Everyone has their “place.” You know what I mean, your spot in the world where everything feels right and life is all gumdrops and rainbows. For Matt Kepnes, it’s Bangkok. For Robin Lacey, it’s Italy. For me, it’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), I’ve been obsessed with Greece. Ancient Greece, mostly. The art, the history, the literature, the culture. No matter how much I learn, I’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. He’s been trying to master the language for ages, and is doing considerably better than I am. So far I know how to say “good morning!” (kalimera!) and my name is Candice (“me ‘lene Candice”). Also, “hello” (“ya sas!”) and “yes” (“ne”). 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 it’s the kind of place I need to live. I’ve put off travel plans there forever because I can’t simply stay there for a few weeks; it has to be much longer. Also, I’m broke as hell, and living ain’t cheap. But you know what I mean. The other problem is that Greece does not favour non-EU citizens…it’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.
I’ve also applied for a year-long Fellowship grant at an American college in Athens. It’s the most perfect program I’ve ever applied to, and my fingers have been crossed for two months. They’ve begun to cramp. In the meantime, I’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 it’s more likely I’ll show up in Athens, find I hate the place, and leave crying into my guidebook. But we’ll see.
What’s your place?