Friday, July 23, 2010

"Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward." - Soren Kierkegaard

I know I'm supposed to be working on posting my travel journal, and that's exactly what I'm NOT doing right now... but trust that this post IS related to my recent transatlantic journey.

I have made it my summer goal, and perhaps a late New Year's resolution, to try as many new things as possible this year. I've long considered myself to be an adventurous, spontaneous individual, and in this year of 2010, I am striving to prove that to myself everyday. And so, I am beginning a list of "firsts." Maybe you'll do the same?

  • first trip to Greece (May 26, 2010)
  • swam in the sea (May 2010)
  • ate a whole, uncooked tomato and LOVED it (June 2010)
  • went down a water slide (June 31, 2010)
  • tried liver pate (July 2010)
Admittedly, these things may not look so exciting now that I've got them laid out in front of me, but THEY ARE... I've been terrified of fish, oceans, and the sea for my entire life, so when I took a  swim with Chryssa in Greece, it was an amazing step in my life. By the end of my vacation, I was loving every second I had in those refreshing waves. I've also always been really weird about food - I didn't eat any vegetables, aside from corn and potatoes, until I was well into my twenties - so eating a whole tomato or trying something uncommon like liver pate is a big deal for me.

What I'm getting at is this: no matter how insignificant a new experience may seem to be, it's still new, and it's still a chance to hop outside your comfort zone; a chance to break down a boundary. Most of our boundaries are self-imposed, and each time you crack one of them, even in a small way, you are giving yourself more room to grow.

Fewer boundaries = more room to play = a happier life. It makes sense, yes?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Greece 2010 Travel Journal: May 31, 2010

Three days since my last entry, and there is already much to catch up on...

On Friday evening, Chryssa and I decided to stay around the house and relax. I tried to go to bed early, but my legs and feet were very tingly and achy from the long travel and a lack of sleep. I laid awake in bed for hours, anxiety-ridden over the thought of experiencing foot or leg trauma on yet another vacation.

Shortly after I fell asleep, Spero barged through my door and turned on the light, ready to hang out and take some shots. We sat and talked for a long time about the things he misses about the U.S. We talked about the difference between respect and fear, and how to recognize where you are loved, and in which way. It was a nice time.

Chryssa and I spent all day Saturday at the sea, and it was wonderful! We drank juice and coffee under an umbrella at a beach cafe, and I am developing a lovely tan. We also went to birthday party at Landi's friend Maria's house. Maria is from Chile. Her family was very welcoming to me. She and Landi used to belong to a group for foreign wives in Greece, and they told me great stories of old time. I am at the beach with them now.

Chryssa, Spero, and I have been out drinking every night, and it's been fun to "party" again. I have a different control over alcohol these days, so it's been all pleasant experiences. I've met so many people that I'm having a hard time remembering their names. I need to work on this. One of my favorite people I've met is Ilias, a friendly, young gay man who works with Spero. He has a opinion on everything, but is not pushy. He is a dancer and a theater student, and seems wise beyond his years. I also really liked the girl Spero invited out last night - Xara. She was a blast, and we became quick friends. She works at a hotel on a vacation beach in a nearby town, and I think we will visit there for a night. Ilias would also like to take us on a mini-vacation.

There is so much more to tell, but I've written enough for today. Maybe I will write more at the beach tomorrow. Kalinihta! Good night!

P.S. Spero hurt his knee "80's dancing" the other night, so he is a bit incapacitated. :(

Greece 2010 Travel Journal: May 28, 2010

I am sitting on the balcony and just finished doing my make-up. Spero, Chryssa, and I are going out to coffee at a cafe called Exis before Spero has to go to work

Kalamata is gorgeous, and full of tiny privately owned shops. It is laid out very differently than any American city I've seen; you walk through small alleys to find the entrances of buildings, and all the streets are paved with different types of stone. You can easily walk everywhere, and many people have scooters or motorcycles.

Yesterday, the three of us went to a cafe called Bar Fly and had frappe, then beer. Spero went to work, then Chryssa and I went to meet her friend, Danny Kargas, at his graphic design office. After we met Danny, who is very outgoing and friendly, we went to visit Spero at the bar where he works, called Vino Banco. It is a cozy place, very classy, with warm lighting. We drank and laughed until early in the morning. I met many people, and drunkenly practiced the few Greek phrases I have learned so far: "thank you," "fuck you," and "I'm hungry." Haha! Starting with the basics...

It was wonderful to spend time with Spero. I knew I had missed him, but didn't realize just how much until we had the chance to hang out yesterday. I am glad to be able to see an old friend, and to meet new ones. I hope to spend some time with Nike, as well. Though she is busy with the baby, we plan to have coffee and maybe go clubbing soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Greece 2010 Travel Journal: May 27, 2010

Arrived in Kalamáta at Chryssa's house around 11:00 p.m. last night. I'm extremely tired from traveling, but also too excited to sleep! We flew from Chicago to Zürich, then from Zürich to Athens, then rode two buses to Kalamáta, then took a cab to Chryssa's house [where her brother, Speros, and sister, Nike, live]. Amazingly, I did manage to nap a bit over the course of the last 24 hours of travel.

We had dinner with Landi [Chryssa's mom], Nike, Aggelos, and little Panayiotis [Nike's baby]. He is adorable! We tried to stay up to say hi to Speros, too, but I am going to pass out at any moment. So far, Greece is beautiful and amazing. I can't wait to see more of it tomorrow!

Presenting! Greece 2010 Travel Journal

As most of you know, I recently spent four weeks in Greece, with my friend Chryssa and her family. While I was there, I kept a journal, and I've finally found the time to transfer it here to my blog. It was an amazing trip, and I know that my meager writings won't do justice in describing the thrills and happiness that I felt each day that I was there, but I do hope that they will give you a glimpse into the experiences that I had...
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