Nikos Tsemanis – A travel biography
I always liked to travel to foreign places. Curiosity never said to leave me. From my student years in Ag. Panteleimon in Acharnon I did everything to get to unknown places, on foot, by bicycle, by motorbike. Scout sailor in summer camps I curiously followed the caterpillars under the pines to find out where they are going. Every summer I went on vacation to my mother’s hometown of Ios, ate figs by force after serious threats from my mother and learned to swim. In the homeland of my father, the surgeon, Kastoria, I was living the dream of fishing as a child and seeing the cork from the rod sink in the beautiful lake, catching a small fish in your hands. I tried unsuccessfully to become the climber on the rocks of Parnitha, the basketball player and speed runner in the Panhellenic Club, the aspiring football player of Panathinaikos at the stadium on Alexandra Avenue and finally I accepted that I was the only one who had the talent. to accumulate glass gases from my accuracy.
Lucky in high school I got a scholarship with the American Field Service and found myself studying for a year at a high school in Kansas City in America. At the end of the school year I met America from East to West traveling by bus with other students, riding in Colorado for the first time cowboy horses and hosted by wealthy American families in various American cities, New York, Washington. San Francisco, Denver. I went back and got the Greek high school diploma from the 2nd High School in Acharnon.
In my early youth after high school, following in the footsteps of my older brother Vassilis, I traveled constantly, hitchhiking to all the countries of Western Europe. In Austria I discovered the beauty of the European Alps, in Finland the beauty of the beautiful lakes of the Scandinavian north, in England I was careful not to be trampled by cars on the wrong side of the road, in the Netherlands in Delft I learned to love cycling in Italy I spent the night on the benches of the train stations learning Italian surrounded by young homosexuals who invited me young and nice then pressing me to sleep in their house.
Then I volunteered in the air force to get rid of the army and I can travel and study whenever I want and wherever I want abroad without the deferral procedures. First I was in the 112th Battle Wing in Thessaloniki, then I was a substitute in the aviation basketball team and I spent thirty whole months with the well-known loofah and variation of our country’s armed forces until I got my army diploma. Eventually I studied at the Technical University of Zurich, a civil engineer and got my first car a 2CV which became my first camper car. From Switzerland, the center of Europe, with my own car, I traveled at every opportunity to European cities, mountains and seas, hosted by friends and having my own car as a permanent home.
As a student I worked even nights to raise money for my expensive hobby. I saw every difficulty, every misfortune, every suffering with a scout mood as a welcome opportunity for a new adventure. Starting in the morning I did not want to be sure that I would sleep at night. While staying in the detention centers of the drunkards in the police stations of frozen Sweden, I felt like I was staying in five-star hotels. Sitting with hundreds of Indians on the roof of trains in North India, I thought I was on the most beautiful outdoor tour bus in the world. At the Sikh shrine in Amritsar before the tragic events, I slept with hundreds of bodies of Hindu pilgrims as if I were in a scout camp. Enduring the hardships I felt strong, different. With a stable and inseparable friend and supporters, my backpack and my imagination were not frightened by loneliness. I made friends easily. I crossed the borders of linguistic communication with a smile. Inoculated with the memories of the gauze I played in the neighborhood when I was little I knew I was not in danger. So with an eternal friend of my loneliness I traveled non-stop. I felt that with the trips I was winning even the time itself, that my travel memories were running faster than the normal wear and tear of time.
The years of livelihood came quickly and I landed. After a serious work accident in my eye on a construction site in Basel, Switzerland, I returned to Athens. I worked for large companies in Edok Eter in Avax, Triton, I built ports, apartment buildings, houses big and small, I got married and I was a housewife. From a restless traveler to life, I became a submissive technocrat, family man, professional. The woman Aspasia gave me as a gift two beautiful daughters, architects like her, Maria who works in London and Ioanna who lives in Greece with us. Together we built a small hotel complex in Ios and several cottages on the island. With a VW camper this time at every opportunity we traveled to Europe and admired the works of art of nature and culture on the most beautiful continent of the earth, the mother of culture in the whole world.
But the memories of the travels of my youth never left me, and when the children grew up, now retired, with more money than in my youth, I said goodbye to the job of an engineer and returned to my old hobby, long journeys, to civilized countries with Aspasia and family, in more exotic places that the adventure called you, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone.
I traveled with the Buddha to Burma, ate the most beautiful fish soups in the world in Vietnam, hung out with lazy lions in Kenya and Tanzania as I no longer had the strength to climb Kilimanjaro, Hong Kong and Hong Kong. boat from Kawloon to Hong Kong island, to Macau I almost won at the casino, in Persia I shook hands with Darius and greeted the rebellious Ayothallah skeptics. In Benares on the banks of the Ganges I measured the coffins of the well-to-do Indians whose ashes had been ordered to be scattered in the muddy waters of the sacred river, in America I went back across the country by car with my wife and daughters I fell in love with bougainvillea and volcanoes, in Rio I drank capercaillies every night in the kiosks of the Copa Campana, in Argentina I did tango dancing, in the Caribbean sailing with the sails of a friend from Cartagena, Colombia to the Panama Canal and resil the seafaring fame of the Greeks, in Comsumel in Mexico I dived into the sea to see red and green fish swimming, in Matsu Pitsu in Peru I ascended to the sky breathless from lack of oxygen, in Cuba I traveled with him of Hemingway, in Northern Namibia I did the white best man at a wedding in a church full of only blacks, in Australia I managed to do not crash with any kangaroos, in the forbidden city in Beijing I photographed every morning one thousand and one faces of China, in Moscow I was careful not to slip and crease on the icy sidewalks, in Muslim Ethiopia, in Harar, I watched the nostalgic in the little donkeys passing me despising the western civilization with their smile, in Sudan I fell in love with the white Besharin camels.
As you can see, you are dealing with an incurable traveler. I started to write these travel memories first in texts, then to put photos next to them, some to publish them in the newspaper ODO of Kastoria, others to make books. I suddenly started doing writing. I wanted to write these travel memoirs to travel again after years to the same places, to share with you the experienced fellow travelers moments from places we spent close together without meeting, to guide through the pages of a book those who are not lucky He encouraged them to travel faraway places themselves, to convey in writing the human moments I lived traveling the world to my wife and daughters who helped me so much with their tolerance, patience and support to do so far my travel dreams come true. This is all about this travel site. Have a good trip.