Tels Talks – Paolo Pizzocaro, a citizen of the world
Paolo Pizzocaro, 53, from Pavia. Mariarosa Gatti’s (TELS CEO) German language student, and Tels student on three journeys.
After earning his diploma he became a tour leader specialising in English, French and German, and began a professional freelance career.
He moved to Rome to work as a flight assistant, becoming Cabin Manager on short, medium and long-range flights. At 30 he returned to Pavia and earned a degree in Modern Languages and Cultures (German, Portuguese and Spanish) and continued working with airlines.
If you had 5 minutes to tell us the story of your life, what images and colours would you use?
I would use the images of the cities I have loved the most, that have been fundamental stops in the journey of my life and which, up to now, have traced out my personal geographic map:
Rome, Southampton, Hamburg, Oxford, Buenos Aires, Zanzibar Town, Hong Kong, Miami, La Habana, Lisbon, Köln, Catania, Rio de Janeiro.
I would use all the colours necessary to sketch out the faces and expressions of civilisations that have stirred my emotions.
For those 5 minutes I could transform into an expressionist painter to reveal the true colours of my beloved cities.
What journey do you cherish the most as a memory, and what journey can’t you wait to go on?
I’m thinking of the layovers flights, which repeated over the years, and I remember the times spent in the United States with the most pleasure, in particular Chicago, where I had the luck to return often, which I feel is my home across the water… I remember the Skyline, the strolls in the wind, under the snow, the visit to the school of architecture, breakfasts at Diners, the steaks at the restaurant where Al Capone used to go, and an evening with a gala dinner for charity with a boxing match at the Chicago Art Institute.
All of this happened when I was in the company of friendly, funny colleagues and friends and even family members who had the chance to follow me during flight duty.
I can’t wait to spend a longer period in Vienna, I’ve always wished for a stay there that would allow me to immerse myself in the city, its Middle-European culture, its customs, its bizarre variant of the German language.
I can already see its peculiar architectural, social and intellectual traits, and I can already smell its cafes and Delikatessens.
What do you know how to do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?
I can take part in online lessons both as a teacher and as a student, struggling to overcome my adversity to advanced technology and my need for human contact.
I know how to be a patient caregiver while I help my parents, even 24 hours a day, in their delicate elderly phase.
If not now, when?
I’ve learned that the ‘when’ is now.
If not now, right away.
It’s all a question of Isness.
How much did travelling with Tels influence your personal and professional growth?
My first journey with Tels was without a doubt the initial drive, and the proof that I was going in the right direction for my cultural growth.
I was 18 years old and I felt ready to fulfil my greatest wish, to confront the world in order to get to know it.
I took part in three journeys, while I was getting my diploma and then attending a professional post-diploma course to specialise in international tourism.
Soon afterwards I achieved my ambition; I became a flight assistant and, driven by my need for curiosity and knowledge, and I appreciated every period of flight duty, even the toughest ones, that put me in the most difficult, uncomfortable and unexpected situations.
From the desks of our school in Hedge End I went to the desks of my university, to take a degree in modern languages and cultures, and now I’m on my computer monitor in an online lesson, because I can never get enough of new knowledge and contact with the other.
As though it was a baton in a relay, I pass on the #positivelight that Tels has always given me: be curious and never get enough of it!