I haven’t talked much about my 23 Before 23 list, which I created & posted in July for my birthday. I’m really loving this list right now because it’s a more recent accumulation of goals that I’d like to get done before my 23rd birthday.
The first item on the list was a bit of a no brainer for me- I wrote it knowing I was going to Greece- but I waited until I got home to actually cross it off. It really WAS the trip of a lifetime for me. At this point in my life I’ve traveled a little bit, but never to Europe and never for three weeks. I was with three of my best friends and I always pushed myself to try new things while I was there.
I’ve posted a lot of pictures from my trip but haven’t actually TALKED about it yet. I thought I’d take a bit of time today to share some of my favorite moments from my journal. While I was there I wrote every single day & looking back I’m SO happy I did! I was kind of annoyed on some days about it, but more often than not I loved writing all the little details, already thinking of re-reading those little moments in the future.
So here we go, my first week in Greece in journal excerpts. I haven’t changed anything from the day I wrote them.
Greece: Day 1 [August 8th 2011] around 8:15pm Greece time
“Oh, the jetlag. I never knew I would be able to stay awake for nearly 30 straight hours, and yet here I am, sitting on a balcony in Athens & feeling pretty lively.”
Those were my very first words written, and every time I look at them I remember EXACTLY how I was sitting and how I was feeling. It could have so easily just been yesterday.
Greece: Day 2 [August 9th 2011] Around 2:30pm Greece time
“I love these travel days. I love seeing the country from all these points of view and just soaking in the beautiful scenery. It’s not all picturesque like what I’ve seen online, but I think it’s incredible in that far away from home, new culture kind of way.”
I wrote those words sitting on a ferry on my way to Kefalonia. I laugh looking back on that because once I started traveling the islands it was EXACTLY what I expected from Greece and even more. Athens is not picturesque by any means, but it really did have that far away from home feeling to it.
Greece: Day 5 [August 12th 2011] Around 5:15pm Greece time
“When we got home we had an amazing home cooked meal of chicken, oven potatoes, and salad/bread. Yum. After dinner we sat outside on the balcony with ice cream and laughed SO much and just looked at the gorgeous view. I’m so excited to see other parts of Greece but I’m going to miss the landscape very much here!”
That day I went to one of my absolute favorite beaches, Petani, and I can say that it was one of my favorite days in Kefalonia. That passage from my journal basically describes our evenings spent there. We ate so much ice cream and spent so much time talking together and laughing. We laughed so much I can’t even tell you. We always had our evenings free in Kefalonia and I’m pretty sure spending all that time together made us feel closer than ever.
The four of us with Petani beach in the background
Self-taken group shot at Petani beach, enjoying the wavy waters!
Greece: Day 6 [August 13th 2011] Around 8:30pm Greece time
“We drove through the mountains and saw some of the most spectacular look out points & landscapes ever. We got off for pictures at Myrtos Beach. We were high up from the beach so we got some breath-taking shots… But honestly nothing can ever compare to actually seeing it & being there.”
Also from that day:
“I fell asleep on the trip bac khome because I had to take some Gravol, but we were all super exhausted. I swear this island has made us ALL motion sick at this point because of the winding roads & long travel times, but all in all it’s been worth it”
I loved this day in Kefalonia. When I think back on it, I smile immediately. We spent the whole day on a bus tour of the parts of the island we hadn’t seen yet, that’s when I visited the caves, the monastery, the winery, and some beautiful beaches. We were in the bus a lot but I stand by that first paragraph 100%. None of my pictures come even CLOSE to the real thing. I’m sure it’s the same anywhere you go in the world, but I remember turning to my friend Selina and telling her that I couldn’t handle how pretty everything was. Also? Bring like 3 packs of Gravol when you travel the Greek islands. Those Greeks are crazy drives let me TELL you.
The four of us in the Drigorati Caves
Greece: Day 8 [August 15th 2011] Around 6:30pmGreece time
“Never in my life has time passed by as quickly as this last week. I’ve definitely had my ups and downs here, but relaxing in this sweet little Greek home makes me realize I’m going to miss this village. I’m going to miss the weather, the scenery, my room shared with my friends with our cute little balcony, even the people I’ve met. At the same time I’m so excited to see what’s next for us. This place was a great way to be introduced to this country. Yesterday we met an older man who told us that he’s been all over the world & there is no place more beautiful than this country. That made me feel even better about being here.”
This was written on the evening before my last full day in Kefalonia. Clearly I’m already getting nostalgic about the place, and that still hasn’t ended. I’m always thinking about the quiet beauty of living in a village that lives on practically nothing. All we had for entertainment was each other, our books & the landscape. And it was plenty.
Having some fun at the lighthouse!
Greece: Day 9 [August 16th 2011] Around 7:30pm Greece time
“Our last full day in Kefalonia is coming to an end, and beyond everything right now I’m just very sad. When I first got here I wasn’t sure if I could stay this long in one place but I’m really glad we did. I think I get attached to places far too quickly for my own good because I’m having trouble coping with the idea of never coming back here. I may make an exception to that rule because so far I’m falling in love with this country. I have a feeling this isn’t the only place that I’ll feel this way about when it comes time to go home.”
I think that’s a pretty self explanatory entry. I love looking back on that day because I was right on so many levels. I miss every part of Greece that I visited so much. I get attached too easily, that’s undeniable. I remember how SAD I was and that makes me smile because I saw so much beauty after this day, but I do understand my feelings… I still am sad when I think of how far away I am from this place right now.
Random group shot on one of our walking days
This was basically my first week in Greece, in a nutshell. Kefalonia made me fall in love with a country thousands of miles away from home in a way that I never thought possible. This part of my trip was not only amazing, but a great start to an unbelievable three weeks. I can’t wait to share more pieces of my journal very soon from my last two weeks!
**Thanks to Agnes’ camera for all these pictures!!