Dutch, polyglottal and cosmopolitan 36-year-old Myra Stals has just joined the staff of the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways – the EAVF. She will be the Social Media Manager of the event “Road to Rome 2021” as will walk and cycle along the entire 3,200-km route from Canterbury to Rome and Santa Maria di Leuca.
Myra’s face and voice will be on the social media of the Association every day to tell us about her long journey. Pictures, livestreaming, podcasts, videos and radio interviews – she will have a number of tools available to get people to follow her on the journey. Video makers, bloggers, influencers will always be with her, along with all the pilgrims that the cheerful “Road to Rome 2021” group will meet on the Via Francigena. Members of the EAVF staff will also be present along the itinerary: Luca Bruschi, Luca Faravelli, Angelofabio Attolico, Jacques Chevin, Edgar Lebras, Elena Dubinina, Sami Tawfik, Micol Sozzi, Eleonora Martinelli, Marika Massotti, Martina D'Agostino, Sara Louise Costa, Nicole Franciolini, and Garance Potier.
“I’m in trepidation. I can't wait to start this big adventure! Mentally, I’m more than ready. Physically, I know I must train carefully for the event because I know it will be demanding”. It is not the first time that Myra has embarked on such an adventure: in the last years she has travelled 16,000 km throughout Europe by bicycle for her project Cycle 2 Recycle.
"I’m super happy I have received my new Garmont shoes and my Ferrino backpack, so that I can start using them in training and make them perfect for me in these last weeks before the departure. I’ll be more than ready on the 16th of June!", she says enthusiastically. "Anyway, I know that the mental challenge will be the hardest part because I will have to speak with many different people every day and I won’t have any quiet moment to recharge my batteries – very different from what I'm used to when travelling by bicycle. However, people will be my strength, not my weakness". Myra says she feels the responsibility to represent the EAVF during such an important event; however, there's not single hint of concern in her words, only huge pride. After all, she is the perfect ambassador for the Via Francigena: a world citizen speaking several languages and knowing different cultures, a "slow" traveller with an eye for sustainability. In other words, she embodies all that EAVF values.
Have a nice long journey, Myra!