Contrary to others, Greece has never been on my list of places to see. If I could go back in time to add visiting Greece to my bucket list, just to cross it off now, I absolutely would. It has been a busy few days in between Athens and Santorini. My first day in Athens was filled with lots of walking, sight seeing, exploring botanical gardens, and a late sprint to see the sunset from Mount Lycabettus. We made it just in time to catch the end of the sunset, and probably one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen in my life. When I reached the top of the mountain with my new friend Ella, I had one of the most humbling moments of my life to date. To realize how small one truly is, is one of the most scary and best things that can happen to a person. Yes, most of us realize how small we are in compared to the world and then universe, but to actually have the feeling click inside is something else. To realize how little all of the drama that engulfs our life sometimes is in comparison to the bigger scheme of things, and to see just how many people live their similar and different lives next to your own daily life, is such a grounding experience. I was lost for words in the moment, filled with anxiety, happiness and wonder all at the same time. What brought me back down to reality from this moment was catching a glimpse of the glittering city lights. I finally understand what “lights sparkling like diamonds” means. I watched the lights dance and shimmer from each distant household for what felt like hours. Just as I was beginning to feel as though I had started to really dig into the hidden secrets and gems of Athens, it was time for my group of new friends and I to take the six hour trek to Santorini, and it was by far worth it. There are truly no words to describe my love for this place. I believe I could truly live here for the rest of my life in content. Yesterday, we woke up late, took a ferry to hike up a volcano, and to swim in the hot springs. There was not one moment that I was not in awe of this heavenly place, even through the tough hike in my very weak sandals. To top it off, we had an amazing dinner while watching the sunset fall under the ocean horizon. Waking up today, the girls and I drove ATV’s all over the island; exploring new streets, driving on the sides of mountains, and to beaches with the most soothing black sand. I have truly felt like I am in paradise, especially lying in the hot sand and letting myself listen to the surrounding noises of the earth as I slipped into a peaceful state of meditation. As the day has gone on, I feel as though I am becoming more and more my age by living in the moment, caring less about the future and just letting go of all of my worries. And with my relaxed mindset, I am now enjoying the spectacular ocean, mountain and valley view from the hostel balcony, before my friends and I venture off to watch the sunset again with a nice local meal, and glass of wine. I think this is my favourite place I’ve ever been to in the world, and that is saying a lot coming from me. It has been a hard transition for me to go from being in a comfortable place to traveling alone, but I am so thankful to be here in Santorini, as I do not think it is humanly possible to have a trouble in the world in such a paradise. I only hope this wonderful feeling continues, and that I continue to be pleasantly surprised with each new place that I visit!
(Ps. I will be posting photos from Athens and Santorini in a separate post tomorrow! Sorry to keep you guys waiting, but I promise that it will be worth it!)