Welcome to our Next Stop series. David and I plan on having short posts/updates to give a little color and detail about the places that we’re traveling to, or living in, for a short period of time. In my case, I’m currently alternating my time between Ireland and other European countries. In this post, I’m going to outline my basic plans and timeline for this trip. 

I am thrilled to spend 2020 in Europe. 2020 started off here in Dublin, Ireland and I’m excited for the next leg of the journey: Patras, Greece. I haven’t been to Greece before, but from what I’ve heard from many people in Ireland as well as on the internet, Greece is going to be great. I desperately miss the sun. As a California guy, having spent fall and winter in Poland and Ireland, I’m ready for a sunburn. Much like a lizard, Jeff Bezos, or other slimy cold-blooded creature, I require sunlight. Thankfully for me, it looks like I can last about six months without a good dose of sunshine, but that timeline is closing up. Greece doesn’t have a patent on Good Ole Sunshine, but I just wanted to make it clear that Sunshine is a big factor in my choice. 

Ok, with that out of the way, it’s time to share my lizard-person-searching-for-sunlight basic travel itinerary: 

flight details
Ryanair changed the game for European budget travel. However, they are not known for their comfort or amenities. There is a good chance that I will be able to get a flight for even less money than this one.
  1. Flight from Dublin to Athens. One way. I haven’t booked it yet but I am 90% confident that it will be in early-to-mid March, on Ryanair, and less than 100 euros (probably closer to 50). 
  2. I’ll spend one to two days in Athens. I’ve been meaning to see the Acropolis, Parthenon, National Archaeological Museum, Temple of Hephaestus, and hopefully other attractions. 
  3. After I cross off the ‘Athens Bucket List’ items, I imagine I will treat the first few days in Greece as a kind of hostel-dwelling backpacking wanderer, and probably won’t work at all.  
  4. I’ll travel by bus down to the Peloponnese peninsula, probably stopping in Corinth to check out Ancient Corinth and perhaps the Canals. 
  5. Then cut down and over to Sparta (a personal must-see), the actual town of Sparta is pretty small but I’d like to check out basically anything related to the ancient city state. 
  6. Travel west and then up the coast, stopping along the way if a place really jumps out or comes highly, highly recommended from a local (I’ve always found this to be the absolute best way to discover the most amazing spots in a destination). 
  7. Arrive in Patras and rent an apartment for a two to three-month period (my initial research tells me that this should cost MAX 400 euros – furnished), hopefully near the beach. Luckily, I am flexible – and if anything needs to change, I’ll have some room to alter my housing plans. 
  8. Once I’ve established my home-base (assuming all goes well) in Patras, I’ll plan on working during the week and a little bit on the weekends, and focus on traveling around when possible. Some potential places to explore are: Peloponnese in its entirety, Corfu, Thessaloniki, Tirana (Albania), Greek party islands (I hear Santorini is stunning, but come on man my whole thing is to avoid doing the ‘norm’), Crete, and so on. The possibilities are endless. 
  9. At the end of this trip, your hopefully sun-stroked author plans on potentially driving or busing up from Greece to Odessa, Ukraine – but that’s a long time from now and there’s a lot that can come up in that time period. We’ll see. 
map of greece
My primary focus will be on this region – The Peloponnese Peninsula.

Why Patras? 

Patras is the third largest city in Greece with a Wikipedia-backed 213,984 residents. It’s an ancient city with castles, ruins, rivers, oh my! I typically like cities that are a little off the average person’s radar for two simple facts: 1. I won’t know anything about them beforehand so I have a totally un-adulterated opinion and 2. They tend to be cheaper (I feel like a sucker when paying capital city rents or hotel costs). Additionally, from my initial research it appears to be a pretty safe place and has several universities so the population should be fairly young and active and there should be enjoyable night-time activities. So, all of these factors lead to it sounding like a pretty decent place to base myself out of for the next few months. Of course, fate or my experiences could change things up a bit – but I believe Patras sounds like a good place to start. 

Before wrapping up this short ‘planning article’ I’d like to list out a few goals for this trip. This is a way to put these intentions out into the world for feedback and to make them seem a little more real. This makes it possible to hold myself a little more accountable. To clarify, these are not ‘must accomplish’ goals but rather lights that I can use to steer the direction of this trip. 

  • Continue life as a non-smoker. After years and years and years of being a smoker (plus one year of Juul), at the end of 2019 I was able to kick the habit. This is by far and large the best choice I’ve made in recent history, and I plan on continuing this new life. 
  • Take two online courses – one on writing and/or grammar (I enjoy writing but frankly could use a lot of improvement) and one on a skill or interest (still undecided). 
  • Some form of exercise three to four times a week. This ties into the non-smoker spiel, but cardiovascular activity has mysteriously become much more accessible and enjoyable to me, and for the first time in my life I’ve been enjoying running. Health permitting, I’d like to complete a small race on this trip (intended example: 5k). 
  • Write 100,000 words over the roughly ninety-day period. 
  • Increase my remote earnings through additional contracts, higher negotiated rates, website revenue (this site? A new one?), or selling my blood. 
  • Lots and lots of Sunshine 😉. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, let me know if you have any experience with Greece or Patras. Suggestions are always welcome. 

See you around. 

Charlie