The Watering Hole Blog

We Travel Not To Escape Life…

We Travel Not to Escape Life…


MA overlooking monasteries in Meteora
Maryanne in Meteora, Greece


“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

– Anonymous

Well…we did it! My 17-year-old niece, Emily, and I back-packed through Greece for 3 weeks in August. It was the trip of a lifetime 🙂

Although we traveled to 7 different places (Athens, Meteora, Delphi, Hydra, Naxos, Ios and Santorini) and wore out our runners from all the (to our surprise) hiking, walking & stair-climbing, it was still the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever had.

I suspect a significant reason for this was my traveling companion: Emily is one chillaxed teenager who slept almost as much as I did (just ask Jackie, who I traveled with in India in 2003…I am a BIG sleeper!).

And although Greece is undergoing massive economic upheaval, other than us paying for most things in cash, the financial situation didn’t impact our trip. The Greek people, on the other hand, are significantly impacted by the ongoing austerity measures – and it was a real eye-opener to hear some local perspectives first-hand.

I chose the quote, “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us,” to accompany this blog because I think they are pretty sound words of wisdom.

While traveling through Greece, I found myself genuinely excited to see what there was to see (and eat what there was to eat!). I was snapping photos left, right and centre because there always seemed to be another breathtakingly beautiful sight around the corner. And it hit me: I didn’t want to miss anything…in Greece or in life.

I think that’s one of the greatest benefits of travel: by temporarily leaving our familiar surroundings, we not only have the opportunity to see new places, have new experiences and meet new people, we also have the opportunity to take that enthusiasm and fresh perspective back home again and incorporate it into our everyday lives…and perhaps tweak what needs tweaking.

For me, travel is like a reset button: the change in external scenery usually causes an internal shift that can lead to changes in my regular routine.

Greece was a good reminder to me that as important as work is, having my nose in front of a computer – or iPhone – is not the same as experiencing life. Once a day is gone, it’s gone; life can and does escape us in a million different ways.

On a more serious note 🙂 I had a sage bit of wisdom to offer Emily…you know, wise old Auntie to teenage niece. We’d just sat down to dinner and were looking at the list of cocktails when I exclaimed loudly, “Sex on the Beach is very creamy.”

Emily’s mouth dropped open and we both screamed with laughter. When we’d finally stopped laughing, she said, “Yeah, I think that’s why it’s called Sex on the Beach.”

At any rate, here are a few of our favourite photos:

MA & Emily with Parthenon in background
Maryanne & Emily at the Parthenon, Athens


Cablecar to monastery at Meteora
Cable car taking Monks to a monastery on top of the rock, Meteora


Temple of Apollo in Delphi with blue sky
Temple of Apollo, Oracle of Delphi
fishing village on Hydra
Fishing village on Hydra
street on Hydra
B&W street shot on Hydra


Swimming from rocks on Hydra
Swimming from rocks on Hydra
Beach on Naxos
Beach on Naxos
Sunset on Naxos with ruins
Remains of a temple to Apollo on Naxos
MA and sunset on Naxos
MA and sunset on Naxos
MA & Emily laughing over iced chocolate in Ios
MA & Emily laughing over iced chocolate on Ios
sunset on Ios
Sunset on Ios (view from our hostel)
white house on Santorini
Donkeys in dust on Santorini
Donkeys running up hill, Santorini

So now, back home again, the tan is fading fast, the bedbug bites (from our hostel in Santorini) have stopped itching and Sadie has completed re-training me in all dog-related matters.

I hope you have had a wonderful summer…I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!

Related blogs by Maryanne:

Searching for Shirley Valentine

Following up on Falling in Honey

Mothering Matters – An Auntie’s Perspective

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.


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11 thoughts on “We Travel Not To Escape Life…”

  1. What a wonderful vacation for you and Emily. Something you both will never forget.
    We’ve spent the last week feeding chickens, kittens, a rabbit and a dog while our grand nephew and his family were away to Newfoundland where they competed and won the Eastern Canadian Softball Championship!! Pretty proud of the peewee boys from our small village of Belmore, Ontario!

  2. Hooray!! That is fantastic about the Eastern Canadian Softball Championship! Sounds like you had a great summer, Marjorie 🙂

  3. It was wonderful, indeed, Lynne! Hope you & your gang had a good summer, as well. I look forward to our next writing retreat 🙂

  4. Gorgeous photos M.A. They are such a great representation of the adventure that you have enjoyed with your niece. (How did she get to be 17!) One day I will send you photos from there too or perhaps you will be in them.. 🙂

  5. I would love to see your photos from Greece! I won’t be in those, as I wasn’t on that university trip with you guys 🙁

  6. ahahahahahaha! Thanks, Ann…my big fat head won’t fit through the door. I WAS relaxed and happy in Greece…I absolutely loved our time over there 🙂

    Hope you are well!
    love ma

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