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Born and raised in Athens, Maria always had a thing for languages and this is why she studied English & Greek Language & Literature, while she also speaks Italian and Spanish fluently. After working as an English teacher for years, she decided to focus on her true passion: travel. In 2018, Maria co-founded a travel website that focuses on photography and responsible travel and a year later she started working as a freelance travel writer and content creator. Since 2020, she is also the voice - and as of late the face - of a YouTube channel focused on travel, too. Maria loves to be surrounded by like-minded people, such as fellow travel content creators or travelers at heart, and one of her guilty pleasures is SEO. Both these traits render Maria the perfect fit for the JayWay family.

What's your favorite thing about traveling?

What I love about traveling the most is getting to know diverse cultures, meeting people from all four corners of the world, tasting their tastes, and learning their history, not through books but by stepping on the very lands that have seen all of these past events unfold.

Why do you think it's important to travel?

The more we travel, the easier it becomes to understand that we have a lot in common with other people and cultures. That there's more to unite us than divide us. In this way, travel is the ultimate weapon against prejudice and discrimination of any kind, the fastest and most reliable path to world peace.

What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

The perfect vacation should be a combination of warm weather, beach time, hiking, good food, novels, and crosswords.

What's the best place you've ever visited and why?

Italy has a special place in my heart because beauty is the driving force for everything there.

What do you consider to be your best finds from your travels and where was it?

As I suffer from caffeine sensitivity, I'd say caffè d'orzo (barley coffee) in Italy.

What destination is at the top of your must-visit list?

It was, is, and - until I finally get there - will be Cuba.

What's something you always bring with you when you travel?

A novel, even though I know for a fact that I will hardly have enough time to read a couple of pages.

Best advice for travelers to Europe?

Travel as slowly as you can, and don't pack too many places in just a few days. It's better to get to know one or two destinations well and then come back for more than to plan a rushed itinerary. Check out the must-see attractions but always make time to visit the lesser-known villages, eat at the hidden restaurants only locals know of, and watch life go by wherever it is you're traveling to.

Mountains or beaches? Why?

Beaches, wholeheartedly, beaches. Because nothing can soothe me or make me happy the way the sound of the waves and the scent of the sea can.

Planes, trains, or automobiles? How do you like to travel and why?

It depends on the destination. I prefer traveling by plane for long distances, but I never say no to the occasional train or ferry ride. I'm also a great fan of road trips as long as there's epic scenery involved and I'm staying away from highways.

How do you manage pre-trip stress/anxiety and/or unexpected situations during your travels?

I tackle pre-trip stress by triple-checking everything in advance. As for unexpected situations while on the road, I try to keep calm and think things over until I find the best workaround.

What were your reasons for choosing to work in travel? And what value do you see in it?

I've come to realize that, of all the jobs I've done in my life, working in the travel industry is the only one that doesn't make me want to go back to sleep in the morning, reluctant to start yet another boring day. Because when you're passionate about what you do, it can never be boring. Moreover, working in travel makes me feel I'm doing something utterly worthwhile. There's no better feeling than to know that you help others fulfill their travel dreams!

What’s something you’ve been meaning to try, but haven’t got around to yet?

Cycling (don't laugh).

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