I launched with Claudia, "Mangia Vivi Viaggia" ("Eat Live Travel").
We know you on social media as the author of the inspiring blog Mangia Vivi Viaggia.
How did this project start with your girlfriend Claudia? What is the reason behind these three special and powerful words?
My blog was born when we realized we made a dream come true. A dream nobody believed in but us: to become digital nomads and work from anywhere in the world, living by traveling.
At that point, as often happens when you reach an important goal, we felt the desire to share.
In particular, to show that another way of life is possible, to as many people as possible in Italy.
So we launched Mangia Vivi Viaggia, a blog about the journey as a process of personal and spiritual growth and pursuit of happiness.
Mangia Vivi Viaggia is a combination of three words that represent three simple things that make us feel good: eat consciously, live important experiences, travel around the world and within people.
Choose four adjectives that describe you as a human being.
Conscious, calm, in love, and curious.
Close your eyes. What are the moments/events of your life that you will bring with you in your heart forever that you are most proud of?
The first thing that comes to my mind immediately, even if is not the most important, is the sunset Claudia and I experienced the last year in Koh Chang, on my 30th birthday. There was nobody but us on the beach (because of the pandemic, the island was empty). It has been a wonderful gift. Many of the best times of my life have something to do with a sunset.
What are your passions? What inspires you and fires up your soul more than anything? And why?
Books are undoubtedly my greatest passion. I have read hundreds throughout my life, and afterward, I started to write books. I was scared of this passage at first, but later it turned out to be a very natural evolution. A great book to read is a friend, a fellow adventurer, a series of lessons to connect forever to a specific period of life. A book to write is a journey within memory and imagination.
Your first wonderful book, Le coordinate della felicità ("The coordinates of happiness"), with whom I am deeply in love, symbolized your stamp on your personal passport, letting you to the official entrance as author and writer in the world of printed paper and not. What is its focus and why is it worth reading and rereading it?
“Le coordinate della felicità” is a book written from the heart. I was sitting in Bangkok and my only goal was, to be honest from the beginning to the end. I wanted to tell about Claudia and my experiences without filters, without made it look better than it was, without leaving out no phase towards our pursuit of happiness. Also, for this reason, is a book is very fluid because the reader can enter inside my memory and live every event as an audience again.
Is an unfiltered, direct book, that doesn't have the presumption of teaching anything to anybody, but tells clearly about the human evolution (mine, specifically), which proves that other life alternatives exist and are often better of the secure path widely known by everybody.
Through the pages of the novel Come una notte a Bali ( "Like a night in Bali") your second book, you inspired the reader with the sustainable factor: towards the environment we live in, the animals, all human beings, the whole world, and the love for self and others.
Would you like to tell us more about it?
I believe that traveling has the power to broaden your awareness.
Awareness of self, others, and life. But also the awareness of our home, the only one we will live from the first to the last day of our days, the only one we can't move out, the only one we have: the Earth. "Come una notte a Bali" is a novel that takes place in Bali, an island where Nature is luxuriant and astonishingly beautiful, and for this reason must be respected with extreme attention. With "Come una notte a Bali" I wanted to show that each one of us can create an important difference somehow.
Your last precious book called Succede sempre qualcosa di meraviglioso ("There is always something wonderful happening") was recently released.
How was born this novel? What is it about and which message do you wish to share with the soul readers who will read it (or with those, like me, who have already read it?
“Succede sempre qualcosa di meraviglioso” is the son of the totally unexpected events we lived in 2020. The pandemic shocked us all but shocked especially the Western world. Why? I asked myself when I came back from Thailand (after being stranded on Koh Chang island for six months and unable to leave).
I came to the conclusion that the East didn't forget ancient teachings that belong to practical wisdom, that we sacrificed instead in the name of progress and science. This wise knowledge is not only fascinating but also very useful to face uncertain times. It has been helpful for me to overcome a very difficult phase of my life, so I asked myself why not share all these teachings (which I call the non-rules)? I thought they could be helpful for some people.
Gianluca, the love for travel and for the world represents oxygen and is a constant in life as inside your books.
Your last novel is indeed set in Vietnam. Why this land in particular?
Vietnam is a wonderful country for many reasons. Geographically, as all nations that extend vertically (such as Italy), it has a significant variety of landscapes and traditions. You go from sea to mountains, from metropolis to jungle. From scorching heat to humid cold. It was the ideal destination for the journey I wanted to narrate, a slow journey, on the road.
The other two factors are Buddhism, perfectly represented in Vietnam by important figures of great sensitivity and intelligence (like my spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh), and the Vietnamese population that perfectly embodies a word that is nowadays is often abused: resilience.
In Succede sempre qualcosa di meraviglioso ("There is always something wonderful happening") there are so many inspirational starting points and teachings that the key figure Guilly gifts the main character, Davide, with.
Have you ever meet special souls like Guilly around the world?
Are there people which have proved to be 'heroes' in your life, and why?
Many people asked me if Guilly really exist or not. The answer is that Guilly is the sum of all teachers we encounter throughout life, but he's also the teacher which each one of us has within himself/herself.
