The International Living Podcast

Episode 49: A Sporting Life on a Greek Island for $800 a Month

November 01, 2023 International Living
Episode 49: A Sporting Life on a Greek Island for $800 a Month
The International Living Podcast
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The International Living Podcast
Episode 49: A Sporting Life on a Greek Island for $800 a Month
Nov 01, 2023
International Living

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This week, podcast host Jim Santos meets Francisco Huerta, an international athlete who chased his dream of playing soccer at the highest level to Europe.

Soccer provided Francisco with a central theme to his expat life, but in between, discovering the heavenly beaches, the ancient ruins, and twisting medieval streets of the Greek island of Rhodes…as well as the practicalities of daily life in Greece, has proven to be a voyage of discovery and personal growth.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform: https://lovethepodcast.com/internationalliving.

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Send us a Text Message.

This week, podcast host Jim Santos meets Francisco Huerta, an international athlete who chased his dream of playing soccer at the highest level to Europe.

Soccer provided Francisco with a central theme to his expat life, but in between, discovering the heavenly beaches, the ancient ruins, and twisting medieval streets of the Greek island of Rhodes…as well as the practicalities of daily life in Greece, has proven to be a voyage of discovery and personal growth.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform: https://lovethepodcast.com/internationalliving.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Jim Santos 00:11 
Hello, everyone. I'm Jim Santos and this is the International Living Podcast. In this podcast series, we introduce you to a bigger world full of communities that are safe, welcoming, beautiful, and sometimes undiscovered. A better world too. A friendly, warm, great value world where you can live richer, travel more, invest for profit, and enjoy a better life. So let's get started.

Hello everyone, and welcome once again to the International Living podcast. In this episode, we're returning to the Greek island of Rhodes. International Living lifestyle editor Sean Keenan gave us a glimpse of this ancient island back in episode 22. And today we're going to be chatting with a young man he met during his visit there earlier this year. Francisco Huerta has been living on Rhodes since 2019 and he's here to share his rather unusual story with us today. 

Francisco, welcome to the International Living Podcast.

Francisco Huerta 01:12 
Hey, Jim. How's it going? It's really awesome to be here.

01:16 Jim Santos 
Yeah. How's the weather in Rhodes right now?

Francisco Huerta 01:20 
It's the end of October and I think today it was maybe 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It's really sunny, really warm.

Jim Santos 01:26 
Yeah. My wife and I were just in Greece a few weeks ago. We were in Athens and Thessaloniki, and it was quite warm then.

Francisco Huerta 01:39 
You know, a lot of the locals are pretty surprised how warm it still is at this time of the year. It usually starts getting a little bit colder, maybe a little bit of rain, but right now it's nice and warm.

Jim Santos 01:52 
Well, Francisco, this is your first time on the show. I know you met Sean when he was out in Rhodes, but how about just telling us a little bit about yourself, your background, where you're from and how you ended up in Greece.

Francisco Huerta 02:04 
Sure. So, yeah, I had the pleasure of meeting Sean in person. I had been in contact with him through a mutual friend who stated that Sean was looking for expats across the world. I know he travels a lot for work and we had the pleasure of meeting here in Rhodes, but a little bit about myself. 

Again, my name is Francisco and I was actually born in Mexico and I grew up in the state of California and I went to college in Southern California and I played soccer in Southern California. And after playing in college, I decided I wanted to follow my dreams of playing in Europe at the highest level I possibly could. 

It's one of those dreams that when you're 40, 50, 60, you always look back. And maybe it's one of those things that I would have wished that I did. So I did my research on the internet and I found a small agency here in Greece and they were very gracious enough to help me come all the way to the other side of the world. So it took quite a while for the visa process to get started and to end, especially because I did it through while COVID was happening.

Jim Santos 03:25 
Right.

Francisco Huerta 03:26 
So a lot of things were slowed down or stopped completely, and eventually I made it all the way out here. And as of right now, I've been here in Greece nonstop for 13 months straight. But I've been coming here since 2018.

Jim Santos 03:43 
You've been coming strictly to Rhodes, or have you been in other parts of the country?

Francisco Huerta 03:48 
Strictly to Rhodes. This is where the agency is based out of, so this is kind of where I landed.

Jim Santos 03:54 
Well, I understand that the soccer opportunities would be much greater in Europe than they are in the US. But did you try other countries? I was just curious what got you to Greece rather than to Germany or Austria or some other European country.

