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Day Trips & Activities


On Paros you can relax in a state of excitement. Or you can get out and about to sample new experiences. Here are a few suggestions you can book ahead.

Usually, island hoppers include Athens in their itinerary. Here are a few ideas to expand your horizons from Athens.

More information about What To Do on Paros and more posts in the category Activities

Coronavirus Will Create Nomads


leather accessories with Shepherd's plaid
This photo by Pedro Araujo is me in so many ways, especially the “Shepherd plaid”.

Since the first day of covid 19 lockdowns the media has been full of predictions about the changes taking place–will they be permanent or will people revert to their old ways as soon as possible?

Generally, I tend to believe people will return to in-store shopping and go back to their offices and abandon most Zoom-type meetings. Yet, for many that have seen how easy it is to be productive when isolated, new horizons will appear. That is, my perennial theme: work from home at the beach.

December 2020 Update: This trend is booming! Free month in Greece and more at Digital Nomads in Demand

It was gratifying to see that the Airbnb corporate officers agree with me. In the printed materials for their Initial Public Offering they wrote:

“We believe that the lines between travel and living are blurring, and the global pandemic has accelerated the ability to live anywhere. Our platform has proven adaptable to serve these new ways of traveling.
…we believe that as the world recovers from this pandemic, Airbnb will be a vital source of economic empowerment for millions of people.”

In other words, as some people flee the inner cities for country tranquility others will seek the excitement of an active social life in the heart of cultural cities, even in other countries. The number of global nomads will grow greatly over the next few years, I predict.

Further several countries agree with me. Here is from BudgetAir U.K.:

Several countries around the world have launched remote work visas for foreigners in efforts to stimulate their economies.

Antigua and Barbuda
Cayman Islands

United Arab Emirates

Truly, the world is your oyster.

Expatriate Lifestyle & Global Nomads contains my definitions and descriptions of these terms.

Check out the book in the header photo: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich

Medical Tourism — Surgery on the Beach?

Last year you were probably watching and reading about the Motion Picture Academy’s Oscars and missed the first ever Medical Travel Awards by the International Medical Travel Journal.  Yes, medical tourism is big business and now has its own awards show.  What country would you guess to win Destination of the Year?  . . . Wrong!  The winner was Jordan.  You might stand a better chance at the Excellence in Customer Service category; the winner was Apollo Health City in India, the call center capital of the world.

Update Spoiler:  This article is a reprint so facts and figures are out of date.  I don’t think that matters because if you need medical help you have to do your own research anyway. Also, of course, the coronavirus travel restrictions have to be taken into account in your specific planning.

Davinci robotic surgery system
robotic surgery system

Medical tourism is truly a global growth industry.  Thailand and Malaysia have been known for years to have world class hospitals and doctors for those with champagne taste and a beer budget.  But did you know the major hospital in the Dominican Republic has bought a new Davinci robotic surgery system and is now the mecca for prostate treatments.  By the way, if you don’t like my use of the lower case mecca, Iran has a growing medical tourism business from Muslim countries.  It seems it not only has better facilities and doctors than many of its neighbors but it is more stable as well(after all everything is relative).  Or if you prefer, Dubai is gaining a lot of medical business due to its position as a regional and intercontinental airlines hub.

For potential patients from developed countries cost is a major driving factor and enjoying the beaches, scenery and food is secondary. Nearly any procedure that can be scheduled is cheaper at these destinations.  A knee replacement costs $35,000 in America, $20,000 in Singapore, $12,000 in Thailand and $10,000 in Costa Rica, according to medical consultants, Patients Beyond Borders. The European Union has been seeking uniformity for over fifty years yet a hip replacement cost $4,000 less in Spain than in England and I would bet the food is better as well.

Of course, there are drawbacks to flying coach when you are ill.  Many people who can manage the price of local treatment prefer to stay close to home.  They are close to family and friends and have known recourse if something goes wrong.  Understanding the dialects of nurses and doctors can be a comfort as well, even if these days many western hospitals are staffed with foreign nationals.

