Γειά σας! Hello to you!
I’m Marialena Michanetzi and I welcome you to my humble web-based home!
What’s my story?
I was born and raised in Athens, Greece in 1994. When I was 10 years old my parents, younger brother and I moved to Virginia in the United States, where we spent a year. That was my first time living abroad, the first time I really started to learn English and overall the first life-changing shock to my system. After returning to Athens and living there for 8 years, my family made the radical decision to move permanently to Melbourne, Australia. This was where my mother had been born to Greek immigrant parents in the ‘60s. Fast forward about 5 decades, inside 2012’s heart of the Greek financial crisis, we packed our lives and our Australian passports and made the big move. Long story short, here I am today, sitting in a cosy, hipster Melbourne café, finding the courage to finally start my beloved blog.
Thanks to my parents’ profession (they were both Officers in the Hellenic Navy), I was lucky to be exposed to some international travel as a child. Not only that, my parents were away working in different countries every now and again, each year. I learned to have an appreciation for exploring the world, for not being afraid to head off to new adventures and to want to understand nature, the world and other people.
Fun facts about me:
- I’m a travel addict (no curing that travel bug)
- I have an appreciation for good food and really enjoy cooking
- I love a good book. I like to experiment with a diversity of authors and writing styles.
- I’m a science gal. When I was 10 I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist, which later evolved into a desire to study and understand all life and unravel the secrets of genetics
- I have a bachelor’s degree in science (genetics) and a master’s in science (bioinformatics)
- Confession: I’m not very good with computers and simple machines but find the intersection of computer science and biology fascinating
- I love public speaking and think it’s a form of art
- I am a history and international relations enthusiast and often watch war docos in my spare time
- I adore dogs
- I love nature and the outdoors, mainly hiking
- I have the cutest little mini Fox Terrier doggie. His name is Aris, like the ancient Greek God of War (I call him Dog of War). You’ll be seeing a lot of him here.
About this Blog
I’ve had the itch to start my own blog for a while now. I see it as a way to have an online presence, to connect with the world and to have a voice on topics I’m passionate about. This is the new hobby that I’ve been longing for and a great way to improve my writing abilities. It’s also an excellent excuse to experiment with photography (which I love) and hence all the photographs shown in the blog are my own, or of me (or the odd dog meme).
Why “Looking for Ithaca”?
One of the most significant literary works of all time is the Odyssey, the ancient Greek epic poem composed by the legendary author Homer towards the end of the 8th century BC. It narrates the 10-year long journey of Odysseas, the King of the Greek island of Ithaca (Ithaki), to return to his home and family after a long and painful war in Troy.
I see the story of Odysseas as a symbol for looking for and finding each of our own “Ithaca”, whatever this may mean that we’re looking for. In this space, my aim is to share stories from my travels, as well as ideas and advice from the life experiences and wisdom that I have culminated so far over the years. In the process of looking for and finding my own “Ithaca”, we will discover new places, great food, little moments of joy and useful advice together.
Καλωσήρθατε! Welcome! Xx
Υ.Γ.: Ευχαριστούμε τον σπουδαίο Κωσταντίνο Καβάφη γιατί το έχει πει καλύτερα από όλους μας το 1911: