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Written by Thom Landers
Where to start?! No seriously... I’m not sure where to start. Over the past seven weeks I’ve drunken myself into mid-level brain damage! It’ll take all of my mushy cognitive abilities to recount what I’ve been up to.
After mine and Eddie’s farewell (we’ll skip over this part, but it was absolutely the trash-tastic send off we wanted and we’ll leave it at that hehe!) I still had two more weeks of work to battle through. Well, not so much battle but it’s very hard to look busy when you’ve very little to do. Thank God for Gaydar Radio (and GuideToGay of course hehe!) My last couple of days at work were marked with a divine lunch at Toko with my MD and some very raucous drinks at Low 302. Oh and not to mention some FAB pieces of LV! What were meant to be a few champas at Low 302 turned into 7am at ARQ with my parents due to pick me and all my worldly possession up later that day. Needless to say that trip up the F1 to Newcastle was as painful as listening to Wil Sabin ‘sing’.
The next week in Newcastle was supposed to be stress free and focused on my preparations for moving to London. Well nothing in the Landers family ever goes to plan and instead my sister, my nieces, oh, and of course my bat shit-crazy mother pulled focus ALL week. Seriously, they need their own reality show. Just imagine Kath & Kim, but remove the humour. I don’t know how my dad copes with all that drama. I couldn’t wait to walk through that departure gate at the airport.
Fast-forward a few days and both Eddie and I are in London. On Eddie’s first day we decided to go sight-seeing, but Thom & Eddie style sight-seeing (read: Grey Goose roadies!) Yep, we were mincing around London, checking out the tourist attractions fuelled by the strongest roadies you can imagine. Tourist attractions turned into Old Compton Street which then turned into Vauxhall. It’s a bit of a blur at this stage, but from what I can remember I had hooked up with someone and thought Eddie had done the same. The next morning I texted him to find out how his trade was to which he replied, ‘I’m in the hospital, I’ve broken my foot’. What. The. Actual. Fuck!?
So fast-forward another few days and poor Eddie has his leg in a cast and is on his way back to Australia for seven weeks, while I’m off to do our trip solo. Anxious doesn’t even begin to describe how I was feeling, but I thought I’ve got to make the most of it and I’m going to have an amazing time. After all, a bit of me-time would be nice and I’m not exactly shy so I was bound to make a few friends along the way... Right!?
First stop was Dubrovnik in Croatia – really beautiful city, but hot as fuck. Seriously, I was standing at a bus stop and sweating like I’d been sitting in the Bodyline steam room for two hours. Not really an attractive look. Good thing Croatia isn’t known for its high gay population.
I met some really cool people in Dubrovnik, two of whom were Aussie girls (I would soon realise that half the 20-something year old population of Australia was in Europe at this time). Both are hairdressers, one living in Sydney and one living in London. They were on a massive Euro summer adventure and on their way to a wedding in Santorini (remember that bit; I’ll come back to it in Part 2).
Next stop was Hvar which is beautiful but probably the straightest place I’ve ever been in my life. At this point I’m gagging for a convo with a gay (probably the wrong choice of words). I opted to skip the nightlife in Hvar. The plan was to leave the straighties to party on and save my body and my pennies for the Greek Islands and most importantly, Circuit Festival in Barcelona! Having said that, I did find myself on a random boat party in Hvar where a group of British chicks and I stole a bottle of JD and drank the whole thing in record time. Note to self: JD + swaying boat + dancing + heat = vomit... And a lot of Dutch courage to invite some Grindr trade around to the hotel hehe!
Then it was time to move onto the Greek Islands, via Athens. My flight to Athens got in quite late and the original plan was to have a massive bender and just go straight to the early morning ferry. Well there was no way in hell I was going to write myself off in Athens by myself. That place is up shit creek and a blond gay boy is quite an easy target in a city like that. So I booked a super cheap room for my seven hour stopover. The room was surprisingly nice, it just happened to be in the middle of the Sudanese ghetto of Athens. FML!
Trying to find my way there though, a man tried to charge me 50€ and was being quite forceful. This is it I thought... My psychic said some shit was going to go down in Athens. This is it. Then out of nowhere a young, SUPER hot Greek guy came up and asked to see the address of my hotel. Turns out he lives near there and said he was take me. Ummm.... feral old man trying to kidnap me or super hot Greek God trying to kidnap me.... I chose Hercules. Actually his name was Armando, 21 years old and studying engineering. Of course his name was Armando. Too perfect. He walked me straight to my hotel and wished me safe travels. I asked him why he was being so nice to which he replied that he was sick of people in Athens being so corrupt and taking advantage of people. Hot, smart and nice. Please marry me!
So the next morning I boarded my ferry the island of Ios. Having bought a Business Class ticket because all of the cheap ones were sold out, I was looking forward to a comfy seat for the nine hour journey. Well... this bitch got upgraded to First Class, didn’t she? Nine hours later and having sipped on my 9€ 1L bottle of duty free Smirnoff the whole time, I had finally arrived in Ios. Pissed as a fart and ready to party.
Stay tuned for Part 2...
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