Droany and I were fortunate enough to fulfill a life dream this year. We both wanted to see Greece before we leave this Earth... and it was a dream.
We flew into Athens and stayed for the night, just to catch the ferry first thing in the morning. The flight over really wasn't bad. Droany loved flying Emirates:)
We boarded at midnight (Monday night) and arrived in Athens (on Tuesday) at about 4:30pm. Getting our stuff and finding our hotel was pretty easy, except we were waiting for the transfer inside (where we were told to wait) and he was waiting in his car. Oops, oh well. We found him... or actually, he found us.
After checking into our hotel with no problems, we received all of our documents for the trip, which just got us more excited. We ate a great meal on the rooftop of our hotel and enjoyed the view of the Acropolis! We filled our tummies and then headed in search of some night life close by- which was a 5 minute walk! Run enough we ran into the Plaka District, which was recommended that we go to!
The next morning, we were up and at 'em at 5am to catch the 7am ferry. We jetted on over to Mykonos and were at the hotel by 11:30am. This adorable hotel was steps from the beach and had a balcony... I was in heaven.
Two thumbs up for Petinos Beach Hotel!
The next day was my birthday and we actually had scheduled a sailing excursion. We had so much fun and met some great people on this tour- shout out to Jackie and Matt from Australia for a good couple days with you guys!
Droany was so sweet and set up a little surprise for me at the hotel so when we got back from the cruise, we had a little wine and cake set up and waiting for me. We rented ATVs the last day and checked out Paradise and Super Paradise Beach. Cruised through Mykonos on the last day at our own pace and felt like legit explorers.
After three nights, we jetted back on the ferry and headed to Santorini.
We got in a lot later than we thought we were going to, which was disappointing but we quickly made the best of it. We rented an ATV and went to the nearest beach. It was the right choice because it ended up being our favorite little spot to walk around or enjoy the rays or do some shopping!
The next day, which ended up being more like our first day, we drove all over the south and east side of the island. We started at Red Beach, which was a little scary to get to but we felt like adventurers! We made it to the historical town of Akrotiri and had a breakfast/brunch there... which was SO GOOD.
Headed over to Vlychada Beach for a little bit, swung by Psarro Beach and then finally went back to the Hotel to get ready for a night on town in Fira!
The second day exploring, and we did the entire North. We went Oia and checked out the scene before stopping and hanging at Katharos Beach.
After three nights in Santorini, we made our way back to Athens and stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at on our first night, only this time we had a better room;)
We had a blast on the last night in Athens, and Greece. It was also nice that we didn't have to head to the airport until 2pm so we had plenty of time in the morning to go up close and check out the Acropolis and other historical sites. Finished our shopping in the Plaka District again and then headed to the airport.
The travel back was tough but I managed to watch some great (and recommended) movies.
The Post <-- must see
American Animals <-- mind teaser
Loved both aaaaaand we made it back safely so it's all good!
Of course, we loved the cuisine- the food was so delicious. So many vegetables. I was in heaven on Earth. Did you see our first grocery trip back?!?! All Greek-inspired. Pretty much only vegetables hahaha and we ate all of it within the first 3-4 days.
I actually dove into the Greek cultural foods so I tried foods that I wouldn't eat in the United States. I had lamb shank... and Moussaka... both were delicious and I'm glad that I tried them.
I almost forgot!! We actually found (by accident) a VEGAN restaurant... on a cliff over the Katharos Beach in Oia... right at sunset. It was the best meal in Greece because of the day and the time but it was by far the best VEGAN meal I have ever had... well, Dro's meal was the best vegan meal I've ever had. hahahah!
One of the best parts about the vacation was the weather. It was gloriously hot and perfectly cloudless. Beautiful blue skies, light wind, hot sun, refreshing water. I'm so glad we made it happen. It was definitely one for the books. <3
The last thing I want to touch on....
I was careful with the words I chose at the beginning because we were not LUCKY. We were fortunate enough to be born with the perseverance to achieve our goals. No one handed this vacation to us. We worked and saved for three years to be able to go on this trip. And I am really proud of that.
After the first year, we knew that we didn't have enough. (At the same time we lived in a 300 sqft studio for cheaper rent.) We were sad that we couldn't book it for the next year but it was okay, we were closer than we were before.
We made a plan to continue saving and put our heads down and grinded.
After the second year, we were disappointed. At this point, I was thinking, "We could make it there and back but we can't buy anything while we're there and we maybe not eat breakfast..." I was trying to reason how to get there and make it work. We could have made it work but sacrificing a lot of what we wanted out of the trip.
Rounding up the third year and we could book it. We booked it 9 months out and still worked our tails off to keep saving.
Meanwhile all 3-1/2 years, still paying our bills, supporting children, building a business, and staying happy. We have been busting our asses for this trip. And like I said, I'm really proud of how hard we have worked and how far we have come. We deserved this trip, not because I "needed a break" but because we worked so hard to make this trip happen, while keeping up with our other responsibilities.
After three and a half years of saving and talking, it really felt like it was never going to happen. And then it did. And we were in Greece. I think I said it every day, "Right now, we're in Greece." or "We're on the other side of the world right now". I've never had that experience and I had been dreaming, working, living for that experience. To be on the other side of the world from where I have always been was crazy to me.
So as thankful to my family for everything, and God for this BEAUTIFUL Earth, and my partner for being my better half- I am thankful to myself for being strong and pushing forward even through challenge. Everyone's challenges are their own and I'm proud of this accomplishment. Because to me, it was an accomplishment.
I hope everyone has their goals that they are pushing for, and if not, pick something. There really isn't a feeling like achieving a goal. Set a goal. Go for it. No matter how long it takes. No matter where you come from. No matter how big of a dream you think it is. No matter how far out of reach. Set the goal. Make the plan. Execute until you reach your goal.
Have a great week and take a look at your goals to get reinspired or set some new ones that are more appropriate for where you are now.