New beginnings

Where should I begin? These last months have been quite a roller-coaster, with the pandemic brutally changing lives and destroying plans. Needless to say, traveling seemed to be superfluous and a bit dangerous, yet, plans were made and were changed during these months. We had originally planed to travel to Tunisia and revisit the Sahara, but after a while – and as Catherine was worried about traveling amidst a pandemic, I decided to go solo and plan on visiting Romania, while mapping out a B plan on visiting Bulgaria or North Macedonia. Eventually, we decided to remain in Greece and stay at Catherine’s hometown in the Peloponnese, which would once more act as our base in visiting the area. Before that, we enjoyed a great Summer, as I was working for less hours during the pandemic, while I was still getting my salary (even though I had to put a bit of a fight for this to happen)

Nevertheless, the situation at my crappy job was getting lousier and I came close to resigning a day before we left on vacation. I was actually thinking of quitting upon our return home, but a few days before we left Catherine’s hometown in Argos, opportunity knocked. Ever since I graduated from university, I have been applying to work as a teacher of Greek literature. It had been quite some time of frustrating efforts by that time, but this time my phd proved to be a game changer and I secured a contract as a substitute teacher in the Cyclades. So, I left my old job and the toxic people associated with it and I moved to Andros island to start a new career. The downside is that I had to leave Catherine at my hometown where she works and I moved to the island alone keeping in touch through phone and viber. Still, due to the quarantine measures all schools in Greece were shut down and after a couple of months, I returned home where I set up my class teaching from our living room.

As far as the island is concerned, I live in Korthi Bay, which is a very beautiful small place. My colleagues are great and extremely helping people, while my students are remarkably adorable. During these couple of months I visited some of the places in the island including its picturesque main town, Andros or Chora. So, as Greece is slowly becoming a police state (UPDATE: As I was writing these lines I caught sight of footage showing policemen destroying a bouquet of flowers left in honor of a child that was murdered by a policeman ten years ago ) booming with conspiracy theorists, I was trying to adapt to this new island life. What I liked more about Korthi was that some great beaches are near this small village, while I was surprised to find out that the whole island is connected by a network of ancient footpaths that were once the main road network of the island and which is maintained and restored by volunteers (check more on these routes here). The experience was as if walking the via Francigena once more and along with some colleagues I had begun discovering the island’s beauty. I had only stayed there for a couple of months before the schools were shut down, but I had a great time teaching, swimming, walking ancient trails and sightseeing. Although I have visited many places in the island, I am limiting the photos I post to the Korthi area for now and I will discover more of it in a month or so, after the lockdown ends, while of course we will plan a trip to another country along with Catherine. I may also spend some weekends on the nearby islands in springtime and I will try to post about it (after posting on our previous journeys). Have fun and stay healthy!