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Olivia Typaldos

I am half-Greek and have been traveling to Greece both alone and with friends and family for my entire life. My approach to travel is one of openness -- I plan how to get from one destination to another but leave my days open once I'm there to allow for unexpected experiences and surprises. As a female and member of the LGBTQ community, I also use safety as a driving force in my travels since I frequently travel alone and want to find interesting, off-the-beaten-path spaces for queer people and others.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Greece is like a second home to me as I have gone there once a year for the past 15 years. I've visited a number of Greek islands (I try to go to a new one every time I visit) and done several solo road trips on the Peloponnese and some of the larger islands (Crete, Lesbos). I specialize in finding gay activities that aren't centered around partying or bar culture."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I started traveling to Greece when I was a kid as I would spend summers with my Greek grandparents in Patras. My love of travel evolved further in high school when I spent my summers abroad in Spanish-speaking countries in order to become fluent in Spanish. I have always found travel to be a way of connecting with myself via solitude, the experience of beauty in the world, and unexpected relationships with people I meet along the way. I've always felt most like myself while traveling and that's part of the reason I prefer to do it alone."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"When I was 22-years-old, I walked the Camino de Santiago alone. It was 500 miles from the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia. It was at once the most difficult and easiest trip of my life, one that changed my life as I realized I was gay at the end of it. Even without that realization, it would have changed my life as I experienced a country in an entirely new way, learned to communicate with people from all areas of life, and had encounters and moments that feel as rich now as they did ten years ago when I did it. I dream of walking the Camino again, perhaps on a different route."

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