Interview With Bill De Giulio (bdegiulio)

A Hubber's insights on Italy, birds, sports, and writing.
Short Bio: Bdegiulio lives in Western Massachusetts, He loves to travel and explore the new places, photography. Let know more about him how his writing and a mini site made him happy.

Bill, you have been on HubPages for nine months now. How did you find out about Hubpages? What made you interested in writing here?

Well, I was reading an article earlier this year on Yahoo Finance about a woman who was a former school teacher. Due to health reasons she could no longer teach. To supplement her income she was writing for HubPages and it proved to be a lifesaver for her. The article gave a few details about HubPages and it sounded really interesting to me. I thought about this for a moment and said to myself, “I could do this”. So I jotted down the name HubPages, which I had never heard of before, and eventually got around to checking it out a few weeks later. This was the start of a great journey for me and it’s been just a fabulous experience so far.

What are some interesting facts about Bill De Giulio that are not in your Profile?

I’m not sure that I’m all that interesting, but I’ll give you some facts about myself. I grew up in a wonderful family in Rhode Island and had a great upbringing. I have one brother and three sisters and my parents still reside in the home that we grew up in.

After graduating from college I moved to Connecticut for my first “real job”. Eventually I moved to California where I worked for 18 months before returning to New England. Shortly after returning I met my wonderful wife, Terry. We have a very unique family with two sons and two adopted girls (sisters). It all made for a crazy, yet wonderful time in our lives. Today, they are all grown and on their own.

Being empty nesters has allowed us to pursue some of our passions, namely traveling and spending time with our grandsons.

You mention travel as being a passion of yours, which comes across in your wonderful collection of Hubs. What inspires you to travel?

This is a great question, Suzie. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had this interest in seeing other cultures and places. To this day, I just love traveling to places I’ve never been before and meeting people from all over the world. I really enjoy the whole planning phase of taking trips and I derive a lot of satisfaction from finding those hidden gems out there.

My father gave us some great advice a few years ago; he told us that if we wanted to travel and see the world, we shouldn't wait until we were older. He encouraged us to find a way to do it now while we have our health and mobility. It's great advice that we think about often.

I look at things like this; we’re only here on this planet for a short period of time and there are no guarantees on how long that will be, so I want to see as much of it as possible. When I visit someplace new I always go with the attitude that I may never get back there, so I try to see and do everything.

What great advice from your dad, Bill. Your love of Italy shines through in your collection of work. What is it about Italy that brings you back each year? Where has been the highlight for you?

My family’s roots go back to Italy, so I have that connection. My paternal grandparents were born in Teano, which is located about an hour north of Naples. They immigrated to the United States and came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s. My parents have made many trips to Italy over the years and I was just chopping at the bit for years to get over there myself. My mother told me that once you make that first trip to Italy it will become addicting - and it has. We were planning our second trip to Italy while on the plane ride home from our first trip. We’ve made three trips to Italy in the last four years and who knows when it will end.

The thing with Italy is that it has so much to offer. Everywhere we’ve been in Italy has proven to be amazing, and before you know it you want to see and experience everything. As far as picking a highlight, that’s a tough question, as there have been so many.

Let me name a few if I can. The moment we first stepped out of the train station In Venice onto the plaza was definitely a “wow” moment. Seeing the medieval hilltop towns of Tuscany was certainly a highlight. Taking a private boat tour around the Isle of Capri and swimming through the Green Grotto was amazing. The Amalfi Coast was, well, the Amalfi Coast- enough said. Seeing the pope in Rome. Standing in the Colosseum. Hiking the trails of Cinque Terre. Discovering Quartarella in Sicily. Seeing the Greek Theatre in Siracusa. Looking at Mt. Etna from the Greek Theater in Taormina. Seeing the Dolomites. Climbing around on Mt. Etna. I could go on and on, but I think the message is clear: it’s all amazing.

I’ll add one last thing if I may. We have met some of the most amazing people on our trips to Italy and this is the thing that I look forward to the most. It’s the one part of a trip that you can’t plan for and you don’t know when or where it will happen, but it always does.

