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Travels with Loizos

Travels with Loizos

Besides being a Manager in KPMG’s Advisory Services department, Loizos Vasiliou enjoys spending his free time doing what most people can only dream of – travelling the world. He inherited the travel ‘bug’, as he calls it, from his parents at the age of six when he first started discovering the Greek islands and, to this day, he still manages to travel once or twice a month, either for business or pleasure.

 

Following his childhood summer holidays on cruise ships travelling to the Greek islands and Europe, Loizos Vasiliou admits that the travel ‘bug’ grew into a ‘virus’ when the Erasmus+ programme came into his life. “Making friends all over Europe through the training courses and youth exchanges simply meant that I had a place to sleep as well as a smile in every city I went to,” he says, adding that this made travelling itself more interesting: “You get to explore the history of a place through the eyes of a local person.”

When asked about his best travel experience so far, he does not hesitate to say that Austria is definitely a winner, leaving behind other beautiful places such as Singapore, Dubai and the Croatian seaside. “Nothing can compete with a weekend at a national park hidden away in Austrian mountains. The breathtaking scenery, as you hike up 1,800 metres to jump into an ice cold lake, enjoying a warm shot of Schnapps and a delicious Austrian desert makes the experience truly unique,” he says, adding that “Waking up in the wild forest with nothing but a lake and mountain in front of you is the ultimate relaxation.”

On the other hand, he admits to having had a few relatively bad travel experiences, often related to the cold weather and missing trains. “In Salamanca for example, during the train ride to the airport, the combination of the broken heating of the train, the snow outside and a broken window in our wagon meant that we almost froze to death! And then in Helsinki and Liverpool” he continues, “I lost track of time while partying with friends and ended up waiting at stations for hours in the middle of the night in order to catch the next train.”

When travelling with friends though, all the difficult situations encountered during trips appear trivial and part of the fun. He explains that this is why he prefers travelling with a friend and does not like organised trips. And even when he decides to travel alone, he has friends all over the world, who are always happy to join him for a walk or a coffee.

 

As regards airlines, Vasiliou says that even though the Gulf airlines such as Qatar Airways and Emirates have the ‘coolest’ airplanes, Aegean is his favourite, mainly due to the friendly staff who show genuine interest in their passengers.

He reveals that his favourite international destination is Thailand, mainly due to “the happiness on people’s faces” while he also shares with Gold his experience of staying at a very impressive hotel: “What I enjoyed most when I stayed at a luxury 50-floor hotel was the infinity pool overlooking the city. I was so overwhelmed by the view that I decided to go for a swim with friends at 3 in the morning. Let’s just say that the security guards were not very happy about that!”

Explaining how he manages to keep a balance at work when travelling so often, he says, “Travelling relaxes me, gives me the push I need to get on with the projects I have at work and get them done. Everyone’s mind needs some rest, especially in the dynamic and demanding environment we work in so I tend to take that rest on small breaks. Taking three days annual leave combined with a weekend can get you a good five days travelling, rather than taking two full weeks in the summer. I manage my projects in order to be punctual at work so I can travel when I want.”

According to Loizos Vasiliou, travel lets you discover life. “Travelling means learning new cultures and opening up your mind, exploring new lands and places that belong to humanity and not countries” which is why he never stops dreaming of his next possible destinations. “I would love to visit Victoria Falls one day,” he concludes, “a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, ideal for bungee jumping!”

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