Francisco Huerta 04:10 
Yeah, so one of the reasons that I ended up in Greece was the agent which helped me come here is Greek, right. So he knows the Greek market, the you know, unfortunately, it's very difficult for players that are not from the European Union or do not have a European passport to play in some of the bigger soccer countries, like Germany, Italy, England. It's impossible. It's literally impossible. You cannot play in England at all. Zero. There's zero chance. 

So, yeah, Greece seems like the best option for any young or any player who's not from the EU to come and play here. It's more of a trampoline than the final destination.

Jim Santos 04:59 
And what club are you associated with now?

Francisco Huerta 05:03 
Last season I played with a club here on the island in the Greek fourth Division called Adelfosini, and unfortunately, this year they're going to be playing at a different level, and I was very fortunate. I'm actually going to be moving to Italy to play in a club.

Jim Santos 05:26 
Nice.

Francisco Huerta 05:27 
Yeah. Yeah, I'm very, very excited. I actually met my current girlfriend here in Rhodes, and she happens to be Italian, and she went back to Italy, and I'm going to follow her to Italy. And thankfully, the Italians love football as much as I do, so there's a lot of opportunity.

Jim Santos 05:50 
So what position do you play?

Francisco Huerta 05:52 
I play attacking center mid. In Europe, we would call it a number 10, but I can also play on the wings, which is like a right wing or a left wing, and that's usually in Europe called a number seven or a number eleven.

Jim Santos 06:07 
How's the rest of the club treat you? Were you accepted as coming in from another country like that, or I guess there's a lot of international mixing among soccer players.

Francisco Huerta 06:17 
You know, Jim, that's actually a very good question, because I've actually pondered on the same question many times on my own, and essentially, believe it or not, I'm the only Mexican American on this island, and I'm the first ever Mexican to play on this league, ever. 

So there are some international players, but no one with my qualities or with my background. At first, it was quite a challenge. Not speaking the language is and has been the biggest hurdle to playing here in Greece. And I tried my best. You learn the football language, right. You start hearing the words BAME. You start hearing the word which is Go. ‘Pame’, let's go. You started learning that language. And the teammates saw that. I tried my best to adapt as fast as I could, but there was still a gap. Eventually, they were all super nice, and not all of them spoke English fluently. Some of them didn't really speak English at all. But eventually I was accepted as one of the players.

Jim Santos 07:39 
So all the coaching is done in Greek?

Francisco Huerta 07:41 
Yes, there are some coaches that speak English, but that coach spoke zero English. It was all Greek. So he would have to have someone translate his directions for me from Greek to English, which was a little frustrating for both of us. Right. Because just like in any high level sport, the information needs to travel really fast, right? Really fast. You want things to happen. 

But it was quite a challenge for both of us, for him trying to get the information out and for me to receive the information. But at the end of the day, I just let my football do the talking, and that kind of worked out for everybody.

Jim Santos 08:26 
I'm curious, coming from Southern California and being part Mexican, did you have any?

Francisco Huerta 08:34 
Yeah, yeah, I'm actually full Mexican, so I speak Spanish fluently. It's actually my mother, so I speak Spanish. But Spanish hasn't really helped me out here in Greece, unfortunately.

Jim Santos 08:49 
Well, I'm just curious if you tried any of these teams.

Francisco Huerta 08:54 
Oh, you know, I have not. And one of the main reasons is that the best football on the planet is played here in Europe.

Jim Santos 09:04 
Right.

Francisco Huerta 09:05 
And, yeah, that was kind of the goal. The peak, the end goal was to play in Europe.

Jim Santos 09:13 
Now, when are you making the transition.

Francisco Huerta 09:15 
To actually, I went to Italy a few weeks back for a little while just to go talk to some of the teams that I had been in contact with. One of the teams that I spoke with is really interested, and I had a few trainings with them. They really liked me. And right now we're planning on me being in Italy before the end of the year so that I can play the rest of the season, which would be from January all the way to May or June.

Jim Santos 09:45 
Yeah, that was something I was curious about, of what the season is and what you do in between seasons.

Francisco Huerta 09:51 
Yeah, so it depends on the level. So every single division in every single country has different timetables. But there are things called transfer windows in soccer, especially in Europe, where players can transfer teams. And there's two of them. One of them is in the summer, and there's a shorter one in the winter. The one in the summer is about two to three months long, depending on the country. 

