Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
Even though I have recently returned from three weeks of sick leave after my shoulder operation, I think I need a few weeks or months off for a proper holiday.
I have suddenly got itchy feet and the travel bug after being in contact with my 20-year-old son, who is on a Greek island, working his butt off – but at the end of a month will earn almost as much as I take home!
Yes, it’s nice earning euros, or pounds or dollars, but it does come with some some blood, sweat and tears.
He’s got a job working at a villa on a remote island in the Cyclades area of the Aegean Sea. It’s called Schinoussa.
I, and everyone I’ve spoken to, have never heard of it.
Even the owner of Durban’s best Greek restaurant, Maria Teranes of Delfi in Lillian Ngoyi (Windermere) Road, was unaware of it when I visited her establishment to enjoy another great meal on Saturday night.
Of course, as soon as I heard word that he was venturing forth into the unknown, I googled it and there it was.
It is apparently one of the last unspoilt and touristy islands around and is about a one- or two-hour ferry ride from the most famous and boisterous islands in Greece – Mykonos.
Schinoussa is just the opposite. It is only 8km2, has no banks or chemists or garages and has only 220 permanent residents (and plenty of sheep and goats).
The scenery looks stunning, with the deep blue sea, lovely beaches, sandy walkways and little villages with tavernas and shops, but a minimum of nightlife, unlike most Greek islands.
As I said, he is sweating big time for his shekels, working a 16-hour day which one day last week turned into a 23-hour day with just one hour’s sleep before he was back at work, bartendering, cleaning up and working at this villa, which he describes as Roman-Greek architecture with beautiful marble finishes.
This is his third gap year after working in London, then sailing in the south of France and now on the Greek islands.
This voyage of adventure has my full support, but my American-based sister and I enjoyed a lively debate the other night when she said that he must soon choose a proper career and get a degree at a university.
I argued that because he does not really know what he wants to do for the rest of his life, I was not going to spend money on a degree only to have him to pull out after a year.
I have heard too many stories about parents ploughing in money only for their kids to drop out.
No, I said to sister, in this way he’s learning from the University of Life (I know it’s a cliché , but it’s true), and doing things most people wished they had done when they were young.
He has learnt to work hard, he has often run out of money and literally not eaten at times, and then when the going is good, has splashed out and partied the night away in some glamorous spots in Monte Carlo, Nice, Antibes and St Tropez in the south of France.
Of course I understand my sister’s views, but I think I won some of the debate when I told her he would eventually settle down and she must stop fretting.
He has about 50 years of his life to go, so what is wrong in taking time off to see the world and get a true perspective of how things work, and how hard graft and long hours do bring rewards?
So, while he enjoys life on this remote island and plans to go to others once this contract is over, all I can do it sit here in Durbs and envy his experiences.
We all have different ideas about our children’s education and what they should do after their schooldays are over.
I would like to know what my loyal (or casual) readers think of my views.
Drop me an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
I think it’s a good talking point.