this blog is going to updated again, starting next week! My backpacking backpack is already out!
Hi! A gyro on the street is reallly cheap… like $4-5 (3 euros). Dinner at a sit down restaurant can be about $10 an entree at a pretty standard restaurant. I almost never paid to get into a club. I wouldn’t recommend paying to get into a club. Most clubs are free and some will even offer you free shots if you go in. Fancier bouzoukias (a club with traditional greek music) can be really expensive because the performers are considered celebrities in Greece, but and I think the older, more traditional bouzoukias are worth a lot more for the experience!
American school sucks. Take me back to Greece.
Hi! Sorry I missed this question for a while! Thessaloniki is so amazing, you will love living there (here are my posts about it)!
The language barrier is tricky with older people, but most young people speak English. I used Rosetta Stone before I went abroad, but if you don’t want to do that just load up on the basics (hello, thank you, I would like, how much is this, etc). And numbers! That’s enough to get you through most things!
I felt VERY safe in Greece. Of course, don’t totally let your guard down or anything. Here is a post I wrote about how to avoid general rip offs. I never felt unsafe at night or anything but it is always good to have a buddy no matter where you are on earth.
Here is another post I wrote about how to apply for a visa. The process was a little difficult, just start early and really, really follow every instruction as carefully as you can!
Good luck, I can’t wait to hear about it on your blog! :)
I am sadly running out of things to say. I have been home for a week and it is so strange, like all of studying abroad was a dream. I can’t believe seven days ago I was there. Being home always feels so natural it’s like I never even left.
The last 24 hours of my life:
2 AM-7 AM- Sleep
7 AM-11 AM- Awake
11 AM- 2 PM- Sleep
2 PM-9 PM- Awake
9 PM-5 AM- Sleep
5 AM- Present- Awake (barely)
…seriously? I have been home for a week! When does this end?
Because it is only when you are carrying your whole life on your back that you think, “Wow, I demand a lot of stuff to survive a single day!”
And the first time I have ever thought to myself, “I have too much stuff,” instead of, “I need more stuff!”
Yay! Nice to meet you! Wow how exciting! I am sure you will love Athens. It is the best. Gah I have like 80 billion hang out place suggestions for you already but maybe as the time draws closer I will send them to you haha.
I didn’t know any Greek but by the end I felt pretty confident with it and I think I was proficient enough to get around. If you can take a Greek class there, do it, and if you find a nice English speaker at the grocery store or another place around town ask them for any words you need (I always asked the kiosk guy down the street, he taught me more Greek than anyone else!). I would say just don’t be afraid to dive in, speak with a terrible accent, and try as hard as you can. Greek people will love that!
“Go to other countries. Not on a typical backpacking tour. A planned tour means you will hang with Americans on bikes and flirt with drunk Germans and someone will steal your Levi’s in the hostel and a guy from Poland will sock you in the face while bad techno plays everywhere and you will learn nothing except that your face hurts and not everyone showers. Get into other cultures and talk politics and love. Meeting other people is the only way to know if you believe what you believe cause it’s been handed to you, or if it really rings true in your heart.
Getting lost should be seen as a sweet chance to be found.
Remember, you belong everywhere.”
I wonder if I will ever be this happy again. And then I remember that I have thought that thought a thousand times before, and I always find it again.
I knew from the beginning it would be hard to say goodbye to you, but I did not ever expect it to be this hard.
Also I cried when saying goodbye to my favorite kiosk man. I think he was weirded out but he was nice about it.
After spending 4 months in Greece, I have been kind of beating myself up over all the things I didn’t see. I guess the easiest way to get rid of this guilt is to make a list and promise myself I will see it all next time!
-The butterfly migration on Rhodes
-Halkidiki- The beaches here are supposed to be to die for.
-Mount Olympus- It’s a two day hike, but I would have loved to do it.
-The Ionian Islands- I have heard nothing but lovely things about this chain of islands.
-Delos- A good day trip from Mykonos, this island is in the center of the Cyclades. It was very important in ancient worship and there are so many awesome ruins on the island!
-Marathon— I originally wanted to run from Marathon to Athens and be all historical about it. Then I remembered that running is terrible.
-Greek easter- Oh what a celebration I missed! If you are in Greece around easter, try to befriend a Greek family, invite yourself over, and eat lots of lamb!
-The olympic torch running through Greece- I have been kicking myself for this, if you are in Greece before the olympics, look up when the torch runs through. The run it over the top of the Acropolis and through Ancient Olympia.
-Meteora (I know, what is wrong with me?)
- wait patiently…
- one month to go…
- FANTASTICAL EUROPEAN REUNION!
I have added occasional crying to my daily routine.
I am so pleasantly surprised, since when do I still have friends!?!
Hi! Did you know that one of the reasons I started this blog was because I was frustrated about the lack of info out there about Greece? I remember googling “tips for applying for a Greek visa” and coming up with nothing! I think it’s time we change that :)
If there is a way to trick a tourist, someone in Greece has thought of it. Here are some things to watch out for to avoid problems while traveling.
-Speak less English and speak it at lower volumes, especially on public transit, where pickpockets will quickly scout out your purse.
-Refuse bread at the restaurant— yes, you didn’t order it, and yes, they put it on your table, but you will still have to pay for it at the end of the meal.
-Same goes for bottled water. Ask for water from the tap if you want to save.
-Never, ever fistbump the guy that really wants to fistbump you.
-The lady who says she is giving you a rose “for free” because you are “beautiful girl” is going to follow you down the street asking for money.
-Before getting in a cab, ask the driver how much he thinks it will cost to get to your destination.
-Insist that the taxi driver always, always starts the meter right away.
-Don’t put your cell phone, camera, or other valuables on the table at the restaurant. People may walk by and grab them!
-Ladies- nowhere will ever be as safe a place for your purse as IN YOUR LAP. Not on the chair next to you, under the table, on the back of your chair, etc. IN YOUR LAP.
-If someone is being rude to you, don’t give them business, even if that means standing up and leaving the restaurant. These are usually the people that will rip you off!
Sadly most of these were learned through first hand experience! Don’t be scared, most Greeks are very nice, these are just things to watch out for.
Uhh truth. So many flavors!!! I am addicted to the cinnamon sugar ones because they taste like horchata but in cookie form! :)
Changes in the exchange rate of euros to dollars make your day.
I mean, sorry Greek economy, but please keep being so crazy it is saving me money.