At 54, he probably is the most traveled Greek. At least, we don't know anybody else to have visited all 194 countries, using 33 passports, to make this accomplishment.


What's the first thing you do upon arrival at a new destination?

I follow an almost military routine: the central place, the market, a hill. Especially, in places unaccounted for from a tourist point of view, as Djamena in Chad, I seek the city center (sometimes not existing), the market, and an eminence, to orientate myself.

Why do we travel?


For the same reason we read. To satisfy our curiosity and our senses (our perception).To educate ourselves.

What makes a destination interesting?

People are the raison d'etre of a journey, especially nowadays, when things tend to become similar all over the world. People make unique the Sunday market of Kashgar in west China, where 50 different tribes gather together, or remote pockets in Africa, where men are clad in sheepskins and women are bare breasted, as testimony to their reproductive ability. In those parts a fully covered woman means a sick woman!

You force me... So, in which country live the most lovable women?


The most erotic women belong to the Himba tribe of north Namibia, in southwest Africa. Classic beauties, which would crowd the model agencies in Paris, had they lived there!

What's the biggest mistake a traveler can make?


To demand from a place to adjust to his needs, rather than the opposite.

When does a trip become unpleasant?

When I have problems with the authorities. In Central Africa I was arrested for wandering in a market, considered diamond bearing area, for which a special permit from the Ministry of Mineral was necessary. in Congo, because I was sightseeing the river which makes the frontier with formal Zair. But, most of the times, you get arrested in order to give them some pocket-money.

You have accumulated images from all over the world. How does reality strike you when you come back to Athens?


I consider Athens part of the universal folklore. I tolerate her. I feel a traveler even in Greece.

What you say holds solitude?

I forwent many things, in order to be able to travel. This is the reason why I have really no close friends, friendship presupposes your physical presence as well, not only your esteem, or good-will.

What do you pack first?

I always start with the necessary documents. If you have your passport, your ticket and money - the rest is easy. When I travel on my own, I seldom carry a suitcase. Even a photo camera can get you into trouble.

What did you learn from your travels that you wouldn't learn otherwise?

That you must be ready to die at any moment and be at peace with yourself. Of course, I make plans for the future. But, on the other hand, I believe we must learn to live as if we'll die the next day. What you need to do, do it, if it harms not other people, don't postpone it.

Where did you see the most beautiful sunrise?

In northwest Himalayas, in India. The atmosphere is exceptionally limpid, and the colours staggering.

What is the best part of the trip? Landing, take-off, or developing the taken pictures?

Take-off! The moment you leave behind everything, and what you planned starts unfolding...

What is the most magic place you ever visited?

Antarctica, by far. I went there and felt I might even stop traveling. The feeling of floating slowly in iced surroundings, the stillness, the absence of humans, makes Antarctica the superlative of places and senses. I came back overwhelmed by my feelings.

Next destinations?

Some remote islands: Kerguelen, the "Grand Canyon" of south Indian Ocean, Santa Helena, where Napoleon lived in exile, and Pitcairn, where ended the Bounty mutiny.

After so many travels, did you discover paradise on Earth?

No, and, deep inside, I don't wish to. In the long run, paradise is a place we make or leave...

Reporter: Elias Siakandaris
Journal: HOMME. August, 2004