Name: Harry Mitsidis
Occupation: Global traveller and Founder of NomadMania.com
Hometown: Athens, Greece
Residence: Rochester, UK
College: University of Oxford, UK
College major: Sociology
Facebook: Harry Mitsidis (Facebook.com/mitsidis)
Short bio: Born in UK, raised in Greece, I studied sociology and did an MBA before realizing that travel is what I want to be doing. In 2008, aged 36 I ‘conquered’ my final country, Equatorial Guinea, but this was not enough – I then founded NomadMania, which divides the world into 1301 regions, a challenge for all major travellers to complete! I’ve been busy ever since managing the project, which is a non-profit that awards travel scholarships and which strives to develop a community of dedicated serious travellers. I travel at least 200 days a year mixing short-haul European trips with adventurous escapades around the globe. I’ve authored the book ‘The Curious Case of William Baekeland’, a case which became an episode of the HBO Series ‘Generation Hustle’ in which I also appear.
How often do you fly? (pre-covid) about 220 flights a year
How many countries have you been to? All 193 UN members, of which 184 at least twice.
How many continents have you been to? All
Earliest travel memory: Getting stung by a jellyfish on the beach in Northern Greece aged 3
Favorite American city: Savannah, Georgia
Favorite international city: Luang Prabang, Laos
Least favorite country: Gambia
I have no desire to go to: Gambia again
Friendliest people in the world: Persians (Iran)
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Canada
Favorite World Heritage Site: Völklingen Ironworks (Germany)
Favorite airline: Air New Zealand
Favorite aircraft type: Ilyushin 62 (a Soviet vintage classic)
Aisle or window: window to see whatever one can see!
Favorite airport lounge: old Istanbul airport lounge, sadly no more
Favorite U.S. airport: Charlotte
Favorite international airport: Belgrade, Serbia
Favorite hotel: Cecil Hotel, Alexandria, Egypt
Favorite cruise line: Silversea
Favorite travel credit card: Amex
Favorite island: Rhodes, Greece
Favorite beach: Panagia Beach, Elafonisos, Greece
Favorite National Park: Réunion National Park
Favorite fancy restaurant: Lorenzo and Kakalamba, Belgrade, Serbia (a must)
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Ladokolla, Athens, Greece
Favorite airport restaurant: I’m always at a lounge!
Favorite bar: 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, Santa Cruz, CA
Favorite fruit: Pineapple
Favorite food: Lasagna
Least favorite food: anything spicy
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Tomato juice or white wine, depends on the mood.
Favorite travel movie(s): View from the Top (2003)
Favorite travel show(s): Air Crash Investigations (Mayday)
Favorite travel podcast(s): Counting Countries by Ric Gazarian
Favorite travel book(s): Beating the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks
Right now I am reading: an obscure Greek detective book by Petros Markaris
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Obviously NomadMania
5 things you bring on a plane: a book, a pen, at least one magazine/newspaper (love being old-fashioned) and my two travel totems, an toy car given to me by my godson and a Ukrainian miniature doll.
What do you always seem to forget? My charger
What do you like least about travel? Security check and now having to wear masks
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A local sweet delight.
Favorite travel app(s): NomadMania
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Machu Picchu
Worst travel moment: Getting arrested in Yemen
What’s your dream destination? Madeira, Portugal
Favorite travel charity: again NomadMania