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A CONVERSATION WITH THE LAZY TROTTER

Travel blogger The Lazy Trotter talks about holistic lifestyle and sustainable practices, adding what she has learned from her trips around the globe.

Words By Ilaria De March

29/06/2021

A conversation with The Lazy Trotter

The story that I want to share today begins with a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires. This is how the exciting life of Cristina Buonaerba, known on social media as The Lazy Trotter, started off. 

After getting a degree in Translation and Interpreting, Cristina realized that she was not made for the traditional corporate job in a city office. That’s when she bet that she would spend her life travelling and writing about it. This is how her blog The Lazy Trotter came to life. Starting with a focus on travelling, she later included other topics such as sustainable practices, yoga and holistic lifestyle. 

Cristina, what do you mean when you describe your lifestyle as holistic?

When I say holistic, I talk about an approach that I learned to adopt to observe and live my life. Six or seven years ago, after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was forced to stop for a moment and reconsider my lifestyle. The western medicine describes this problem as an untreatable illness, but according to Chinese medicine, it can be treated starting from reallineating elements of the body and the mind that have been misaligned.

With that awareness, and thanks to yoga practices, I turned to a new understanding of the world and of my life. I realized that there’s an energy in every action that we perform, in the food we cook, in the environments that surround us. We need to connect our bodies to our minds and spirits to feel these energies and to get rid of intoxicated atmospheres, practices and lives. The holism I refer to lays in this connection of mind, body and spirit with all those things that surround me daily. 

Thanks to this approach, I learned to understand my body and take better care of it. After all, my health issue has been the occasion to shift my perspective and start a new life.

In your blog, you also talk about sustainable practices. How do you live sustainably in your daily life? Can you share with us some tips?

The changes we should consider to make our lives more sustainable are often small and underrated. For instance, we can go to the market with a tote bag, reduce plastic, and be careful with the origins of products we buy. But even more than that, we should start focusing more on reusable objects rather than recyclable, picking up the trash that is left in streets by others, and sensibilizing other people on these issues. I feel that in Italy, the practice of reuse encounters several cultural obstacles, and for this reason, sensibilizing can play a relevant role.

To me, being sustainable stays in the framework of my holistic lifestyle. If I listen to my detoxed body, I realize I don’t want to wear clothes that have caused pain to others: this holism is what informs my choices in fashion. For this reason, I stopped buying fast fashion clothes: now I buy 80% less than before. I opt instead for natural fabrics, I value second-hand and reuse much more; I love mixing vintage with sustainable pieces of clothes! I also encourage everybody to organize swap parties with friends: giving new life to products is always a good choice. 

Let’s turn to your travels now. We all know that travelling is not always compatible with sustainability. How do you deal with this difficulty?

I changed my way of travelling, without renouncing its beauty. When I travel long distances, I avoid short stays: if I go to Guatemala, I try to stay there for long periods of time. When the distance and the geography allow it, I opt for a van, that’s my favourite. 

And for the rest of the trip, I consider more ecological structures as well as turn to local options to eat and shop; that’s a nice way to support local economies.

Sometimes I feel that this sustainable turn is something that we experience only in western societies. What stories can you share from your experiences in very different cultural and economic contexts? How do other cultures relate to nature?

During my travels, especially in Guatemala and some countries of Latin America, I came across with a very different understanding of nature, but also with severe incoherences.

In the west, we are consumerist and victims of accumulation of objects. Our culture created a distance between us and nature. Nonetheless, here is where I see a major attention to avoid polluting on purpose. 

In Guatemala on the contrary, I realized that there’s an impressive adoration and veneration of nature, of mother earth. Drops of rain are perceived as a benediction and everything is a gift from mother nature. However, here’s where I found the incoherence I mentioned: despite this professed love, people tend to pollute with plastic and there’s no awareness of recycling. I feel that this polluting tendency is an effect of their encounter with western economies. Those populations are forgetting about local, traditional and more sustainable practices they always employed in the past to exchange goods and live their lives. 

In any case, we should respect these different cultural practices and learn something from them. In the west, we should stop forgetting about nature and rediscover traditional practices, to understand how to live and feel connected with our environment.

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