With 2018 almost over and 2019 quickly approaching, I was looking back at this year’s adventures and awesome experiences and decided it would be cool to share some of those funny moments, cool pictures and milestones. Let’s see what it comes out of this year-in-review!
- As a tradition, Jessica and I like to begin the New Year in a place (possibly a country) different from our hometown. So on December 31st, after a very long brainstorming of where to go, we jump in the car and drive all the way to Lake Bled in Slovenia to celebrate the beginning of 2018.
- It’s January 9th and I’m heading to Scotland for a 2-weeks solo trip. Things are going well on the Isle of Skye until it’s time to drive back to Edinburgh, a couple of days before my flight back home. A huge snowstorm causes schools and roads closure, everything is covered in white and the driving is super challenging. Why is it so challenging? My car has no winter tires and no chains! In the end I got to Edinburgh safe and sound just in time for my flight, but hey… lesson learnt: buy more backup candy for emergencies 😀
- January 30th, leaving Italy for a 3-weeks trip to Norway. First time visiting the country, first time being above the Arctic Circle and first time seeing the Northern Lights. Jessica and I spent our time visiting Stetind, Senja and Loften Islands and loved it. I was amazed by the fact that thanks to the Gulf Stream, if you’re near the sea, temperatures aren’t extremely cold. It’s happened a couple of times that it’s rained instead of snowing because the temperatures weren’t cold enough. Incredible, right? But the most surprising thing is definitely the Northern Lights. One moment you’re looking at a starry sky, the next one there’s aurora dancing all around. It’s just one of the most beautiful experiences ever.
- It’s February 13th and I’m spending my last week of the trip to Norway in the Lofoten Islands with my buddy Tobias Hagg who’s invited me to stay with him in Hattvika Lodge, a sick hotel in Ballstad. To sum it up, our days are all about shooting, pizza, more shooting and Northern Lights chasing!
About Lofoten, two other things I can’t forget are my surfing experience in the Arctic Circle without feeling my feet and hands anymore and the best Indian meal of the year cooked by Chris Hoiberg. Thanks buddy!
- On February 26th my flight was landing in the Faroe Islands. Third time in the country but first time there during the winter! You can tell from the pictures that I had a good time and as always I met some great people along the way, Felix Inden, Dennis Polkläser, Thomas Vikre and the “german roamers” Lennart Pagel, Leo Thomas, Roman Königshofer and Max Fischer. Again, as with Lofoten, I was amazed that the temperatures were not as cold as I was expecting and it blew my mind to see how “local” the weather is. I often had snow in one island and nothing in the one next to it (just a few kilometers away).
So yes, the snow was pretty cool, except when I almost risked my life on an icy road just to get sushi 😀 Second snowstorm of the year for me, dozens of cars crashing everywhere, but that additional 1h drive just to get to the restaurant was totally worth it… Maybe!
- It’s March 18th and Jessica and I are flying from Rome to El Calafate (Argentina). Spent almost two weeks shooting around El Chalten and Torres del Paine National Park, getting ready for a whole month of workshops and adventures.
- On April 1st, the first out of three workshops in Patagonia begins. Three groups, a lot of camping, some crazy conditions and so many wonderful people. Hard to describe how wonderful it was, so I’ll let the pictures speak for me! Also, celebrated my birthday in Patagonia for the second year in a raw!
- Back from Patagonia on May 5th and home until May 22nd when Michael Shainblum, Raphael Pons (PhotoPills) and I meet up in Edinburgh for a trip together. Funny fact: we just booked the tickets and picked a place where to meet a couple of days before the trip, with no plans, but it worked out great! We spent some days shooting around the Isle of Skye, where those two guys kept making fun of me because I was eating prawns everyday, and camped a couple of days at the Old Man of Storr.
- Scotland was actually a quick stop before flying to the Faroe Islands. Once again, it was my first time so up north in this period of the year and it wasn’t getting dark. So no, I didn’t quite use the headlamp I brought even though we were hiking around in the middle of the night.
- The roaming around was over on June 12th, after spending some time in the Dolomites, but the next trip was just around the corner.
- On July 4th I was in Iceland for my first time, co-guiding a camping tour in the beautiful Highlands with Brynjar Agustsson. It was a dream coming true and I can’t wait to get back there and spend more time in the area which is such a photographer’s paradise!
- Back to Italy, ready to spend 1 wonderful week guiding a workshop in the Dolomites starting from July 12th. Flowers blooming, beautiful sunny days and a great time. Between one photo session and the other, booked tickets to Norway, ready for another adventure.
- Left for Norway on July 20th to travel around until August 4th. Apparently, when we were there, we experienced an unusual hot weather and even enjoyed a couple of days at the beach. Needless to say, diving wasn’t pleasant at all and the water was freezing 😀 But Norway allowed us to live another incredible experience: the midnight sun. We were hiking until 3am in the morning, without feeling tired, above spectacular fjords. Truly unforgettable.
- Without even realizing it, summer is almost over and on August 19th we leave again to begin our Faroe Islands workshop, among thousand of puffins, amazing sceneries and more sushi!
- A quick 1-day stop over in Copenhagen and it’s already time to get ready for Norway, where a camping tour above the fjords in Senja is starting on September 1st. Crazy to think I had never been to Norway before 2018 and visited three times over the year, you must guess I really enjoyed it 🙂
- Back to Italy, where a whole month of office work is waiting for me, until something unexpected and new comes up: I was invited last minute by Max Rive on a trip to Greenland starting on September 19th to co-guide a 10-day workshop with Matt Jackisch, camping in some unbelievable places and facing some amazing peaks. Another “first time” for me, a real adventure backpacking in a place I’ve been dreaming to go since I started out with photography.
Plus, on the way there, I got the chance to fly over the rivers in Iceland with Haraldur Diego (@volcanopilot) and be directly dropped off at the airport to catch my flight to Greenland 😀 Just amazing!
- October, where to start from? The beginning was pretty rough, but everything worked out great in the end. Coming back from Greenland was an adventure itself, got home on October 1st and left again for a private tour in the Dolomites on October 2nd.
- By October 17th, back in the Dolomites to guide two workshops in the area (you can tell I love the Dolomites!). The autumn colors were just perfect and we enjoyed some great weather.
- Back from the workshops, we were getting ready for our next and last trip of the year starting on October 30th: a whole month exploring USA south-west and some sick locations. We had been already in the area two years earlier but didn’t have a drone at that time and enough time to properly scout the area.
- Had this trip in the States planned for a while, but finally got the time to go during the month of November. Among the highlights: several hours flight above Monument Valley to shoot aerials with Chris Dahl-Bredine; winning the lottery to visit “The Wave” (with over 100 people applying by the end of November!); endless kilometers of off-road with the coolest Jeep Wrangler 4×4; being cosy in the car with -9C outside while flying the drone for over 200km around the Colorado Plateau; meeting up with Michael Shainblum, Daniel Kordan and Skylum team in Death Valley.
- So it’s time to say goodbye to the States, but not before a stop in New York. First time in NYC, attended the DJI Osmo Pocket launch, met great people and had an awesome experience (we’ll be back!), but the trip is over and we’re just ready to spend the holidays back home.
It’s been busy, tiring sometimes, but definitely great. I’m grateful I’ve been able to travel so much and explore so many new places this year and look forward to next year’s adventures. In the meantime, I wish you all happy holidays and a merry Christmas!
LET’S STAY IN TOUCH!
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