I can certainly relate to Italy being addictive Bill. What fantastic highlights you have mentioned and meeting people abroad is one of the ultimate experiences for sure! Your skill with the camera is highly evident throughout your Hubs. Is there any advice you can give to other hubbers on taking great photos?

Thank you. I really don’t possess any special skills and in this day of digital cameras anyone can take great photos. It has been more or less trial and error over the years. I will say that the one thing that anyone can do is to take the camera off of its auto setting and don’t be afraid to play with manual settings. Have fun and experiment with your camera. The more you get to know your equipment the, better you will become. Also, take plenty of pictures.

Your Birds of Prey series is exceptionally popular. Where has your interest in these beautiful birds come from?

I’ve always had a love of nature and growing up we had a variety of pets including dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, fish and birds. Where we live now, we have many of the birds of prey that I have written about, including hawks, bald eagles, and the peregrine falcon. We also see a lot of osprey when we are in Florida.

My passion for birds of prey started with the red tail hawks that live nearby. For years I chased them everywhere trying to get some good pictures.  Finally, in the span of a few weeks, I had two or three great opportunities where they were literally sitting in the tree in front of our house and they just sat there while I snapped dozens of pictures.

I plan to continue with the series so watch for the next entry.

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next installment Bill. Apart from Italy, where else in the world do you want to visit? What makes them so appealing?

You’ve opened up a can of worms with this question. I have a long list of places that I would like to visit and I have this thing about getting to all 50 states and to every continent. I’m not sure it will happen but we’re going to give it a good shot.

Over the next few years I would like to go on a Safari in Africa and I definitely want to see the pyramids in Egypt. I want to visit Iceland and many of the other countries throughout Europe also. Terry has some Irish blood so we would love to visit Ireland someday. I saw a piece on the Jungfrau in Switzerland so I’ve been thinking about that also. My sister went to Machu Picchu a few years ago and I would love to combine a visit there with the Galapagos Islands. We almost went to the Greek Islands this year but opted instead for Sicily so Greece is still out there. And of course there is so much more to see in Italy so I could be talked into returning there in a heartbeat.

And then there is the granddaddy of them all: to get to every continent means getting to Antarctica. Terry thinks I’m crazy with this one but what an adventure that would be.

What a wonderful list of spectacular places. You know you will always get a warm welcome in this neck of the woods in Ireland. Your passion for sport is evident in your “Athlete of the month” series which covers a wide selection of sporting greats. What do you attribute your love of sports to?

When we were kids my parents made us go outside and play and they signed us up for as many organized sports as possible. So, from a very young age, I’ve always had this competitive edge and an interest in sports. In high school I played a lot of tennis and eventually I turned to running and triathlons. Running has been a big part of my life for the last 30 years and I certainly hope to be able to continue with it for as long as possible.

What advice, based on your experiences would you give to new writers?

Definitely don’t feel that you are in this alone and ask questions. HubPages has a wealth of information available in the Learning Center to help us, but one thing I’ve learned here is that there many, many members who are ready, willing, and able to help.

If you are new here and just don’t think you have the ability to write, well, you are wrong. Math and science were always my thing in school and I dreaded ever having to write an essay. I struggle with grammar, spelling, and writing in general, but these are things that you can get better at with practice. This may sound like a cliché, but if I can write here, anyone can.

Also, you need to come into this with realistic goals and expectations and understand that it takes patience, persistence, and of course a lot of work to become successful here. Do not try to rush this process; it takes time.  I should add that everyone’s definition of success will differ, so decide what your goals are and pursue them. Some folks just want a venue to express themselves and to write while others want a secondary income source. Whatever your reason is for being here, have fun with it and participate in community activities.

Sound advice, Bill. I can relate to and agree with 100%. What are your future ambitions on HubPages?

Well, I’d like to keep this going as long as possible, and that is my plan at the moment. Hopefully down the road a few years, as I get closer to retirement, my writing can become a source of a little extra income to help me get to all those places I want to visit. I think writing would make for a great hobby or part-time job in retirement, so I look forward to that in the years to come.

Thanks so much Suzie. Really appreciate the opportunity to participate in an interview.
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