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Greece, Hotel/Accommodation, Travel

Santa Maria Village Milos, Greece

October 7, 2019

Finding a place to stay on a Greek Island is pretty easy especially during the off-season but finding a place that is comfortable, has an incredible view with amazing staff is more difficult to find. This is what I found when I stay at Santa Maria Village in Milos, Greece. Please note that this stay was complimentary but all views are my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Location

Normally in one of these hotel review posts, I don’t cover the location first, but the location made this hotel. Not because it was close to anything but because of the views from the hotel. From the pool, the hotel faces west and you can see the port town of Adamas, Milos. It also means the sunsets from here are stunning. Watch the sunset till it gets dark as it changes as the sun dips further down.

Sunset from the Santa Maria Village Hotel

Milos is a narrow island at some points and because of Santa Maria’s location, you can also see the sunrise. The best place to see the sunrise is from right in front of the door to reception.

The hotel is a short drive away from the port and you can walk it if you don’t mind a small hill. One night, after we had dropped off our rental car we walked back and it was pretty easy and most of the path was lit.

View of Adamas from Santa Maria Village Hotel

The Room

The room size was good. My friend and I shared a room and they had set it up with two twin beds. It even had a twin bed that acted as a sofa. I ended up sleeping on the sofa as it was a bit softer than the regular bed. While the room wasn’t updated, it was comfortable and there was a new air conditioning unit. There was plenty of space for two people.

Santa Maria Village

Our room overlooked a garden area and had a patio to sit on. It was very quiet, which I loved. Our room was across from the pool so we had easy access to it without the pool noise.

The Facilities

All of the Santa Maria Village hotel was beautiful and the pool was outstanding. It was large and very clean. There was plenty of poolside seating. Even though the hotel did not have a restaurant, the poolside bar offered sandwiches and pizza.

Pool at Santa Maria Village Hotel

Breakfast was served in the lobby area with seating outside under the pergola. It was a lovely setting. The breakfast itself was great. Lots of options including eggs, pastries, deli meat and cakes. We had to leave before breakfast was served but it was ready and they welcomed us to take some things with us.

There is also a spa, which we did not have the chance to use the spa but we spoke to someone who used it and they said it was great. They mostly only offer massages but you could also get your nails done.

You need a car to properly explore Milos and you would need one to get to and from this hotel. However, the quiet location and views made it worth it to me and I would definitely return.

Want to book the Santa Maria Village hotel, click here for rates.

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Sunset over the pool

Travel

Communion Coworking in Richardson, Texas Review

September 30, 2019
Communion Coworking Space

While I was living in Texas, I needed a coworking space to work from as living at my parents means noise and kids in the summer. I was going to a local coffee shop, but their internet was not good enough to work from. After doing some research, I decided to try out a place in Richardson, which is only about a 15-minute drive from my parent’s house. The space is called Communion Neighborhood Cooperative. It has a restaurant, coffee shop and coworking space.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Many of the working spaces in Dallas are too far from my parent’s house or charge too much for the monthly fee. The first time I went, they were under significant construction and didn’t charge me for the day pass, which I thought was really nice. I went back for another day pass try when the construction was less and decided to sign up for a membership.

Communion Coworking

The coworking space at Communion is large and very modern. Communion used to be a car repair garage! You can still see some remnants of the old car garage in the coworking space.

There are plenty of large tables to work at with extra power spots to plug into. The wifi is really fast and I never had an issue with connectivity even with all of us being on the same network.

Communion Coworking

The Communion Coworking monthly membership entitles you to use private spaces as well for free. You just have to book them using the online reservation system. With the membership, you can access the coworking space any time during the week but not on the weekends. You can print, have access to the kitchen and there is unlimited coffee!

You can get a day pass as well. With the day pass, you can access the coworking space from 8-5 pm. You also get the added benefit of free coffee. You can’t get into the private spaces but there are some free telephone booth style desks if you need to take a phone call.

Communion Coworking

There is outside space in the back that is only accessible to the people using the coworking space. It is a nice place to take a break, play some foosball or practice your golf on the small putting green.

If you want a permanent desk, they have some options for that as well.

I loved working at Communion! The staff are friendly, the space is great and I met many other people coworking there. I actually miss going there every day. I got so much work done there as well. The only downside for me was that almost everyone working there worked for a company and was not freelance. It meant many people were working with other people already in the space and there was not so much networking going on. I still enjoyed it though.

As of fall 2019, the prices for coworking is $25 for a day pass, $250 for a monthly open space desk and $450 for a dedicated desk. The $250 is the best deal for open coworking in Dallas I have found. A large chain coworking space charges $370 in Dallas!

Communion Coffee

As I mentioned before, there was construction going on as I joined. This was because they were building a new coffee shop in front of the coworking space. The coffee shop was inside the restaurant before.

Communion Coffee Shop

Now the coffee shop is separate and provides much more space for people looking to have a coffee only and not have to sit for a whole meal. The coffee is great and the new space looks fabulous. It was already the best coffee shop in Richardson and it is even better now!

