The last time I traveled was almost half a year ago. I came back to Japan in December 2016 and I left Japan to go to Athens in April 2017, as soon as I had my tax done.
It has been pretty hectic in Japan. I had many day trips with my friends, both in Tokyo and around Kanagawa Prefecture. I had to do my tax which took me more than 30 hours. I had my first online seminar about freelancing with the support of a local TV station. I also had many interesting projects as a freelance marketer, but mostly I was busy calculating my tax 🙁 Accounting is annoying and it sometimes makes me want to give up freelancing 🙁
Anyway, like Andy Dufresne, the main character of my favorite movie The Shawshank Redemption, who breaks out of jail, wins freedom and goes to beach in Mexico, I decided to go to Athens right after I finished my tax. It was my way to escape from a frustrating bureaucratic reality to freedom and culture without almost any preparation.
Greece was too “extroverted”.
Just my subjective stereotype, but I think that:
- Introverts like mountains, libraries, and cultural tourism
- Extroverts like beaches, clubs, and vacation tourism.
To me, some cities are more introvert-friendly and some cities are more extrovert-friendly. 99% of touristic places in Japan are introvert-friendly. These cities feature traditional architecture, museums, mountains and a lot of cultural activities other than sports.
That’s what I am used to and that’s where I feel comfortable.
Athens and Santorini were not exactly places I felt at home. You know, sometimes when you travel, you end up in places where you can totally imagine yourself living for a very long time. I got that feeling in Krakow and Gdansk in Poland, in Prague in the Czech Republic, and in Regensburg in Germany, but I didn’t feel it at all in Athens and Santorini.
Maybe it was too touristy or it was too extroverted.
How to enjoy Athens for nerds.
A lot of characters and items from video games and animes are inspired by different mythologies. The Final Fantasy series is mostly inspired by North European mythology and Greek mythology. I remember that the Artemis Bos and the Aegis Shield are among the strongest items you can have in some of the Final Fantasy games.
I don’t play video games, nor do I watch so many anime, but it was interesting to see statues of those mythological figures that inspired so many items and characters. You can ask questions to archaeologists in the Acropolis museum. If you are into ancient cultures, mythologies, or cool Indiana Jones stuff, you will enjoy talking with them. They speak English pretty well.
By the way! Google the names of Greek gods in Japanese using google translator. You will see that the search results are very different from English to Japanese.
Digital Detox vacation in Santorini.
I have been pretty busy with my work when I was in Athens. Doing tax and other financial stuff took a huge bite from my work time earlier that year, and I had a so much of my freelance work to catch up with, that I had to work longer than what I usually do when I was in Athens.
My airbnb in Santorini was the perfect place for a digital detox. I booked the Airbnb for 10 days. To be honest, after 3 days I felt I have seen everything. Santorini is a beautiful place with many white buildings, but hey, they are white buildings. White rooms are also used for psychological torture.
So I bought a ukulele in Santorini and spent most of my days there playing the ukulele, drawing with watercolors, and reading books while listening to the calming sound of the waves in the nice little private garden of my airbnb.
My next stop is Tirana in Albania 🙂
I had planned to go Crete and to other small islands of Greece, but it’s already too hot for me. I prefere tree shadows over sun beamed beaches.