Interview with Nicolas
Nicolas travelled during the whole month of August with Sofia. Together they explored the Alpine arch from the west to east…
Our itinerary was extremely spontaneous, every day we didn’t know where we would end up being that night. Not having a plan to follow has been truly challenging, but also absolutely worth it, as it allowed us to seize every opportunity that was presented to us.
Surprisingly, the best food we got was in Germany, where on a camping site there was an old man with a movable kiosk called “Vegan queen”. He spent the whole evening there waiting for someone to come and eat at his kiosk, but nobody did, so me and Sofia went there to get something. It was so incredibly delicious that we ate twice, while the old men smile was simply the tastiest topping.
The best overnight stay has been probably in Zermatt, when we were hosted by an incredibly kind person living there that opened his house for us just for the sake of helping us. The most beautiful places were probably the mountains between Italy and Switzerland that we explored both by train and while hiking. It’s not easy to think of one single best moment, as there has been too many. But if I had to choose one symbolic moment I would select a nocturnal swim in a lake in Slovenia.
I think that just by describing what Yoalin offers anyone would be eager to take part in it, but what it would take time to explain is that Yoalin is much more than that. It is not merely a discounted Interrail ticket: Yoalin is a new way of travelling, a beautiful and dynamic community, an opportunity to gain a different perspective and to be part of something bigger than just an individual summer of travelling.
Yoalin has definitely influenced my life. I always felt that the Alps were my natural habitat and my home, but participating in Yoalin allowed me to gain a deeper and broader view of what the Alps are. Through Yoalin I came to know the many organisations that operate on the Alpine area and it allowed me to be involved in their activities.
The fight for climate justice and sustainability was something that I have been committed to long before Yoalin, but, since my journey through the Alps, I decided to get involved in Alpine cross border cooperation. Now I am part of the Cipra Youth Council (CYC) and I take part on the many activities organised by EUSALP within the project of youth.shaping.eusalp. With Sofia we even participated in the contest “Pitch your project” with an idea aimed at developing a sustainable local economy within the Alpine area (currently it is on hold, waiting for this pandemic to be over, but we hope to get back on it soon!)