Previously I wrote about the Russians visiting the spas of the Czech Republic.  It turns out that an increasing number of Brits are taking the short hop to Prague for essential procedures such as breast implants.  That enhancement in a modern Czech clinic with an English speaking doctor costs about half what it would in the U.K.

Asian relaxing spa treatment

Malaysia has long been a popular medical tourism destination for the Chinese and now South Korea is gaining ground as well.  Thailand is not content to let these upstarts take their business.  The Tourism Authority there has launched a marketing campaign that invites people from all over the world to compete for places in a reality show, Thailand Extreme Makeover.  Yes, your before and after pictures, as well as everything in between, can be on international television.

While this report has been somewhat tongue in cheek, our health or lack of it is serious business.  As quality of care decreases, including the insidious practice of requiring specialists for even common procedures such as prostrate exam—my recent experience—and costs correspondingly increase; it behooves everyone to apply the same principles to purchasing medical care as to a new smart phone—shop around.

P.S. This post is a little off topic; I have more like it on my Travel Shepherd site.



One of the aspects of living on a Greek island is that each winter the island gets smaller and smaller. Which brings on the psychological disorder commonly known as island fever. Fortunately, the cure is readily at hand –travel.

One of our most memorable winter trips was to Turkey and included the ancient Greek city of Ephesus. Which by the way is predominately Roman in that the extensive and elaborate ruins that are seen today were all built by the Romans after they took charge in 129 B.C.

The nearest town is Selçuk with a history of its own so there is much to see including the tomb of John the Apostle and Mother Mary’s House. We arrived there from Istanbul by way of ferry, train and minibus. The latter from İzmir, the Turkish rendering of the original Greek name Smyrna, which is Turkey’s third largest city.

Hotel Bella, Selcuk

We stayed at the small Hotel Bella which was run like a personable B & B with roof-top dining and included a carpet shop. We really enjoyed having tea while listening to the proprietor tell us about his buying trips into the mountain villages, each with their own style of carpet. Too bad we can’t remember which one made our small rug that is now a family heirloom.

Our host also gave us a lift to and from the Ephesus site and recommended this place for lunch.

Seven Sleepers Restaurant
Making our pancakes

The Ephesus site itself is very intriguing because it is so much more intact and detailed than your typical ancient Greek ruins—Knossos excepted.

Ephesus entryway
Ephesus theatre
Ephesus theatre
Library of Celsus
Library of Celsus
detail of Celsus library
Highlighted detail of library
Communal toilets

One way to tell an ancient Greek ruin from an ancient Roman one is the plumbing. Another is by the statuary; here is one artist’s interpretation of the main Ephesus street at its zenith as a Roman city.

More of Ephesus reconstruction at virtualreconstuction.com

The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was one of the most important structures in the Roman Empire. There’s little left here but signs to help you can imagine the size and power of the temple. One of its claims to fame is in the origin of the word herostratic after the guy who burned it down so he would have a claim to fame. Read the story here

artist rendering of Temple of Artemis by Stella

current Artemis site by Simon Jenkins
Artemis statue with bull's balls and other symbolism
Artemis: Bull’s balls bust

The Ephesus Archaeological Museum has an extensive collection of well preserved artifacts that help one imagine when Ephesus was a large and vibrant city. Plus it’s all in the shade.

There are numerous statues from the Temple of Artemis as well as other artifacts found there such as rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and the inevitable pottery. Also on display are furniture and room décor from the luxury Terrace Houses that you see at the site.

Within this region of Turkey there are other ancient Greek sites to visit. Read More

As I wrote earlier Selçuk and environs have many interesting sites, many within walking distance. If you are lucky, you may experience a local festival such as the one this school band was preparing for.

school band rehearsal
Marching band practice

Selcuk street lamp sculpture
Selçuk street lamp

Finally we returned to Paros by way of Kuşadası, Samos, and Patmos. A journey worth another post . . .

Kusadasi behind Turkish flag
Good-bye Turkey

Changing to Greek flag on ferry
Hello Greece

Make It Happen


Motivational quotes for the entrepreneur

“Don’t worry about being successful, but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.”

— Oprah

Inspirational Business Quotes provided by Solo Build It! Blog

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