Love affair with the unknown

By | Tue 6 Sep 2022

Meet one of Pim Kemasingki, editor-in-chief of Citylife’s close friends, Simonetta Taruna Gatto and join the pair as they talk swashbuckling adventures, world-defining political shenanigans, strange sexual rites and all sorts of other wild experiences and hot topics which make Taruna the fascinating person she is.

Taruna is a feisty Italian woman; strong, intelligent, brave and a bundle of fun. She was brought up in old Rhodesia before returning to Italy for her education, after which she led the high life in South Africa as a fabulous interior designer and film maker. Having had enough of the good life, she decided to go and explore the world, her stories are incredible, unique, compelling and utterly captivating. Taruna has visited over 50 countries – 35 with her dog Afrika, whom she smuggled across most borders – and before moving to Chiang Mai to write her book six years ago, was a resident of Bali. She also spent 11 years as a Sanyasin with Osho, the founder of Rajneesh movement (you can learn more by watching Netflix’s Wild Wild Country).

The pair talk about how Taruna nearly single-handedly saved the election which saw Nelson Mandela voted in, Taruna’s two years’ backpacking with her dog Afrika across the deepest and least accessible areas of Africa, her two years’ hitchhiking alone – with Afrika – across Tibet, her unfortunate forced lockdown in Goa which isolated her for 18 months during the pandemic (and how Pim managed to send her a food parcel just in time to stave off starvation) and her current mega project of writing her memoirs – Love Affair with the Unknown.

This is less of an interview and more of a chat between friends full of laughter and discovery. 

Taruna also publishes pithy and fascinating historical vignettes on her very successful Facebook page which we can’t recommend to you enough for a daily quick read.

You can find her at and on Facebook at Simonetta Gatto – author.