Conversations galore as we take an intermission from our adventure in Greece, waiting to cruise the Mediterranean on our boat Matilda.
It’s a good thing that I’m typing and not dictating the blog post, as after this week, I don’t have a lot of voice left! At times it feels like we’re quite solitary in our everyday lives, but this last week in particular has had a huge amount of social interaction. I’ve run two coffee tours, Karina met with a potential apartment manager, there’s been conversations with friends and family via video chat and three interviews for the podcast as well as numerous emails with accountants and our designer too.
On Monday I went to Electric Mama tattoo (the same studio Karina was at) for a new tattoo on my calf. It’s one I’d been thinking of for a while, wanting something to commemorate both Greece and our boat life and I thought a mermaid which is mentioned in ancient greek mythology would be a good choice. I’m very happy with how it turned out and it’s healing up nicely.
The coffee tours have gone well this week, I ran one on Tuesday and again on Friday. I’ll admit I’m a little bemused as to the “why” that people book them — but so far it seems that everyone that’s come along had some things in common. They are experienced travellers, obviously they like coffee, but it’s mostly that they like the idea of wandering the city and chatting with someone. They are tired of just seeing the “big monuments” (or they’ve seen them before) and interestingly, it’s the fact I’m NOT Greek that was mentioned — my profile talks about my time in Australia, the US and now Greece and a couple of the groups have mentioned this as something they were interested in. I’ve been really enjoying them, basically getting “paid” to drink coffee while chatting to people and showing them things I love, it’s been a lot of fun and kept me out of mischief. It’s a bit sad to have to stop them now!
Karina met with a potential apartment manager — it’s interesting how Airbnb has driven these new industries, where being a “professional host” is a thing. Typically these Airbnb “super hosts” don’t actually own the properties — instead they manage them for owners like ourselves and for a 20% cut, they deal with guest check in and check out, the cleaning, the maintenance, pay all the bills etc. Basically hands free. I was particularly fascinated in the fact that there’s even specialist software now to manage the pricing of the apartment — it feeds in all sorts of things like weather, prices of like apartments, number of flights arriving, the city the flights are coming from etc. to dynamically price the apartment. It seems like these super hosts run at around a 90% occupancy rate which is just crazy.
We’ve been trying to walk around the city more and really soak it in before we leave the “big smoke” off to the islands again. The weather at the moment is wonderful and Athens at this time of year when the sun is out and the sky is blue is a sensational place to be.
While we were in the city last Wednesday, we thought we’d just pop by the apartment one more time to check in on it. Walking up the stairs, there was a lot of banging and thudding coming from above us and we realised it was actually our apartment. The demolition had already started — we just hadn’t been told yet! It was very exciting to see the space opened out and it’s fascinating to see the process. Because they can’t get a skip in, the rubble has all been placed inside heavy duty plastic bags which they will walk out of the building and load onto a truck manually.
For the podcast, I’ve settled on Wednesday as the “publishing day”. It’s really helped with the blog to work towards Sunday as the day I write and publish this and of course I think if people are interested, then they know when there’ll be a new post too. Personally I really enjoy the conversations I’m having with people and I think there’s a lot of interesting stories and bits of information I’m learning. Last Wednesday’s episode https://anchor.fm/footloose is with Hannah, a friend from Germany and I did three more episodes this week which I’m editing to have lined up ready to publish so I don’t need to work on them while we’re in Crete. They are all quite different from the interviews that I’ve done so far and I think that they are improving technically as well.
We’re both going to miss Athens when we go back to the boat, I think Karina more than me, but there’s no denying that it’s a great place to be. Personally I’m ready to get back on the road though and looking forward to more adventures. It’s tantalisingly close now! This week we finally head to Crete for the first time where we’ll spend two weeks in a camper van, then at the start of March, it’s off to Aegina and the countdown to getting the boat back into the water. We’re not exactly sure when that will be, but I’d be surprised if we’re not back living aboard within the next 4 weeks.
Until next time
Tim & Karina