“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?-it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
-Jack Kerouac, from On the Road
I’m going pronto to the Croton library to get my hands on the rest of that book- it was so relevant travel-wise and I was really enjoying it. Leaving was a lot harder than I imagined, as excited as I was to come home and see everyone. But it doesn’t mean I’m done with my learning and exploring; I’m now filled with a desire to keep applying myself to everything I do in order to get as much as possible out of it. My next crazy venture may just be my junior year of college, but I’m ready to be vaulted towards it with full force. As my adventure in Greece recedes into the past, I still have the memories of everyone I met and everything I did to keep me company in my adventure into the future.
It’s hard to put into words how much this trip has meant to me. Putting it together was like spending 3 months piecing together a jigsaw puzzle, between dozens of WWOOF sites to juggle between, changing time frames, and lots of decisions to make. I’m still amazed that everything fell into place in exactly the right order. But despite just being the fruit of spring semester planning, in reality, this trip was born when I was in high school- I’ve always known that the abroad experience I wanted in college was to go to Greece the summer after my sophomore year. But I think the biggest reason as to why this was such a fulfilling experience for me is because Greek has been one of the most tangible knowledge I’ve gotten out of college so far. I came in knowing absolutely nothing, and now I’m at the point of occasionally getting mistaken as a local. I can say that hypothetically I’ve learned a lot about things like psychology, Roman art, statistics, etc.- but this is a change that I can really see and evaluate in myself. I have no doubt in my mind that it was the right decision to learn Greek rather than to continue French, even though that is a skill that has apparently gone on vacation from my brain.
I saw so many amazing sights throughout this trip. I met people with lines on their face like rings on a tree that portrayed their sageness and depicted a lifetime of stories. I saw sunsets that defied captivity by a camera lens, existing only to insert their beauty into the memory of whoever was lucky enough to view them. I tasted food that was as fresh as possible, introducing me to taste buds that I didn’t even know I had. It’s amazing to look at land and think that there’s the possibility that no one has ever set foot on it. Especially on the tiny, uncharted islands that you pass by on the ferry. And it’s weird to think that now that I’m home I feel just like everything’s the same as I left it, except now I have all these experiences under my belt.
Also, some travel totals- 14 planes, 10 cars, 9 airports, 4 motorbikes, 3 vans, 2 pickup trucks (1 of which was goat-laden), and 1 tractor. I think I’m gonna stay in the same place for a lil bit. But my passport got a lot cooler, I got a lot cooler, and it was generally a cool experience. Which when I reread all the posts I realize my most used words are great, cool, and wonderful. Which is positive, but I really need to visit the adjective store.
And this blog would not be complete at all without a ginormous thank you to my parents. From the very beginning planning stages, they listened to all my thoughts and possibilities and didn’t turn anything down. They tried to help me find things to do, didn’t get mad when I turned down all their suggestions, and helped me book my flights when I finally figured it out. I felt like I called them freaking out a lot, but I’m counting now and realizing it was only 3 times. Or maybe 3.5. But every time they would stop and comfort me instead of telling me to suck it up and go back out into the world and stop making my international phone bill go up. They trusted me to go out into the world by myself and come back in one piece, which I did, minus a lil part of my leg. And knowing that I had that support all the way across the ocean meant so, so much to me. And I’m also really appreciative of the rest of my family as well, and my friends, for not forgetting that I exist and answering my emails.
Τα λέμε, Ελλάδα! Θα μου λείπεις πάρα πολύ.