It was Monday morning in the City of Matera which is located in a Southern Italian region called Basilicata.
The sun had just crept up from behind the Sassi to spring the local people into action.
I had a great start to my week planned with an interview booked in with Dutch visual storyteller and founder of Story Travelers Caspar Diederik.
I departed on my bicycle from the Palazzo Gattini where I stayed the night before in the same room that the Dalai Lama and Mel Gibson had on their visit to Basilicata. I began my search for Casa Netural which would be hosting the interview. I flew through the Piazza Vittorio Veneto the central square of Matera and then realised I had become lost. I had two options to look at my map or ask a local, I opted for the latter which proved to be a wise choice as I was soon guided back to where I began to Casa Netural which was located opposite the Palazzo Gattini.
You can’t beat local knowledge.
Caspar Diederik is one of the most interesting people I have had a pleasure to spend an hour with. Caspar first discovered a passion for telling stories visually at the age of 18 when he took a video camera with a vision to create a movie of his time travelling across Australia with friends. This progressed in his twenties to telling the visual stories of his time in Africa and South America on his social media platforms. This then inspired him to curate Story Travelers.
Story Travelers are a group of people led by Caspar who share their travel experiences through photography, video and blogging.
In the past tourism board, region, tour operators and hotels have utilised the Story Travelers skills to create a beautiful showcase.
Caspar's role as a chief Story Traveler has seen him travel to Holland, Costa Rica, Egypt, Mongolia and Italy where he currently resides. During the interview I was desperate to listen to him tell me about the capers who got up to whilst being a Story Traveler, but I soon discovered that Caspar only likes to translate his experiences visually with photos and videos. At one point during the interview Caspar picked up my Nikon camera to take photos of the moment, which I was to later discover helped me visually remember my time with him.
During my conversation with Caspar I asked him about any off the radar places to visit in Basilicata, the current home town of the chief Story Traveler. He reluctantly told me in fear of the place he was about to tell me losing its charm due to high volumes of people visiting it that a place called Casa Cava which is at the heart of the Sassi, a UNESCO recognised place that needs to be seen to be believed. I’ll let you discover that place for yourselves.
Caspar’s journey with Story Travelers has only just begun. From what I can see visual story telling is becoming one of the most engaging ways to show people what the places to visit in a town, city or country is really like.