March 31, 2019

At the end of January I went on a trip. I traveled with my friend Sam to 2 continents, 7 countries, and 13 cities  in 5 weeks. It was the ultimate post-graduation gift to myself. I figured I was in a position where I was not committed to a job or school and decided to use this precious in-between time to do someting for myself. I understand that this is an enormous privilege I have to be able to travel to the other side of the world on my own dime and time. Now I am back in the states living the postgrad dream which is filled with lots of Thai takeout and hours of job searching. Since I have some free time on my hands I am planning to share some of my stories and photos for each of the countries I have been to.

    The first country I went to was Greece. The cities I traveled to were Athens and Santorini. I flew from Kansas City to London and then had a flight to Athens that morning. It was a long 2 days of travel and my phone was stolen within 2 hours of being in the country (more on that in a later post), but I was happy to finally be at my first destination. I met up with my friend Sam in Athens that night.

    Two things you should know. 1) Greek food is my favorite food. 2) I was obsessed with Greek mythology in middle school. You can imagine my excitement to finally visit the land of tzatziki and Percy Jackson. The food in Greece was my favorite I ate the entire trip. I will be dreaming of the vegetarian moussaka I had until the day I die. Sam and I took our time in Greece to educate ourselves by watching Mama Mia 2 and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on our downtime. We also unsuccessfully tried to find Sam a Kostas (their loss), but made up for it in eating all of the Greek pastries and snacks we could find.  One of my favorite things about Greece was the abundance of stray cats everywhere. They were so well taken care of by the locals since they kill the pests around their homes and shops. I wanted to stop and pet all of them.

Greek Yogurt

    The first day we went to The Acropolis of Athens. It was a big trek uphill and quite rocky.  (shout out to the woman in front of us wearing heels). The view from the top of the hill was incredible and seeing such iconic ruins like The Parthenon made my little Percy Jackson obsessed heart sing. The museum was closed by the time we were done, but we made a trip back to go the next day. There was a small grove of orange trees by the museum Sam and I were obsessed with. There were orange trees scattered along most of the streets as well. We learned from our Air bnb host that they were pretty to look at, but most were bitter tasting and inedible.

The Parthenon

Spot the cat!

    The next day we went to the Laki Agora, an open air market. There was lots of meat, fruit and vegetables. It was interesting to see the vendors and their produce piled high in front of them. We eventually got called over by a vendor and were gifted an orange (this one was edible) and tasted very sweet. If you go, be prepared for an abundance of smells, cat calls and commotion.

    After a few days in Athens, we traveled to Santorini. Since we were traveling during the off season, there wasn't a lot open. A lot of the restaurants we wanted to go to were closed until the weather got warmer. It was a little disappointing, but the great thing about traveling there during the off season was that there were hardly any other tourists there and the temperature was a lot cooler than the typical sizzling summers. The morning after we arrived, Sam and I took a day trip to Oia. Oia is the famous whitewashed town at the northwestern tip of Santorini. When we got there it was almost like a ghost town. I think we saw maybe only a few other tourists there until the late afternoon.

     Oia was beautiful and we even got to visit Atlantis Books, the small bookstore piled ceiling high with books in both Greek and English. There was also a sweet pup inside the store who was our greeter as we walked in.

    Greece was a wonderful first country to start my trip and I hope you enjoyed reading about the few days I got to spend there. The next country we went to was Italy. We spent about 2 weeks there altogether. Let me know if you enjoyed reading about my experience in Greece or if you have ever been! Next up, Naples!

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