We Travel Not to Escape Life…
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
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:
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!
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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.