Communion Neighborhood Restaurant

The restaurant is wonderful. It is a casual place but with an elegant feel. All the food I had was amazing. I recommend the Coffee Rubbed Brisket Taco! The menu does change but usually, the staples are always available. The service is outstanding as well. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. On the weekends, they serve brunch as well.

Communion Restaurant in Richardson

In addition to the coffee shop, restaurant and coworking space, they have added a barbershop so you can get a haircut during a work break.

I absolutely love Communion and can’t wait to visit the next time I am back in Dallas. If you are looking for a coworking space in Dallas, this is your place!

 

 

Travel

Lazy Monk World Scratch Off World Map Review

September 23, 2019
Lazy Monk Scratch Off World Map

Recently I was gifted a Lazy Monk Scratch Off World MapLazy Monk Scratch Off World Map and while I don’t always do these, I have really wanted one of these scratch off world maps for a while now. Even though I was gifted this item, all opinions are my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

What’s Inside

The map arrives in a long tube that is branded and looks great. If you were giving this as a gift, you would not need to wrap it at all. My map came from Amazon so arrived inside a box, which meant there was no sticker on the tube itself.

Inside the tube, the map was well packaged and taped so it didn’t unroll during shipping. The map also had a tissue on the inside so the scratch-off parts would not get worn.

In addition to the map, it came with a pen, a guitar pick scratcher, eraser, brochure and a luggage tag. Unfortunately, in my haste to pack for Greece the luggage tag was left in the tube. My parents confirmed that the luggage tag was inside the tube and somehow, I just missed getting it out. My Dad was nice enough to take a photo of it for me so you can see it.

Lazy Monk luggage tag

The Map

Obviously, the map is the main part of this product. The paper it is on is thick and seems to be of high quality. It did not rip when I was scratching off the countries. The biggest problem was that I needed to let it lay flat with books on top of it before it would not roll up on me while scratching off. Which wouldn’t be a problem if I was patient!

Lazy Monk World Scratch Off Map

Scratching the countries or flags off is pretty easy with the guitar scratcher. I don’t recommend doing all the scratching at once as your hand will get tired. The scratching is easy with the guitar pick but not so easy with the eraser.

Some of the countries I have been to are so small they don’t show up well on the map, so I was glad to see a place to scratch off flags as well. Although, the Turks and Caicos Islands were not on the map or the flags so that was a bit disappointing. You can also scratch off continents, which is definitely great if you are looking to travel to all the continents. I can see the map is very colorful once you scratch it off so I can’t wait to visit more places so I can see what is underneath.

If you are going to hang this, make sure you put it in a place that you can reach it to still be able to scratch it off.

I absolutely love this map and it would be a great gift for a traveler or anyone who enjoys maps.

 

 

Travel

Applying for A Greek National Visa

September 9, 2019
Applying a Greek National Visa

Since my first trip to Greece, I dreamed of moving there. But like many European countries, it is hard for a person from the United States to move to Greece. At the time, I was still working in Qatar and had no idea how I could move to Greece without a job or speaking Greek. I started to do research and realized that Greece has a National Visa. This is informally known as a long-stay visa in Greece and many other European countries.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Each country has its own rules about issuing a long-stay visa or national visa. It was not clear on the Greece website what the requirements were and I couldn’t find any articles about it. The rules changed even after I inquired the first time, so I hope this article will help someone else with the Greece National Visa process. Please keep in mind that I am from the US and the rules might be different in another country.

The Process

For the Greece National Visa, you must apply in your home country before you enter Greece. In the United States, you must apply for the visa at your designated consulate or embassy location, click here for the list. Once you find your consulate, call them to ask what the required documents are. The list on the website is not current at the time of writing this post. Next, begin to gather all the documents you need. Only once you are confident you have all the documents you need, call back to the consulate to make the appointment.

Keep in mind, many of the consulates are small and the visa department may only be one person as is the case in the Houston consulate. When I called at the end of May, I was only able to get an appointment at the end of July! During this call, I was told I needed one more document.

At the appointment, you will present all your documents and most likely have a short interview. At the Houston consulate, I was emailed when my visa was approved. If you live close by, you may be able to pick up your passport from the consulate with the visa. Otherwise, you will need to provide a pre-paid envelope to the consulate. I recommend getting one with insurance in case your passport is lost and you will need to replace it. It will also provide tracking.

 

The Documents

This is the list of documents I was told I needed. Keep in mind this is list can change and may be different for each consulate.

  • Passport with at least six months of validity past the end date of your visa
  • Birth certificate – official copy from the past six months
  • Apostille of the birth certificate – this needs to be done in the state the birth certificate was issued
  • Proof of income of at least $2000 to $2200 a month
  • Health insurance valid in Greece
  • Visa Application with a passport photo
  • Visa fee which was about $200

Other Things to Know

Please note, that this is not necessarily a valid option for digital nomads or people looking for a job in Greece. I applied as a financially independent person as you cannot be working in Greece. I have plenty of savings to cover the required amount of income for the visa.

Once you are in Greece, you have to apply for a residence permit that also has its own requirements. I am currently going through this process and will write a whole other post on that process.

Please let me know what questions you have about applying for a Greece National Visa and I will try to help.

Apply for a Greek National Visa - photo of Santorini