Athens and Mykonos Days 9-16 in Greece.

Yet again, I find myself sitting on an airplane somewhere over the Atlantic unable to believe that the last few weeks are over already. I fell in love with Europe all over again, adventures with friends old and new.

Spain will forever remain one of my favourite places, with Madrid now added to the list. However Greece far and above exceeded my expectations. I guess I partially owe this to news reports of refugees and debt crisis having dominated the headlines as of late. The important thing to remember while travelling is that there is beauty in every part of this world if you are able to look for it.

We arrived in Greece late sunday night after a short flight from Barcelona. Within a half hour of landing we were immersed in the culture of the city in the usually fashion on the Metro. An elderly gentleman and an elderly lady spent nearly the entire hour long journey passionately arguing about who had taken the other’s seat. I am not sure if any of you have heard two elder Greek people yelling at eachother but we were certainly scared of them both.

For our few days in Athens, we spent the time meandering through the city, hiking to the top of the mountain and the Acropolis and generally getting ourselves back into some sort if semblance after a wild few days in Spain. The food was a particular highlight, especially to Shawyan. I for one am always a fan of a good hike up a mountain to see a city from above. I find a sense of peace with being above the hustle and bustle and it allows me to take in the beauty of a city. I will post another blog later about specific things we learned while in the city.

Before we knew it we were shipping off to Mykonos, leaving Shawyan to depart from Athens for Brussels. 6 hours on a ferry later, Stephen and I arrived.

Or should I say we arrived in Paradise. I cannot imagine a better way to relax and drink a few cold ones than on a beach in the Greek islands. No internet, no phones, just a few friends, old and new, the notion that you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, and the most beautiful coastline i have ever seen.

Our time there was rather uneventful in the context of my usual type of travelling, but also a worthwhile experience in many ways. By arriving late in September we had missed the legendary Paradise Beach party scene that Mykonos is known for. I for one was not too upset having spent enough money in the bars in Barcelona. We spent our days relaxing by the beach, interacting with the locals and exploring the coast surrounding our beach. The nights were spent as usual in search of a place to party in and people to party with. There is a certain skill a lot of people my age lack, and that is the ability to interact with another human being without a screen. At least to meet new people that is. But once you take away those luxuries you are thrown into a sort of sink or swim situation. Either stay introverted and shy and waste the opportunity, or overcome it and reach out. Stephen and I certainly excelled at this over the course if the trip, having made new friends all along the way. Mykonos was no exception as nearly the entire time we spent chatting and partying with people from all over the world. As our last days wound down and we prepared for our final trek home, naturally we both became nostalgic for the experiences we had over the past few weeks. Personally all it has done is added more fuel to the fire inside of me to continue to explore the world and the experiences it has to offer.

Selfishly I look forward to seeing Stephen grapple with the travel bug alongside me as it is quite clear he has been bitten as well.

Europe 2015, you were quite the ride. Here’s to what 2016 and beyond has to offer.

Cheers,

Ryan

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