Matt Barrett is a legend amongst travellers and wannabe visitors to Greece. His website Greece Travel Guide, has been offering readers valuable insider advice, quirky information and an in-depth understanding of Greece through the eyes of an American Grecophile since 1996. His writing and content is coloured with a warm, friendly and humorous personal touch, is completely unpretentious and seriously useful. Shortly after he had started his website I wrote a piece about Matt for The Athens News titled ‘Matt Barrett For Mayor of Athens‘ (in which he shared some of his story), and the insanely brilliant idea of him running the Greek capital continues to linger in my mind (and in that of thousands of his fans) today. I have written and continue to write for Matt and am honoured to host his answers to our Q&A here on My Greek Review, which has definitely been inspired by all the great things that Matt is providing to readers throughout the years and continues to offer today. His last answer here says it all…
How Greek are you?
My grandfather and grandmother on my father’s side came from Lakonia. My father was born in Greece and my mother is American. I guess that makes me Greek to Americans and American to Greeks.
What is your biggest role in life?
Helping people make the right decisions.
What is most important to you right now?
Keeping sane until I figure out what life is all about.
What are you most grateful for?
That my parents took me to Greece when I was 13 years old and we lived there until I was 20. It is what makes me who I am instead of some jerk from Long Island.
What scares you most?
Man’s capacity for evil
What is Greece to you?
Eating dinner or meze on Fokionos Negri, or in a village or seaside restaurant, waking up on the ferry sailing into Piraeus or Mytilini harbour, sitting on my terrace in Kea looking at the lights of Attika and the ships passing in the Cavo d Oro, having a beach to myself and swimming naked, drinking wine and talking to intelligent people who know what they are talking about…
Your one favourite thing about Greece past, present and future?
Past: The summer of 2004 when Greece won the European Cup and hosted the Olympic Games
Present: The sea
Future: Plans for Athens and the metro going to Platia Kypselis
Your least favourite thing about Greece past, and present?
Past: The Asia Minor Disaster
Present: Greek politicians
Your fantasy / big wish for Greece?
That we get German war reparations and pay off the debt and start behaving like a responsible country.
Where do you definitely stay away from?
The island of Psyttalia
Your favourite Greek hotspots right now?
O Mpakalogatos Restaurant at 72 Fokionos Negri.
Your favourite Greek word, and why?
Epomini (patience). Because I like the way it sounds and there is so little of it, so it is valuable.
What smell do you associate with Greece?
What would you take with you to remind you of Greece?