4 years of college

DSC00252

A lot has changed since day one of college. It’s hard to pinpoint each pivotal moment of growth, but if I look hard enough they can’t be missed.

Continue reading “4 years of college”

Advertisements

The most dreamy place I’ve ever been

Once upon a time, a ship loaded up with illegal smokes got caught in an unexpected storm next to the island Zante. They tried to ride it out, knowing good and well prison was what awaited them shall they call for help, but the storm was too great. The ship crashed and washed up onto land, perfectly in the middle of the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

Welcome to shipwreck beach, where wildest dreams seem to become a breathtaking reality.DSC_0378.JPG

DSC_0234DSC_0251DSC_0297The crystal clear water can’t be beat, or can it? I’m not sure which view beats the other; is it the view from the water or is it the view from the top of the monstrous cliffs? DSC_0087DSC_0125DSC_0050The two who made this trip possible! I told my mom where I thought we should go and this crazy lady listened to what I had to say. Happy anniversary trip to them 🙂DSC_0113DSC_0426 On the boat ride back from shipwreck beach, we got to go inside the beautiful “Blue Caves”. They were stunning, with water so blue and clear that we could perfectly see 30 feet down to the sandy bottom.DSC_0179DSC_1036DSC_1044DSC_1062DSC_1065DSC_0970DSC_0975DSC_0051

 

I have never fallen in love with a place more. The views were too good to be true; I had to constantly pinch myself in order to realize it wasn’t a dream.

Also, I can’t forget to mention the incredible islanders! From the crew men who brought us to the most amazing beach to the staff at every restaurant, the hospitality on this island can’t be beat.

ZANTE, GREECE.

Homesick for you to be here

Homesickness isn’t what I imagined. To me, it hasn’t been the urge to go home or an extreme longing for the familiar. It doesn’t have me counting down the days until I get on a plane to go home. For a while, I didn’t even think it was there, because it came in a shape I didn’t know to watch out for. I always thought homesickness would find me whenever I’m alone and the sparkly newness of my new home had become the familiar. I thought it would make me want to crawl into my bed for days, with a tub of ice-cream, as I’m calling my mom just to tell her that I miss her. It turns out, any premonition I had was completely wrong. I had no idea about the symptoms this sickness would bring.
For most of my trip, I have refused to claim that I was homesick at all, but lately I have understood it in a whole new way. For a while it snuck in and I didn’t even recognize it, but now I know what it is and how to spot it.

This feeling has found me at the top of a mountain as I am taking in the most beautiful view. In moments in which I want to be no where but the place I am currently standing. Time and time again it has pummeled into me in coffee shops as I am relishing over the best coffee I have ever tasted. It hasn’t failed to find me in a room full of people as my stomach hurts from the laughter erupting from me.
It doesn’t keep me up at night wondering how everyone is doing back home. It breezes in with the wind that is rolling through the ajar window of a taxi while I am in awe of my new surroundings. In the middle of seeing new landscapes that occupy every space in my mind, I think of you and I wish I could hear what you would have to say about this beautiful place that you have never seen before.

dsc_0823
I feel homesick whenever I’m trying new things and I wish you could try them, too. The longing to share these once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the ones I love is what causes the homesickness. My heart is aching for those who I call my home, because whenever I’m in the middle of any adventure, I can’t help but think of them.
I wish you could see the things I am seeing. I wish I could take your picture at the top of that mountain, when you think no one is looking, when your eyes are full of awe and your lips turned up into a slight smile.
I wish you could try every single one of my coffees, even though I would complain and say I want them all to myself. What I wouldn’t give for you to take a sip and taste it, too.
I wish you were there to experience the moments that words can’t even explain. Like the time I shared a laugh with a bus full of strangers all about to get on a plane. When I told you the story over the phone it just wasn’t the same. I wish, in that moment, I could have seen the way your eyes crinkled as they locked with mine.
I wish you could learn everything I am learning, the times that you have to be there to understand. What my eyes have seen that have changed my view of the world…I wish you saw it differently now, as well.
If you asked me if I wanted to go home I wouldn’t, in a million years, say yes. What I want more than anything, is to bring you here. No matter how hard I try to share these experiences, they will only ever be my memories that I can try to explain until there are no words left to say, but you won’t see them the same. I wish you could feel what I feel with each memory, too.
To the ones I love, I’m sorry, because I can’t hand these experiences over to you like a gift. Although, I’d search forever for a way to make them yours, they will only ever be mine.

DSC_0701

A little glimpse at what communicating in another country can turn into…

10 metro stops and 10 bus stops away from where I’m living in Greece, there is a little restaurant on Vouliagmeni beach. It sits right on the water, overlooking the sea and the mountains that surround it. It serves great food, while also serving as the perfect opportunity to sit and really get to know what the local people are all about. Sometimes, we are constantly in a rush. Everything needs to be done and seen urgently. We provide no time to just take in the moment to truly recognize what is going on in the world around us. At times, we never stop until the moments are over and we sit there wondering what we missed while we were consumed in finding out where we were going next. Days spent sitting still are just as important as the days we spend seeing everything we can fit in while the sun is shining. I spent today simply taking everything in.

Studying abroad means that you are trying to learn about a new culture. Inevitably, you will be a little shocked in the beginning. This isn’t a bad thing; it just means that you are expanding your ideas about different ways life transpires. You find that certain things you think you know are entirely different from what another country thinks are right. They will talk about their holidays and you will wonder what the significance is in flying a kite and eating seafood really is. You learn about hidden signals and the differences between how you nod to say yes and the different signal they give for it (in Greece they tilt their head to the side). You are figuring out how they eat, when they eat, what they eat, how they drink and what is culturally acceptable at a dinner table. These little cultural differences are what make every single country and its people unique.

There are so many things you can figure out just by watching people carry out their daily routines. You get to know a lot about people living in a country by exploring a local beach during its off-season. When you become the minority, it forces you to realize things you never even wondered about.

Greeks are funny people. They will swear to you that any weather below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is comparable to the Arctic, yet simultaneously they will be out swimming in water that I can barely keep my feet in for over five seconds. The same people, who bundle up in their heaviest winter jackets on a day I would simply choose a sweater, can be spotted in the ocean sans a wetsuit. It’s terrifying and incredible.

Watching people carry on with their life, without a clue that anyone is paying attention, is remarkable. It teaches you so much about who they are.

A person’s personality is not exclusive to what they say and whenever you can’t understand their words, you begin to find new ways of getting to know them.

Of all of the people I paid attention to today, the one I want to bring the most attention to would be my waiter. This generous man made my day, while hardly having to say a word to me. The language barrier was very evident between us, but it wasn’t so much of a struggle as it was an advantage. Not that I wasn’t dying to understand him, but without being able to speak the same language, we had to communicate with actions, which gives you a whole new perspective on the person you are interacting with. You get to know their easy smile, the patience that radiates off of them, and what the gestures they make mean. Instead of relying on words, you pick up on things you would otherwise pay no attention to.

As we would try to communicate, we would laugh. When he filled up my empty water glass, I said one of the only Greek words I know (thank you) and he smiled happily as if he was just glad to see me trying. He never once looked frustrated or annoyed by the two American girls at one of his tables. He took to us as if all he wanted to do was help. It’s an amazing feeling to communicate with someone without words.DSC_0434