TGH Exclusive: A Greek’s journey to Australia amidst coronavirus restrictions

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By Ilias Karagiannis

Manos Lianopoulos is not the traveler you are used to seeing. He seems to live up to the slogan: “life is a challenging adventure or nothing at all.” These days, when the coronavirus nightmare has expanded like a bubble over the earth, Manos Lianopoulos left his “safety belt” in Athens and landed on March 11 in Sydney, Australia.

For about 15 days he will gather rare experiences with a devout maniac collector, as he has done in the past few years of his life. The glove for this challenge was thrown at him by the Australian Embassy in Athens.

“I organise ‘TravelFest’ every year in Athens. It is a unique travel festival in Greece, organised for the first time in April 2018 and has opened a meeting, networking and communication point for travel lovers, and contact with nature,” Lianopoulos says to the Greek Herald.

“Last year, in 2019, I had gone to Chernobyl, where I returned for a short film festival. She seems to like the Australian Embassy, ​​and this year I was suggested to do something similar for Australia. That’s how the idea was born.”

An idea, of course, that could blossom, yet was sadly withered away by the recent coronavirus outbreak. “Until the last moment, there was some doubt as to whether the trip would be finalised. Eventually, we decided to go. Although with everything that happens, we will not be fully happy with our journey.”

Sydney, the city you would like to live in

In his early hours in Australia, with jet lag as his persistent enemy, Manos Lianopoulos began to discover Sydney. In his early thoughts, he had believed that this was another of the great cities of the planet he had visited in recent years. But the reality was different for the iconic city, as he reveals to the Greek Herald.

“Sydney is a very beautiful city. I have the impression that she has a very good quality of life, so it would be nice to live. Very green and extremely clean for a big city. What really struck me is that there are many beautiful beaches in the city. Overall, it was a very beautiful experience, my stay in Sydney.”

The unsatisfied traveler’s eye can trace fear into a city. He has now been trained after so many trips. But what did he find in Sydney? Has the terror taken up to the residents’ last bloodshed?

“Certainly, there is fear in the city. You can understand it because people are quite wary of their gestures. Certainly not the best, what we go through. Australia, of course, is as big as Europe and so far there are not as many outbreaks. But you can see the fear in their eyes. But it certainly is not to the extent that it is in Greece,” says Manos Lianopoulos.

It is, of course, the most special journey he has made in his life. He does not experience it completely in a luxury.

“It’s not the most pleasant climate on the trip. But because once in your life you are given the opportunity to do so, we try to leave it in the back of our minds and enjoy as much as possible of this unprecedented experience.

“We’re careful enough. In fact, they sent us messages from the community and under other circumstances it would be our pleasure to be with them but two things are happening. One is that our program is very suffocating and the second is the normal fear that has engulfed everyone with coronavirus.”

In recent days, Manos Lianopoulos traveled to the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, where he dived for the first time. If conditions permit, he will travel to Hobart, Tasmania and then Melbourne, before returning to Athens from his brazen journey.

“We have also learned about the quarantine that we should enter when we return to Greece. Of course it’s something that will happen. But for the moment, we want to make our trip here fun and upload joyful images to social media to offer a glimmer of optimism in these difficult times.”

You can visit his Instagram @tripment_net to see his beautiful photos and videos from Australia.

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