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My travel life: Photographer Lorenza Tessari on romantic trips to Canada and Europe with her girlfriend

My travel life: Photographer Lorenza Tessari on romantic trips to Canada and Europe with her girlfriend

Lorenza and her girlfriend Ilenia

Tell us more about you…

My name is Lorenza, I’m 26 and I’m a professional photography student. I was born in Verona, Italy but now I’m living in Vancouver with my girlfriend. I graduated last year in Political Science and Human Rights and my dream is to become a photojournalist to combine two fields that I love: photography and human rights.

How many countries have you been to?

I’ve visited 16 European countries and Canada.

How many continents, and which?

Unfortunately I’d never been outside Europe until Canada. So two continents: Europe and North America.

What’s your favorite destination you’ve visited and why?

My favorite destination was Stockholm. Me and my girlfriend booked a typical Swedish cottage near a lake, just 15 minutes from the city center. The city and the nature were terrific. We went there during fall and it was amazing. People are very kind and respectful, I would like to come back and visit all of Scandinavia!

And the worst?

Athens: the city has a lot of ancient beauties that however aren’t enhanced. The city is very dirty and congested and people are not really hospitable. I understood in Athens how the [financial] crisis has overwhelmed Greece. For the first time abroad I didn’t feel safe to keep my girlfriend’s hand. We were scared to walk in the city in the evening. We spent only two days in Athens but it was enough.

What has been your biggest vacation disaster?

Fortunately we’ve never had big disasters, rather funny adventures.

At the end of high school, I planned a trip around Europe Interrailing with friends, and also my current girlfriend (actually, our love was born on that journey). It was a very cheap trip that included backpacks and hostels. To save money for the accommodation, we decided to travel during the night. After our third city we were so exhausted and tired. So when we arrived in Amsterdam we took a bus to the city center but we fell asleep. When we figured it out what was happening, we were already outside the city.

The last stop of our trip was Nice. We shared a room with 25 people. The worst place I’ve ever stayed. The hostel was so awful that we decided to have a shower on the beach at the public showers.

Where was your most romantic trip and why?

Florence, with my girlfriend for our first anniversary. Florence is such a beautiful city and that trip made Florence even more special. During that trip we could be ourselves and be in love without worries. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in the countryside outside Florence.

Which country has the hottest people?

I think Canada! I’ve never heard so many ‘Welcome to our country!’ Canadians are so welcoming and friendly!

Where did you typically go on holiday as a kid?

As a kid I typically went in Calabria, in the south of Italy. My mother was born there and we had some friends we visited every summer. I keep Calabria in my heart! Hope to be able to go there with Ilenia one day.

Have you ever experienced homophobia or discrimination abroad?

We’ve never experienced homophobia abroad. Only in Athens we didn’t feel safe but nothing happened. Unfortunately we experienced discrimination in our own country, in Italy. I’m not talking about serious homophobia episodes but stupid jokes when people saw us walking hand in hand or they stared at us. We didn’t feel free to express our love: we never kissed and rarely acted like girlfriends in front of people.

Would you avoid a certain country because of the laws there?

I wish I could see all of the world. Honestly I don’t like to think to avoid a country because of the laws but if I don’t feel safe to travel in a country I prefer not to go there.

Do you ever hope to get married, and if so, would you consider a destination wedding?

I would love to marry my girlfriend Ilenia. We continue to talk about this! We hope to do it as soon as possible – we would like to get married in Canada where there is marriage equality and then come back to Italy and celebrate our wedding with our families and friends.

Where would you go on your honeymoon?

We would like to visit the Asian continent. We are both fascinated by South East Asia and we would love to spend our honeymoon there! I can already imagine Ilenia organizing the honeymoon. She is the organizer of the couple!

Where were you going the last time you stepped on a plane, apart from home?

Vancouver, Canada and it was the longest flight we ever took!

What is your top tip for making it through a long haul flight?

Music, a book, a lot of food, comfortable clothes, headphones, a travel blanket, a deodorant, a toothbrush, a travel pillow (your partner can be your pillow too!).

Where do you hope to visit this year and why?

We arrived here in Vancouver in March 2017 with a Working Holiday Visa so this year we would like to visit Vancouver and British Columbia as much as we can. We both love nature and Vancouver is totally surrounded by mountains and parks.

What is the best thing about traveling with your partner?

I love traveling with my girlfriend! We are always on the same page on what to visit or to do. It’s not easy to travel with other people but traveling with her is like traveling with a second me. She has the power to make every place amazing just because I’m visiting it with her. Ilenia is 26, born in Verona, Italy and graduated last year with a Master’s in social work. Unfortunately in Italy there aren’t a lot of job opportunities so she never worked as a social worker. We came here in Canada to find more satisfied jobs and for her to be able to work finally as a social worker. I’m so happy to live in Canada! Here everything seems possible. And I can imagine a future family with Ilenia. Hope our dream gets real soon!

Do you have any general travel tips?

Ilenia, she is very organized, so before leaving for a destination she looks for all the things to do, to visit, how to reach a place by public transport, etc. She is very picky with the organization but it’s positive for me. We never wasted a day during our travels where we didn’t know what to do! So I think organization is everything.