The one in the winter is very narrow. It's three to four weeks, and that's usually the mid-season. One is specifically for injuries, players that might drop out just for little inconveniences. And the teams are able to kind of help themselves again, refill the spots that are left behind. But seasons vary between I would say between six months to nine months. 
And that also depends on how far your team makes it. Sometimes your team goes all the way to the championships, and that's a nine month, ten month season. And sometimes your team ducks, and that makes it a six month season, and you're done halfway. And to answer your question about what I do in the off time, this time while I was off, I got the chance to live in Greece and work remotely.

I worked for a company out of Indiana, and so I got to spend some time working and training on my own, a lot of gym sessions. I have a nutritionist, also from the US. I have a trainer that's from England and a psychologist that's from Southern California, a sports psychologist. So I stayed quite busy keeping the level that I attained when I got here.

Jim Santos 11:44 
Actually, that all sounds pretty expensive. Do you have a salary as a professional football player?

Francisco Huerta 11:53 
Some of the expenses I had paid before I got here. So I paid for maybe a yearly subscription to my trainer before I even came to Greece to guarantee that I would have professional level training throughout the season, throughout the year. But there are some stipends or a little bit of help from the teams. 

But unfortunately, in the lower divisions all over Europe, there is little to none compensation because we're treated as semi-professional soccer players, not full professional soccer players. But I've been extremely blessed to work with really kind, heartwarming and understanding people who have helped me throughout my entire career here in Europe. So a lot of those prices I've had to pay out of pocket, but they've been worth every single penny.

Jim Santos 12:49 
How many games do you play?

Francisco Huerta 12:51 
Typically a season can consist of between 18 to 34 games, again, depending on how good your team is.

Jim Santos 13:00 
So one or two games a week?

Francisco Huerta 13:02 
Yeah. And especially maybe in a country like Italy, there's the championship, right? So you play all the teams in your division, and then there's something called the cup, right? So the Italian Cup. The Greek Cup. And the cup is a tournament that is open to every single team from the first division all the way to maybe the fifth or 6th division, so that every single team in the country has a chance to win a cup of the entire country. 

So maybe you play a game on Saturday for the division, the championship, and then maybe you have a game on Wednesday for the cup. And it kind of varies like that. But unfortunately, for the cup games. Those are elimination. So if you lose, you're out.

Jim Santos 13:51 
Right? Well, in the fourth division there in Rhodes, who do you play against? Are they all Greek teams or all teams in Rhodes? Or is there travel involved around the country?

Francisco Huerta 14:02 
So in Greece specifically, because this is where I've played and this is where I have the experience, the country is divided into different you know, the part around Athens, that's its own region. The part around Crete has its own region. The part in the north, in Thessaloniki, has its own region. And here in Rhodes, we're part of the Aegean, right? So there's the Aegean Federation, I guess you could say, the region. 

And we play all the teams in this region, the best teams, the very top teams that win the championship here get to play against other teams and other parts of the country. So it's kind of a cream of the crop get to play each other at the very end and maybe they go to Athens, maybe they go to Kriti, maybe they go to Thessaloniki, but eventually well, sorry, essentially we do only play the teams here in the islands nearby. So Kos, Simi, there's another island that I always forget the name of and then here in Rhodes. So there is a bit of travel involved. And it was actually quite exciting to get on a boat for the first time to travel to a football game.

That was the first time in my life I've ever had to do that.

Jim Santos 15:16 
Yeah, some of the islands are a little far apart too.

Francisco Huerta 15:19 
Right. The boat ride that we took for an away game was 3 hours, I believe. So it was quite a ride to go for 3 hours, play for 2 hours, and then come back for 3 hours.

Jim Santos 15:38 
So in your move to Italy, is this a move up or is this a lateral move for you?

Francisco Huerta 15:43 
This is a move up. Definitely a move up. When it comes to the level of play, even with the few trainings that I have with the Italian team, the level is much higher. There is a bit of… I don't want to say seriousness, because I believe everybody who wants to play is kind of taking it serious, but there's a bit more of professionalism. And I think it just has to do with the structure of the way the Italian League is structured as opposed to how the Greek League is structured. It also has to do a lot with the economies. It just feels different. But it's definitely a step up. Definitely.

