I recently discovered the existence of an extraordinary book, La Baia della Luna (The Bay of the Moon). A trip through the far Australia, a story full of life, friendship, happiness and true feelings.
The book has a sort of ‘magical power’, and you’ll share all the experiences lived by the protagonists, you will share their emotions, positive and not, you’ll end up dreaming of the sea and you will want to leave for somewhere.
Winki, the author, is a surfer and a traveller, a guy with a deep love for the written word and for Nature, environment, sustainable tourism and the respect for the native people. We decided to present him to you because he’s certainly a person with a lot of things to say.
First of all, thanks a lot, Fabrizio, for the time you granted us. Let’s start with some general questions:
Where do you come from, how old are you, and from where does the nickname Winki come?
I come from the sea, the age is not important, seeing that every year I have a year less :-). Talking about my nickname, it comes from Australia, from a place called Winkipop, where ‘il Biondo’ and I dropped our first really big waves during the first travel Down Under. The place became the icon of our surf trip that gave birth to my first book Australia: quando un sogno diventa realtà (Australia: when a dream became reality)…
Why do I sign myself as ‘Winki’, you asked me? Because in the end it doesn’t matter who you are at the register office. My name is not important, and I don’t care of being “famous”. I am the same as many others, a person who found the courage to believe in his own dreams and I hope to inspire other people to do the same. I think that everyone could be called Winki…
When did your passion for surf begin?
When I was a child, I went to the sea with my air-mattress, during summer holidays in Sicily, to get those that at the time we called ”cavalloni”, running away from my mom that was trying to catch me in vain. I used to leave water only when I was purple from the cold. Then, almost twenty years ago, I discovered that it was possible to surf also in Italy, and since then my research and my travels began.
We know that you deeply love the sea, an element with which you have a special bond. What came first, the love for the sea or the love for surf?
For me, surfing is just an excuse to stay as much as I can in the element Water. Without any doubt, I couldn’t love the surf in this way if I didn’t love the sea so much…To enjoy the sea it not only means to receive and collect its fruits, but also to take care of it keeping it clean and respecting it. And with all those years spent in the sea, surfing became my “Yoga of the Sea”.
What kind of sensations do you feel when you surf a wave?
Until few years ago it was adrenaline…now, unless conditions are really challenging: peace.
From where came the idea of writing your first book Australia: quando un sogno diventa realtà?
Actually, the book came before than came the idea 🙂 In the sense that I wrote first of all for myself, and that story was the report of my first really long trip. It’s written fluently, without pausing, a thing that has become my style in some way. I don’t take any notes, I handwrite and I type only after the end of the trip. I let my friends read my first book and then, in a very natural way, I understood that it could become an useful tool for those who wanted to travel through Australia, a sort of non-conventional guide.
Your first book is very different from the second one, La Baia della Luna, even if the subject is again a trip throughout Australia. Was it a conscious choice or a sort of growth as a writer?
Six years have passed between my first and my second Australian trip. I’m still “growing up” and also the way in which I see things and my way of telling did it. In fact, this year I picked up my first manuscript and I made it more fluid, I didn’t change the form but I added two extra chapters that will be part of the fourth edition. My first book is self-produced, and I care to let know this point. Now I hope that the new edition will be published by my publisher, otherwise I’ll have to do it by myself again, which implies a whole series of things.
Reading the book, we see since the very first pages how the choice of the travel and the research have led you to several renunciations, both working and sentimental. Have you ever had some kind of regret about what you left behind?
I think that in life there isn’t really any renunciation, it’s only the fruit of our imagination…There are, I think, only choices that, wherever they lead us, they are never wrong because anyway we’ll have learned something. Often, however, if we really listen to ourselves they lead us exactly toward what we were looking for. So I have no regrets, mostly since I’m trying more and more to live intensely the present, and if I had any regrets, it would mean that I’d be still tied with the past :).
Describe us what did you feel when you arrived “you know where”.
Where? I don’t know what are you talking about… 🙂 oh. Maybe are you referring to a particular place? And who ever said I’ve been there? Are you saying you can tell it from my story? Really? 🙂
The philosophy to let yourself guided in your choices by what life is offering you at that moment, following sensations without having planned everything in advance and without spending hours and hours weighing the pros and cons. Is it something that is part of your everyday life? Or it happens to yourself too, to spend hours puzzling over what is better/worse doing?
Let’s say that you can train, starting from the small things. I usually let my head to decide when it comes to the practical things of the everyday life. But when I’m traveling, when I’m looking for something, when I’m looking for an answer or when I must take “important” decisions, I try to trust my inner voice and the signals, that are usually clear and evident. When you are making the right choice for you: you know that, you feel that. You just have to learn to listen to this beautiful little inner voice, I know that sometimes there is a lot of noise around 🙂 I usually choose in the silence…
What’s your best memory linked to your travel through Australia?
Which one are you referring, to the first and eighth? If you are referring to the second. Didn’t I wrote a book on purpose?! Just joking. I blast: the light. Colours. The wild Nature. People. And the unbelievable energy that go trough your soul.
And what about your best memory linked to surf or to one of your trips in general?
On the subject I’m writing a serial book… come on, I’m joking. Even if in the end it is true, there are too many good memories. My next book will be made up of bits from various trips and destinations: Australia (again); New Zealand, Sumatra, Thailand, Malaysia, Morocco, Lombok and maybe also a little piece of Sardinia.
Do you think that you, Bebo and Paolo will leave together again toward some new adventure?
It’s going to be hard, Paolo has just become dad…I take the opportunity to give him my best wishes publicly. Unless someone call us a day to make a film inspired to the book :).
It could happen with Bebo, surely it wasn’t neither the first nor the last time we travelled together.
This is a very important question to me: are you currently working on any new book?
Damn, I think I’ve already answered above. And now how do we do?
Tell me about “the way of giving”. Is it a behaviour that you can practice also in our society, where it often seems to be that one who “gives” should be exploited without any care?
The “giving” doesn’t depend upon society, but only upon ourselves. If we concentrate even in our little to give and to help the others, we will undoubtedly have less time to think about useless things and in some way, helping the others, we help ourselves. In any case, we would have done something good.
If you could go back in the past would you change anything in your book? Or in your trip?
If I wanted to change something, I would have regrets :-). As I told you, I live the present. 🙂
This interview is coming to end. Thank you so much Winki for the time you granted us, and remember to let us know when your new book will be released. I let you say whatever you want to our readers, whom you’d like to say thanks, whatever…
Thanks to all those who has been following me for years and who encourage me to go ahead in what I believe in. I say thanks also to those who tried to tell me what I should have done in their opinion, they helped me understand what I really wanted to do. That is what I’m doing…
I wish everyone a good trip: the journey is like life that, in the end, is a journey!
Thanks to www.candiesmagazine.com and thanks so much to Silvia Occhiena for the interview, I enjoy it a lot.