“We need very little to be really happy” and other life lessons learned sailing the Greek Islands

written by Intrepid Travel March 20, 2018

UPDATED: This blog was originally published on April 21, 2015. 

Giorgos leads an interesting life. His job is to take a rag-tag bunch of travellers, put them on a 50-foot single-hulled yacht and sail them across the Aegean Sea (preferably into some sort of dramatic sunset).

He’s an Intrepid sailing skipper. His beat runs from Mykonos all the way to the white walls of Santorini, including secret coves and little inlets on Naxos, the Cyclades, Ios and Amorgos.

And along with an encyclopaedic knowledge of nautical jargon, knot-tying skills, and a killer tan, he’s picked up a few life lessons on his voyages. It’s probably something to do with all that fresh air and the wide-open spaces: they tend to expand the mind.

Sailing -

For those playing at home, Giorgos is the tanned fellow lying in front.

We sat down with Giorgos to ask him about life on an Intrepid sailing adventure. This is the wisdom he shared with us.

1. Life should be simple

A tavern in Mykonos

Photo by Pawel Kazmierczak, Shutterstock

“For a sailing voyage, it pays to pack lightly. You need very little on board to pass the week. And that’s actually a good lesson for life in general. We need very little to be really happy. A sailing trip could be a good way to try out a ‘simple’ life. Come with an open mind and positive energy, be yourself and dive into the experience. The feeling is awesome.”


2. Friendliness is next to godliness

Santorini at dusk

Photo by Neirfy, Shutterstock

Greece is what I’d call an ‘open’ destination. mostly for the open-minded nature of the Greeks. Having developed our instincts and emotions through centuries sandwiched between East and West, the Greek locals all have an open hug full of pride and authenticity. There aren’t a lot of countries in the world where you’ll find the local tavern owner sitting with you around the table and asking questions about your life (and then drinking raki with you and dancing). It’s a direct expression of feeling which is missing from many northern countries, but it’s just part of Greek nature.”

3. The ocean brings people together

Ionian Sea, Greece

Photo by Hannu Viitanen, Thinkstock

“This is what I call the ‘Magic of sailing’. On the sailboat there is no social ‘escape’, so the group dynamic develops in a very different way. It goes from forming to performing in a day or two, something that’s much more difficult on a land-based tour. I remind people that what remains at the end of the experience is actually that beautiful and intense feeling of sharing the place with new friends.”


4. Home is where the stomach is


Photo by Lana Moon, Shutterstock

“When most people are asked after the trip what they remember most about Greece, they’ll often say: ‘It is the first time I tasted a real tomato’. Good food all starts with fresh, raw produce. Greece is a country that thrives on small scale agriculture – the mountains and arid landscape doesn’t really permit any large scale development. So having local, organic fresh vegetables and fruits is part of our daily life. There is a strong family culture here; family meals are very important. And it’s OK to eat a bit more for a week or two. We live life once.”


5. Everyone should have a secret

“What’s the best kept secret in the Greek Islands? You’ll have to come on board to find out.”

The secret can be yours. All you have to do is sign up for one of our Greek Island sailing adventures


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