Greek woman in Belgrade: Travel is her life

Ah, those trips. We all plan them for months, daydream at work about exotic destinations. Think about the moment when we will set foot on the "unknown" soil and enjoy the natural beauty and charm of other cultures… Now imagine that you do that for living? That is what is like for Niki Bozionelou, Greek and travel blogger residing in Belgrade.

Tara Tomovic Source: superzena.b92.net

When did you start blogging? Do you remember the moment when you realized you wanted love for traveling to be your job?

I started my blog one and a half years ago, although I was working on the project for a year before it went public. I don’t really think there was a specific moment. One thing led to another and now here I am doing what I love and getting paid for it (or at least getting freebies). To be honest, sometimes it is tiring, because you “HAVE” to travel. Yet, I can’t really complain!

Where have you been since you started doing this? What was your favorite trip?

I have been to Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro, UK (London), USA (New York), Turkey, Italy, Slovakia, France, Austria, Monaco, Scotland, Netherlands/Holland, Ukraine, Romania, Bosnia, Czech Republic and…. Serbia & Greece of course – I live between the two! It is hard to pick just one – the world is a very beautiful place! Every time I visit a new destination I get excited so…

My latest trip and an overall great experience was Kotor. I fell in love with the Old Town and generally the vibe of the city and my hosts there. But also Greece and Serbia, even if they are both like home, they manage to fascinate me every time with their natural beauty and the diverse sceneries.

Describe us one busy day in your life? How do you pick next destination?

Almost every day is a busy day! It’s the curse that follows every working woman (laugh)! Every day I wake up, I reply to emails, update the blog’s social media, schedule the next post, talk with my team, upload/choose photos, work ‘behind the scenes’, mostly boring stuff that has to do with numbers etc. And then of course... Be a good wife! Clean the house, cook, do laundry, walk the dog and try to look nice for my hubby. Thank God for Sunday - It’s my day off (when I’m not traveling). I try not to touch my phone.

I have a list of the places I want to visit and depending on how much free time I have, I plan my next destination. For a European city, I don’t need more than 3-4 days but for some exotic destinations that I have in mind, I need minimum 7 days. And it’s not only me…. At least another member of my team has to be able to follow. Welcome to my first world problems!

You are not alone in this, right?

I am very lucky to have an amazing group of talented people who believe in NIKOZA as much as I do and help make all this possible. Gosh, where do I begin! Pompeo, my Italian partner who was there from day 1. He is the ‘behind the scenes’ guy and he helped me create this dream. Ivona, my other blogger who writes, edits and translates; she is a genius and a very talented writer.

Ana, the most talented Belgrade based photographer. We started collaborating recently and her photos take the blog to the next level. George, my cousin from Chicago and Vanessa from England. They both help me with editing and make me sound better. Finally, Alex, my loving husband who is my biggest supporter and my absolute rock – without him, I don’t think I could cope! I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to all of them.

So, what brings you to Belgrade?

Well… Belgrade brings me to Belgrade! This city is amazing. I am in love with it. I love its people. I am flattered of how they treat me as a Greek and how much they love us (Greeks). This goes both ways, by the way! The architecture of Stari Grad and Vracar and the history of this city are captivating. Also, my husband is Serbian and I really wanted to be here and connect with his routes and culture.

Do you like it here? Where do you enjoy in Belgrade the most?

As mentioned above, “like” wouldn’t do justice to my feelings. I genuinely adore Belgrade. You’ll find me in Dorcol mostly, where I live, wandering around with Kiara (my dog), taking pictures of the buildings, visiting different pet-friendly cafes and having this silly smile in my face because still, 5 months later, I haven’t realized that this city is my home now, and I still feel like a tourist! Then of course, every sunny day, Kalemegdan, the most beautiful park of Eastern Europe, is my standard destination.

Since you come from one of the most beautiful countries in the world, do feel nostalgic sometimes?

Thank you for the compliment! I agree with you, Greece is indeed one of the most beautiful countries, but for vacation only! I enjoy living in Serbia more. But yes, I do feel nostalgic; I miss my family and some good friends. But hey, it’s just 1 ½ hr direct flight. I can get there anytime!

Next stop?

I will go to Greece soon to visit my family, but my next BIG trip will be Morocco. I am also planning Russia for June.

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