A family on a bike around the world: "Now our home is yours too"

A family on a bike around the world: "Now our home is yours too"

TO Revine Lakea town of two thousand one hundred inhabitants in the province of Treviso, live Sebastien Bellet Grava40 years old and Alberta Spinazze, 35 years old who, together with their children Angela, 15 years old, Anna, 13 years old, Munay, 2 years old and Eros, born on June 15th, choose, in each of their daily gestures, to live a life with respect for the environment. Sustainability has always flowed in the veins of Sebastien and Alberta. Ever since he was 15, Alberta worked, first as a volunteer and then as manager, within the Bottega del Mondo, a fair trade cooperative. Sebastien, on the other hand, worked for a group of organic food stores. "I met Sebastien - says Alberta - at 18 and he was 23. Then, immediately after high school, I left for a mission in Chad, the dream of my life. We share a passion for travel and the discovery of new cultures. Sebastien spent his entire childhood in South Africa".


Returning from Chad, Alberta enrolled at the University of Padua, in the degree course in "Development Cooperation" and, in the meantime, at the age of twenty, her daughters Angela and Anna were born. "We had great responsibilities - adds Alberta - and we also felt the need to cultivate a personal path, of growth for us and for our daughters. Eros was born on June 15 in our house as was Munay, born in May 2021. The name Munay means 'the power of love'. Giving birth at home was a wonderful experience because we were able to share it with our daughters".

Among the most significant life experiences for Sebastien and Alberta is the 25,000 km journey by bicycle that lasted five years, from 2016 to 2020, from Patagonia until almost Guatemala with their two daughters. "The bike - adds Alberta - was a natural choice. It is the vehicle that most resembles our way of being and perceiving travel: a way to get in touch with a culture, a landscape and a panorama. The bike makes you experience everything on your skin, including the weather. At the beginning we wanted to choose an English-speaking country. Then we opted for Latin America. Preparations began in 2015 and, after exactly one year, all four of us set off. We were 28 and 33 years old, Anna 6 years and Angela 8 years old, completed in the land of fire. We originally wanted to get to Cartagenain Colombia and our final destination was the California to learn English and to close the circle by letting consumers know the many stories of producers known during the trip. But one day, while we were at Lake Titicaca, our daughters were taking part in indigenous lessons and we help families, we thought: we're here, what's the hurry to get back? Four of us lived on 300 euros a month. With that experience our mind opened to 360 degrees. We felt that there was something to stay there and to learn. I remember that the vice president of the Peru he welcomed us as well as many more humble people. In February 2020, however, we were blocked by Covid a El Salvador where we spent six months in a cooperative of fair trade coffee producers, on the edge of the Coatepeque volcano, where it was conceived Munaybefore returning home".

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With Covid, once they returned, Sebastien and Alberta chose to reinvent themselves based on what they had learned. Sebastien holds various certificates, including tour leader and mountain bike guide. But the long experience in South America will always be in their hearts. "Leaving with your children - continues Alberta - was wonderful. Sharing a great passion with them is the best for a parent. They were vehicles for relationships, I would say catalysts. The hospitality we received was crazy, precisely because we started as a family. We bring so much empathy, solidarity and, first of all, the union between us. There is a strong humanity in all cultures, from any person of different religion and ethnicity. We taught our daughters to choose the product of a small shop compared to large retailers. When I buy bananas today, I think of the people who have shared our laughter and hospitality, even for just one month".

Sebastien and Alberta's sustainable actions are part of their day. At home they use only environmentally friendly detergents. They don't iron the sheets and collect rainwater to irrigate their plants. They use solar panels exclusively to heat their apartment. Alberta uses cloth diapers for all four of her children. They favor small organic production companies in their food and lifestyle choices.

"We must try - concludes Alberta - to move responsibly and we do it through these small actions. Our followers are not purely cyclists. They range from family networks, to those interested in sustainability, from those who are just curious to those who have met us pedaling along the street. We recently inaugurated our "Happy Corner", an apartment of about 100 square meters with a private garden that can be booked through Airbnb. It is a space dedicated to travellers, all based on the principles of sustainability. Our guests can bring their bicycles in their apartment, even to carry out small repairs. In this new adventure of ours we have decided to offer our travelers those little attentions that we think are useful for everyone, during an itinerant trip. My family and I will be here to welcome you".

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