Jim Santos 16:25 
So you think it'll be tougher competition and you're going to have to work a little harder in this league?

Francisco Huerta 16:31 
Definitely. Most definitely. Even in the training ground, I would say compared to the team that I was playing at before, I would say two to three times harder, more intense. The players have a better understanding of football. There's a better football intelligence and a little bit more seriousness. Like I was saying before, when it comes to how the players come to the trainings and take the trainings more seriously, which really, really enjoy.

Jim Santos 17:04 
How about the fans? Do you get a lot of fan appreciation?

Francisco Huerta 17:08 
That was actually one of the biggest moments in my football career, playing in the US. Obviously, in the college ground, we do get fans, a lot of the parents, a lot of some students from the school come to watch the games. But it doesn't quite feel like what football fans feel like. And I hope that comes across clear because there's this fervor, there's this fever, there's this internal fire that burns inside the fans, the football fans. And you don't quite get that in the US. Because soccer is oh, and by the way, I apologize if I switch between football and soccer.

Jim Santos 17:55 
Right.

Francisco Huerta 17:56 
I'm so used to calling it football here in Europe, but there's just something about soccer fans in Europe that there's a burning desire and seeing fans burning torches and the smoke grenades with drums. We had a lot of fan appreciation and some of the away games, too. That was really amazing. That was one of the best moments of my life, being a football player and wanting to play at a higher level, to be able to go to a stadium and feel the pressure of the people, of the crowd against you. It was quite a moment. Quite a moment that I don't think I would have lived in the US.

Jim Santos 18:38 
When we lived in Ecuador, I know that there were times when the streets would be absolutely deserted because everybody's watching the soccer game on TV, or they're standing outside bars watching it, or they're crowded into the food courts in the malls so they can watch the soccer games on the big screen. And you'd always know somebody scored because all of a sudden you hear car horns all over the place. Yes, I understand. It is a very different thing. They take it much more seriously.

Francisco Huerta 19:08 
Very much so.

Jim Santos 19:09 
What kind of visa are you on there in Greece? Is there a special one for athletes?

Francisco Huerta 19:15 
There is. It's called the national Visa D. And there's a special numeric value that's assigned to it. I can't quite remember which one it is, but that's the name of the visa, and I had to apply for it in the US. So I went to the consulate in Los Angeles, the Greek consulate, and they were very helpful, always attentive, always willing to help me with any documents that I needed. 

So the process was, in a way, very smooth, but because of COVID very cut up, right? Yeah, very slow, chopped up. But that's the visa that I'm on. And fortunately, when I got here with that visa, I was able to get a resident permit. So I became a Greek resident as soon as I came here.

Jim Santos 20:09 
Now, I imagine in Rhodes there, I know the prices can fluctuate wildly because they have a very heavy tourist season, but I imagine having a kind of reduced cost of living, especially compared to Southern California, it's made it a little bit easier for you to follow your dream.

Francisco Huerta 20:26 
Yes, Jim, definitely. The cost of living has been the biggest by far, discounted price of life. There's a massive, massive discrepancy in the prices, like you said, in the on season and the off season, and it's a massive distinction. You can feel it living here in the off season, it's technically a ghost town. There's nobody here. 
And during the on season, it's so packed with people, you can barely walk in some of the more crowded streets of the tourist areas, like the medieval town. It's so packed with people. 

But compared to Southern California, and I spoke to Sean actually about this, I believe it was the June and August edition when he interviewed me for International Living. How here. I'm very blessed to be in a two bedroom apartment, and I live with a friend of mine who also happens to be Italian, and we both pay around between €350 to €400 a month. So altogether it's about €600 to €800 a month. That includes internet rent, electricity and some of the local payments for keeping the building clean and things like that. But as opposed to Southern California, a one-bedroom apartment can be $1000 just for rent.

Jim Santos 22:06 
Right.

Francisco Huerta 22:07 
So it's been an amazing experience to be able to follow my dreams here and be able to have a more affordable cost of living.

Jim Santos 22:17 
Speaking of following your dreams, is there like a story of someone who has done something similar to what you're doing, someone from your division, for instance, who made it to the big leagues? Is there anybody like that, that you have kind of your eye on? 

