May 2014

Well the past few weeks have been filled with a flurry of emotions and activities. After Italy I jetted off to Greece (I laugh hearing myself say that). I had reached the point after Italy where I was needing some serious R&R and alone time. I know that may sound self involved and petty needing a break while I’m living abroad in Europe, but life doesn’t automatically become all sparkly just because you’re living in another continent. With all of this said, Greece was a dream. We started off in Thessoloniki where it rained both days which allowed for it to be a very mellow two days which was needed.

Arriving in santorini I was honestly just so happy to see a pool that I could lie beside for the next four days. And that’s exactly what I did. It’s one hell of a windy place and so it wasn’t like my beach days in Florida where I’m sweating it out and headed for the pool. But I’m glad to have been there when it was a little bit cooler because that meant less tourists. Don’t get me wrong it was still super hot and I still got a killer tan (which was originally a killer burn). We explored the islands of Fira, and Oia which were decorated in seas of blue and white perched carefully on top of mountains within the Mediterranean.

We took a boat tour one day where we climbed up Santorinis last active volcano. It wasn’t the most fun climb in my jean shorts and lace runners but that’s the price you pay for living out of a backpack. And man was the view stunning. Another thing we knew we had to do was ride donkeys in Oia, which I was hesitant about because I feel so bad for the poor donkeys. And let me tell you the experience was not so pleasant. The Greek men yelled at you in Greek and rushed you on the donkeys and then rushed you up the (very steep and very narrow) hill. And then just as promptly as you were rushed on you were rushed off. Clearly they didn’t realize that we are a bunch of university girls who wanted pictures of all of their experiences. I did manage to be sneaky and snap one or two which I’m thankful for.

All in all Greek people were the most kind and welcoming that I had met in my travels this far. I still stand by my motto that if you’re nice to people they will almost always be nice back. We received free shots almost everywhere (PSA: never drink rakki, which is basically Greek moonshine and 70%.) We found a bar which let us dance ON their bar and we met other Canadians who brought a breath of fresh air and new conversations. Before we knew it our vacation was over and it was time to go back to France. What’s crazy about this particular trip home was knowing that my family was about to fly out to meet me. Even crazier this all meant that I only had a week till I flew back to Canada.
I came back from my two weeks in the south with a tan, lots of new jewelry, more postcards, a wealth of historical knowledge, and some really special memories. My dad still tells me stories of when he was 18 and then later 21 backpacking throughout Greece. I have always heard about its wonders and I’m hopeful in thirty years I will still be lamenting of when I was 21 and exploring Southern Europe.

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