It has been over a month since I have returned from Greece. Upon reflection now, it is difficult to believe how fast the time has gone by. However, it cannot compare to how fast my time in Greece went. Everything raced by, and before I knew it, I was on a plane back home. Yet, the memories are still vivid in my mind. I was recently rereading my travel journal and could not help but notice how often I used the word “beautiful.” But, that, in one word, sums up much of what I thought throughout the trip.
Before I left for Greece, I had yearned to go there. My sophomore year of college, a phenomenal professor introduced me to philosophy. Since then, I have marveled at and read many of the great ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Soon after, it became a dream of mine to walk where these philosophers had walked. To see the land that had produced and inspired some of the greatest minds. To stand in front of the Parthenon like they had. Needless to say, pictures of white buildings of Santorini, the beaches of Greece, and the pristine Mediterranean ocean gave me an even stronger desire to visit Greece.
I must honestly admit that before coming to Greece, I was unbelievably nervous. With each approaching day, I was more and more nervous about what I would find, nervous about whom I would meet, and nervous about flying on my own for the first time. In retrospect, all those fears were irrational and misplaced. I met amazing people like my professors, the office ladies, and my fellow classmates who made me feel at home every step of the way. Even strangers helped to bring a sense of home for me to Greece. Almost everywhere, we went, random individuals showed immense kindness and helped us practice our Greek.
Talking about Greece is incomplete without discussing the sites I saw. Over and over again, I witnessed breathtaking views, each with its own unique beauty. From the old Venetian architecture of Nafplio (mmmm gelato) to the beautiful coastline of Crete, every location was gorgeous in a distinct way. For me though, Xania was the spot I will most remember. As the sun was setting, our group walked around the Mediterranean bay, out to the old and iconic Xania lighthouse. It was a perfect Mediterranean day, the sky sparkling with orange and red. When the sun had set, a clear, sparkling night sky took its place, with the sounds of waves crashing against the lighthouse. Only one word per usual came to mind: beautiful.
P.S. I really miss the baked goods