/Greekin’ it/

The rush, anticipation, excitement, fear all kicked in once I hopped onto the plane to travel to Athens, Greece on May 20th. Thinking back, I was intimidated by all of the unspoken emotions I was feeling as I was flying to Europe for the first time, but whether those emotions were positive or negative ones, I can honestly say that I would go through it again to see what a beautiful world there is around me. The astonishing country of Greece challenged and grew me in ways that were unknown to me early on in the trip, but as time went on, I fortunately took in every possible moment that I could before I was ready to get back on a plane to the United States. Needless to say, a cultural experience such as this one is an experience no one truly ever forgets, but keeps deep in their heart for as long as they live.

There were moments were I may have felt uneasy, but it was a comforting kind of uneasiness. It was the kind that makes you feel free, adventurous, and wild. The first, as we climbed to the top of the Acrocorinth, was more breathtaking than terrifying. Truly, I had conquered my enormous fear of heights as I got up onto the top of the castle walls. Even some of the food in Greece had me uneasy at times, but not enough where I wasn’t willing to try something new. The first time I ate grilled octopus was quite enjoyable and delicious and I’m pretty sure I would delight in this again sometime in my life. In fact, it tasted like chicken! Overall, these were the times where I felt most alive and ready to conquer anything. It was these journeys I took in Greece that encouraged me to walk out of my comfort zone more than not.

There were also many moments throughout this trip where I was truly able to see the struggling economy of the country of Greece. I was aware of its concerns, however, until I actually got here, I didn’t truly grasp what many Greeks were going through or had to go through. However, me among many other classmates saw the beauty in the pain and the ugly. The picture above is some of the beauty I had the opportunity to encounter while in Greece. In fact, me and my friends got there through a taxi at 5:30am traveling to Lindos Beach in Rhodes. It was one of the most beautiful sites we had ever seen, for the sun was rising so peacefully and there was only silence around us (along with a beautiful view of the city of Lindos). What I’m trying to say is, the Greeks noticeably find ways to overcome their struggles and appreciate the beautiful country they live in. In fact, most of the Greeks I had spoken to was so proud of their country they couldn’t even get enough of talking about all its parts. Not only was this refreshing to me, but it was also beautiful how comfortable and open everyone is with one another. I can truly grasp the concept that European natives treat almost everyone like family and want to get to know each individual person intimately. I’ll never forget this sunrise.

Yet another memorable learning experience I have taken from Greece is the beauty of God’s creation and the vastness of his love. Above is a picture take from the cliffs of Meteora. I have always wanted to travel here and when I was finally able to see it with my own eyes, I didn’t know how to describe its sheer beauty. I suppose this is because there are aspects of God’s creation that is simply too astonishing to put into words. It’s very similar to his vast love for us, for it’s something that we cannot truly grasp even if we know it’s incredible power. Standing on that cliff made me feel alive and I really did feel God’s love in the creation He has made for each one of us. Not even that, but I felt God’s love through the lasting friendships I made throughout this trip. We have been serious, goofy, you name it. One this is for sure, God’s love shone through in our friendships and I am eternally grateful to have experienced such a gift.

Thanks for everything Greece 🙂