15 May My 4 Month Trip with Remote Year is Over
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I am currently in Paros, Greece in a house run by Remote Year called a “Citizen House”. This is where multiple Remote Year alumni get together outside of a RY program with other citizens (people who have completed a RY program become citizens) to hang out and party somewhere in the world. For Paros, the location is a three week getaway but I am only here for two of the three weeks. There are about 25 people in the Villas, three villas in total, on the same property, pretty close to what we would need on the island. I rented a scooter for my time here to cruise around the island. Some of my Meraki friends will be here too (Meraki was the RY group I traveled with for the year in 2017). It is great to see old faces and catch up on all of our travels and the people we meet along the way.
When we last spoke I was in Lisbon, which was fantastic. I loved Lisbon and really everywhere I went in Portugal. People, food, landscape were all so impressive and we had lots of fun times there too. My group of Kuungana’s (Our group name with RY was Kuungana) also fell in love with Portugal. From there I headed with the group to Valencia, Spain for most of April. I have been to Valencia before in 2017 with my RY trip so I was very familiar with the city and absolutely love Spanish food. From Valencia I traveled through Spain to Mallorca, Gran Canaria and Malaga. I was trying to chase the sun like I did in 2017-2018, I need my sun. In Mallorca I stayed at a beachfront hotel and the same for a few days in Malaga in Torremolinos. The weather was really nice in both places. In the Gran Canaria, I rented a car and drove around the island which was a much larger island than I thought it would be. I did go to Ibiza for a long weekend too which turned out to be a terrible choice. 16 of us rented an AirBnb private Villa for the weekend and on Saturday when we went out for the night, the house was robbed. They took 10 laptops, money, some clothes, two cameras and one of them was mine. Cost me over $5,000 to replace my equipment. Shitty story but these things happen, thankfully nobody got hurt. PS-they did not take our passports which would have been a nightmare for all of us if they did.
I left the Remote Year group late April to visit my friend Viviane who I know from New York, she moved to Amsterdam last year, I stayed with her for a week. It just happened to be Kings Day on April 27th, one of the biggest holiday’s in the country which is crazy. While in the Netherlands I also took day trips to Rotterdam, The Hague and Zaandam along with Kuekenhof to see the Tulips (another lucky timing of the year for me). Many of my Kuungana people planned for a while to head to Greece after we completed our RY trip. So from Amsterdam I flew to Santorini, Mykonos and Athens. One of the girls I was traveling with lived in Athens a while back but knew every place to eat and explore around Athens. If you ever have someone like that in your travels, treasure it because she was golden. The last time I was in Greece was in 2006 but only for a few days on a cruise. I really didn’t get a chance to experience Greece properly and now I feel I did and I absolutely loved it. I know that I will be back to Greece in my future. The people were so amazingly friendly and we did get a free shot almost every place we ate.
Now my trip is winding down to the last few days as I will be leaving from Athens back to Florida on May 25th. I have been in the EU for 84 straight days and as a US citizen you can only stay for 90 of 180 days AND I am coming back in late July for 5 days to hit the Azores again and probably Turkey too. I have not really reflected on my two different trips with Remote Year, this one of four months and my full year one in 2017. When I get back to Florida I do plan on comparing my experiences personally but in the end, they were both amazing experiences and am so glad that I took the risk and did them. So the next time we speak I will be back in the good ole USA.