As an Online Business Broker and entrepreneur, George Moulos’ frequent travels to different parts of Europe are just a usual part of his everyday life and job. One unusual thing the Greek Australian didn’t expect however, was to find himself stuck in Barcelona for three months during the coronavirus lockdown.
It was a situation he describes as “throwing a spanner” in his plans for 2020, especially when he was repatriated to Greece and forced to stay inside his cousin’s house in Athens as the beautiful summer season kicked off around him.
“My plan was to spend two to three weeks in Barcelona for a quick marathon… but the marathon was cancelled and I was stuck in Barcelona for three months instead. I was in an Airbnb there which wasn’t fun but returning to Australia wasn’t really an option for me. So I just bunkered down for three months, working from my room,” George tells The Greek Herald.
“In the end, I had a flight booked to leave for Greece on May 29 but that was cancelled. So I emailed the Australian Consulate in Greece saying, ‘can you tell me which flights are going through,’ and they told me there was a repatriation flight the next day and that they would get me on it.”
“It’s weird seeing Greece manage COVID-19 so well”:
When the 21-year-old Kytherian landed in Athens on May 17 he was exhausted but relieved. He had made it to a country which he says impressed him with the strong precautions they were taking to limit the spread of COVID-19. In fact, George was actually one of the first tourists to arrive in Greece who were subjected to the coronavirus test upon landing.
“I did the coronavirus test at the airport, that swab at the back of the throat. It’s pretty uncomfortable. They swabbed us and then took us to a hotel in Omonia. I was there for only a day,” George explains.
“The authorities told me, ‘your test results have come back negative so you can go home, but you need to stay home for two weeks. Give us your address, your mobile number, your email and we’re going to check up on you. If you’re not there, it’s a 5000 euro fine and you’ll be prosecuted.’ It was a weird thing seeing Greece manage something really well and most people were sticking to the rules.”
George also stuck to the rules, staying at his cousin’s place for two weeks in the Athens suburb of Victoria.
Filming the deserted streets of Greece:
Ultimately however, George marked the end of his quarantine with some pretty spectacular vlogs (video blogs) in the empty streets of Athens, followed by Rhodes and Lindos. He says the vlogs helped to “keep him accountable to lead an interesting life.”
“I upgraded all my gear. I bought a new phone and new camera. It definitely made me feel a bit better about publishing the vlogs,” George laughs.
He definitely had nothing to worry about though. If you take a look at George’s more recent vlogs, you’ll see beautiful drone shots of the blue water of the Aegean Sea, the world-famous Parthenon, the Corinth Canal and even the ancient ruins of the Acropolis of Lindos. The one thing that’s missing? The thousands of tourists that visit Greece every year during the summer season.
“My friend and I went to the ancient ruins of the Acropolis of Lindos and we were the only two people there. The drone shot that I included in my vlog really shows that there’s no one there. It was unbelievable,” George says.
It’s these unbelievable moments that George always loves to capture. He says they make his vlogs into a kind of “modern photo album” of all his favourite memories.
“As a kid, my mum would keep meticulous records of photos of us on holidays and stuff. I loved that. So my vlogs are like a modern photo album. I love the memories of everything I do and that’s how I put the vlogs together. I put the music I was kind of listening to at the time, trying to capture the vibe of the people I was with and the place I was at,” he says.
“The vlogs really do keep me accountable to lead an interesting life. To continually do something new, whether it’s once a week or every two weeks. To go check out an ancient city or a new museum.”
The next step in his travels:
When George isn’t checking out the next ancient ruin or museum in Europe, he focuses on his business Ecommerce Brokers. This business takes him all around Europe but for now, he says he has plans to settle down and set up a base in Copenhagen for the next six to twelve months.
“During all this corona craziness, my business blew up. There was a huge influx of people buying into ecommerce because they wanted to move away from the traditional brick and mortar stores. I’m kind of the person to guide them through that and show them what businesses to buy,” George says.
“But constantly moving places every two to three months has limited my workability. That’s why I’m setting up my base in Copenhagen. Hopefully I don’t get the three month itch that I usually get, especially cause it’s really cold there with not much sun.”
We hazard a guess that George will return to Greece in no time to capture its beauty once again.