Everyone has their â€œplace.â€ You know what I mean, your spot in the world where everything feels right and life is all gumdrops and rainbows. For Matt Kepnes, itâ€™s Bangkok. For Robin Lacey, itâ€™s Italy. For me, itâ€™s Newfoundland.
But since I started studying Classics as my minor back in my first year of university (entirely on a whim because I had absolutely no clue what to study), Iâ€™ve been obsessed with Greece. Ancient Greece, mostly. The art, the history, the literature, the culture. No matter how much I learn, Iâ€™m constantly blown away by the fact that the basic human elements stay the same, despite all our technology. So much of what we do is influenced by them.
Then I discovered that my family has an extremely rare gene in Newfoundland that goes back to Greece/the Mediterranean. Maybe this explains why my little pilgrimage to Ireland went awry…WRONG PLACE.
(And okay, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants might have had a little something to do with it.)
Mike Sowden understands my obsession. Heâ€™s been trying to master the language for ages, and is doing considerably better than I am. So far I know how to say â€œgood morning!â€ (kalimera!) and my name is Candice (â€œme â€˜lene Candiceâ€). Also, â€œhelloâ€ (â€œya sas!â€) and â€œyesâ€ (â€œneâ€). Don’t get me started on the alphabet. I figure those combination of words might come in handy sometime.
I want to drink wine in the Plaka of Athens, visit the Acropolis at night, and dance with cute Greek men until the early morning. I want to take a trip to Meteora, climb Mount Olympus (hah!), and explore every inch of the Peloponnese. I want to book a sailboat and sail to every single freaking Greek island, from Crete to Mykonos to Hydra. I have a Greece guidebook that has been dog-eared, highlighted, noted, and beaten around like a hooker. I have created a list of places to visit long enough to wrap around the globe. The sheer size of the country and everything I want to do is overwhelming; the thought of it sends me into convulsions.
The problem is itâ€™s the kind of place I need to live. Iâ€™ve put off travel plans there forever because I canâ€™t simply stay there for a few weeks; it has to be much longer. Also, Iâ€™m broke as hell, and living ainâ€™t cheap. But you know what I mean. The other problem is that Greece does not favour non-EU citizens…itâ€™s damned hard to get a work visa, especially when the country is on the downswing. If I make enough cash freelancing, I can live there on a 3-month tourist visa and move back and forth each time it expires.
Iâ€™ve also applied for a year-long Fellowship grant at an American college in Athens. Itâ€™s the most perfect program Iâ€™ve ever applied to, and my fingers have been crossed for two months. Theyâ€™ve begun to cramp. In the meantime, Iâ€™m launching Social Media Atlantic Canada, a self-run social media management biz for travel and tourism in Atlantic Canada. Can I infuse two of my greatest loves, Greece & Atlantic Canada? Heck yes. Bring it on, world.
Although itâ€™s more likely Iâ€™ll show up in Athens, find I hate the place, and leave crying into my guidebook. But weâ€™ll see.
Whatâ€™s your place?