During difficult and desperate times, if we keep our inner ear open, we will be able to listen to a voice that can guide us. That is our very personal Guilly's voice.
I have met many special souls around the world. Yes, I would call some of these people "heroes". Because being able to be good people, to love and be compassionate, to smile and show kindness also when everything goes wrong in life, is something heroic.
For me, everything is about connection + inspiration + empathy + love, ingredients that, combined, represent roots and wings to fully live in a conscious way.
Gianluca, by relating to your books, your life, and your feeling, what are for you your key points and advice against the unhealthy cynicism and the strange times we live in?
What do you feel and think would be the right path to live a better present and future, in a more healthy social fabric?
I only have one piece of advice against the widespread cynicism: remember that life is poetry, not mathematics. The most beautiful things that will happen to you, the ones you aspire and wish for every day, won't be the result of a meticulous and perfect plan.
They will happen all of a sudden, and that's exactly what will make your eyes sparkle, will give you chills, will take your breath away. Life isn't predictable and can't be rationalized in every aspect.
Who tries to do this, condemns herself/himself to an exhausting and eternal pain, that kind of tension that belongs to who wants to have everything under control, because is incapable of accepting that everything is under control. And there's nothing wrong with it, because happiness, that sensation we seek so much and that we confuse with a goal, a finish line, is all in those moments where we fall madly in love with something, someone, ourselves, or our life, without even realizing it, without being ready for it.
Happiness is when patterns break and destiny surprises us when nothing goes like we thought because is incredibly going beyond all expectations. Consciously or not, all of us live for those moments of pure poetry where we don't have anything, not even the ground beneath our feet, but we are irrationally and wonderfully happy.
Moments that can't be explained, but just to be lived.
I want to frame this special Empathy interview with these words/manifesto from Gianluca Gotto's novel “Come una notte a Bali” ("Like a night in Bali"), to read and reread like a mantra, wishing all of us to live Life in an Authentic and Pure way:
"If you do a job you hate, look around you, find out more, study, find another one.
If you find a job you love, you will never work in your life again.
If you have people around you that offer you nothing but negativity,
surround yourself with new and different people similar to you.
You choose who can come into your life,
don't leave the door wide open to anyone passing by.
If you don't like the place where you live, go somewhere else!
Roots are in your mind, and you aren't a tree.
And remember that life doesn't have to be continuous pain.
Don't listen to who tells you to carry the cross, to lower your head and obey.
Don't listen to who tells you you're pampered, ungrateful, and deluded.
If you have a functioning body, if you are free and got time ahead of you, you have everything you need and choose to be happy.
Eat, enjoy the taste and do it in the company.
Prepare dinner for the people you love. Offer your friend you don't see for a long time some tea.
Turn your mobile phone off when you sit down at the table, and look people in their eyes.
Live, let yourself go.
Get carried away from life gusts of wind. Sometimes they will take you somewhere warm,
other times cold,
sometimes they will make you fly, and at times they will let you crash down.
But that's the beauty of it: just like this, you will see up close all shades of this life.
And let go. Let go, please.
Hate, complaints, worries, expectations, delusions. Excuses you never received.
Forgive, forgive yourself and look ahead.
Accept that life isn't always fair. But remember that you can always make it happy.
And then, travel.
With your legs and your mind, fast and slowly, around the world and from home.
Fall madly in love with this world.
When there will be no more time left, you will only have more memories.
And you will remember all the places that moved you.
Fall in love, madly and limitlessly.
Because it's not love if you have to hold it back, and it doesn't make you do such crazy things. [...]
Love is a hurricane, a volcano, a life explosion.
Love causes you collateral damage, but it's worth it.
Fall in love with yourself.
Look yourself in the mirror and gift yourself with a smile.
You are not perfect, and you made mistakes...
There are things about you that you never like, but you are not that bad, after all.
Those scars on your soul symbolize your uniqueness.
Make peace with the person reflected in the mirror
because it's the only one your will live forever.
But also fall in love with other people, because only you can ignite the flame of your happiness, but only they can help you keep it alive.
Lastly, remember: maybe it exists an Afterlife or Hell and Heaven.
Maybe you will get reincarnated in a flower or a squirrel.
Maybe there will be nothing left but your soul wandering in the Universe.
But you can't know that, so, when in doubt, take care of your time.
Don't get obsessed with your past because the past doesn't come back!
Don't think about your future because it's a mystery that you can't predict.
Enjoy the present to the fullest, because it's everything you have.
Fill it with beautiful things, those things that make you smile inside and outside.
Those moments of pure life that you will never forget.
Fill the present with happiness."
Beautiful soul, embrace inspiration, always. Let's all do it, always.
Follow the world of Gianluca Gotto (or keep doing it):
P.S.: His website and social media pages are managed in the Italian language at the moment. Maybe you can try to do something new, such as learn a new language, Italian specifically, so you can read his books, that you can buy here! ;)
Special thanks to you, dear Gianluca, from the bottom of my heart.
Photo copyright and credits: Gianluca Gotto