Francisco Huerta 22:31 
I'm going to say unfortunately, no. And I say unfortunately because fortunately it's, you know, I'm the one trailblazing, I'm the one making the path. There is nobody that I know that I know of who has tried to do what I do. I'm sure there has been a lot of players that played in college D who have made the jump over the pond to come play in some of the leagues here. I've read about them on different forums, different articles. 

There's YouTubers, there's a little bit of everything, but nobody that I personally know of or heard of that has tried to make the transition and made it very far. I'm the only person, and a lot of my friends are impressed and scared for me. Impressed because I've been out here for such a long time and I'm still playing and scared for me because there's no path, there is no story. I'm writing the first story. 

It's a double edged sword. I feel very blessed to have the courage to do this. But on the other blade, it's a bit scary at times and a bit lonely because there's no one to lean on that can really understand what I'm going through in terms of soccer.

Jim Santos 24:02 
How about the locals, though? Is there someone's picture that's up in the locker room? Is this guy played here and now he's in the big leagues or anything like that? Anyone from the division, I guess I'm asking, that's moved up from the division?

Francisco Huerta 24:18 
There are a handful of players who have been able to make the leap to the higher divisions in Greece, but it's very few and far between, especially from Rhodes. And that's something that I spoke about with the people who work at the agency that helped me come here. And they said that unfortunately, out of Rhodes, there's been maybe a handful of professional players that have actually made it to the big leagues, what's called Super League One and Super League Two here in Greece. So even the Greeks don't have too many people to look up to.

Jim Santos 24:56 
Well, are there scouting agents who go around watching games? And I mean, with so much soccer being played all over Europe, is there any kind of system where talent scouts are going out and know, that's something.

Francisco Huerta 25:09 
That I've been learning a lot about and I've been talking to a lot of my friends back in the States about because a lot of them still play soccer. And one of the things that one of the people at the agency that helped me out said is you never know who's watching. And so specifically, I want to say, no, there's no specific scouting network of people who are out looking, but there's always an eye on you, right? 

There's always someone who knows someone who knows someone. And essentially when you get to know the ins and outs of the football world, you see that you're maybe one or two calls away from going to a really big club and potentially changing your life forever. But nobody will ever tell you, hey, I'm a scout. I'm here to watch. It's always just somebody who saw somebody who saw somebody who knows somebody who will call the president of a club. 

But yeah, with so much football being played, like you said, I apologize…soccer being played here in Europe, it's definitely more optimistic, I would say. And that's one of the biggest differences that really made me want to take the leap.

Because here, even if I'm playing at the Fourth Division in Greece or the Fifth or Fourth or 6th Division in Italy or Fourth Division in Germany, there's always the chance that there's going to be someone watching that's going to say, hey, I know a team that's very good, that needs a player with your qualities. And they're going to make a call, and they're going to go pick you out. And the US is so massive and there's so many millions of players. I've tried to study it on my own, and I don't think there's enough people watching, enough players to get all the players… a lot of players slip through the cracks.

Jim Santos 27:07 
Yeah. It seems like you'll be a lot more visible in Italy than you would be in an island out in the sea.

Francisco Huerta 27:15 
Yes.

Jim Santos 27:15 
What part of Italy will you be in?

Francisco Huerta 27:17 
I'm going to be in the northern part of Italy. It's about an hour away from Venice.

Jim Santos 27:23 
Nice.

Francisco Huerta 27:24 
Yeah. I'm very excited. It's a city called Padova. It's going to be a big leap, and just like you stated, I look forward to the exposure, because there, even a third division club is considered very high level. I would say that a third division club in Italy is probably at the same level as the first division club in Greece. Just to give you an idea of how, I guess, the difference in the because in the competition level. Exactly. Because in Italy, the first division clubs are the very famous clubs; Milan, Juventus, Napoli, Fiorentina. And those clubs play on the international stage. Those clubs play in the Champions League. Those clubs do world tours.

Jim Santos 28:19 
Right.

Francisco Huerta 28:19 
As opposed to the Greek clubs. They don't. They just don't.

Jim Santos 28:24 
They get on a boat and go to another…

Francisco Huerta 28:28 
Right, right.

Jim Santos 28:29 
So I guess you have to go through the process again with Italy is getting a visa to go there to play.

Francisco Huerta 28:35 
That is correct, Jim, but fortunately for me, since I already got a visa in Greece, and since I already had the privilege of attaining a resident permit here in Greece, I got in contact with the embassy and with some of the teams. And it's a lot easier for me now to be able to obtain the necessary paperwork and documents for me to live in Italy and play in Italy as opposed to the very first time. So it's kind of like once you made it to Europe and you're legally here and you've stayed here and you've played here, it makes it a lot easier to kind of switch countries, essentially.

Jim Santos 29:22 
Now we have grandkids, of course, that are into soccer. Some at the high school level, one had played at the college level. What would you say to someone who's just starting out in that part of their career? Would you encourage anyone else to try something like this?

Francisco Huerta 29:39 
I definitely would, 100%. This has been the best soccer experience of my entire life, and I've played my entire life since being in Mexico. And I would definitely recommend for anyone who has the opportunity to come, to take a leap, to come and learn a different culture, see the way other countries play soccer, because not every country plays the same. 

I would 100% recommend for a player who has the opportunity to come, to definitely take it. And there's something that people say here very often, especially in the agency world, there are not enough good players. There are not enough good players. And that's something that struck me because being a player in the US, we look towards Europe and say, oh, my God, all the best players are there, the highest quality, the best talent. 

But then when you actually come here, I realized that I have a lot of friends back in California who can absolutely shine in Europe. Absolutely. And I wish that I could just bring all of them with me and put them on my team, and we would dominate even Rhodes, and we would dominate parts of Europe because the quality is there, and teams pay a lot of money for young, talented players.

So I would 100% recommend if you're in high school, if you're starting your college career, if you're going to a junior college like I did, and you're still young, and you have the grit, the personality, the commitment to come to a foreign country, learn a foreign language, definitely make it out here.

Jim Santos 31:42 
Francisco, let me ask you this. What kind of opportunities are there for women who might be interested in pursuing the dream that you're know?

Francisco Huerta 31:50 
Jim, I've seen a very big expansion of the women's game here in Europe, and it's beautiful. There is a really high level of soccer here for women. I actually have a friend who I went to school with in Southern California, and she was very talented. She was really fast and had a really good soccer IQ, and she actually made it to Spain, and she played in the top flight in Spain, and everybody was so proud of her know, coming from college in the…there's obviously there's the women's professional league in the US. as well, but she went straight to the top. 

So I would recommend if I had a granddaughter or if I had a daughter that was in high school, going into the college age or college, looking for the next opportunity in soccer. Europe right now, for me, from my perspective, from my experience, is an amazing opportunity. And I would 100% recommend to take a leap and come out and give it your best, because a lot of teams are looking for the best talent, and it would be an amazing opportunity.

Jim Santos 33:09 
That's what it is all about, is taking that leap. And do admire that you've taken the chance that you have to do this because you're gaining life experiences that you can't get any other way.

Francisco Huerta 33:21 
Right? And like I keep telling all my friends, my family, my colleagues, when I go back to the US. If I go back to the US. I'm falling in love with Europe, Jim, I'll be honest with you. I'm going to be able to tell the younger generations, my nieces, my nephews, hey, Europe is an amazing place. And I can say that from experience. I can say that from someone who has lived it. 

Anyone who wants to play soccer here in Europe, there is opportunity. There is opportunity, and until you live it yourself, you won't know. But I 100% recommend for everybody that can to take a leap and come try it out for themselves. It's an amazing life experience.

Jim Santos 34:12 
Well, we've been chatting with Francisco Huerta about his experiences on the Greek island of Rhodes as he pursues his dream to become a professional football player. Francisco, thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, and I wish you all the best in your pursuits.

Francisco Huerta 34:26 
Jim, it's been an absolute pleasure to be on the podcast. I hope that maybe in a year or two we can reconnect and I can tell you all about my Italian experience.

Jim Santos 34:47
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Next week, we'll be on the other side of the globe talking to another islander. This one on the island of Honshu in Japan. So until then, this is Jim Santos for International Living, reminding you there's a bigger, better world out there just waiting for you.


Following the Dream to Europe…Or Always Regret Missing Out
Why Greece? Is There a Large Soccer Tradition There?
The Next Step—Playing in Italy
Taking a Ferry to Another Island For An Away Game
Soccer Culture in Europe—Much More Passionate Than in the U.S.
Living On Around $800 A Month
‘Would You Encourage Anyone Else To Try Something Like This?’
Opportunities For Women in European Soccer