My Love Affair With Greece
I Wrote My Own Greek Legend
My first encounter with Greece was one of magical synchronicity. After flying to Athens from Milan on a spur-of-the-moment whim, I spent a week exploring that vibrant city by foot and self-guided tours.
The historical sites were breathtaking, the people were friendly and kind, and the food in Greece was absolutely spectacular.
It was the darndest thing too, because I’d stuff my face with decadent, rich, fatty food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and never gain weight!
The Greek Isles were on my bucket list and they beckoned for me to visit, so I bought a one-way ferry ticket at the Athens massive harbor (Piraeus) and sailed across the sparkling Aegean Sea over to a nearby island a few hours away.
Aegina Island immediately enchanted me as I stepped off the ferry; its beautiful scenery, quaint harbor village, and overall energy felt mesmerizing.
After throwing my bags into a cheap hotel room, I grabbed some delicious lunch at one of the charming restaurants facing the harbor’s yachts on the bright blue Aegean Sea.
I relished a moment of pure gratitude, knowing that Greece had been a country I’d wanted to explore since I was a teenager, and now I sat in the most idyllic scene, as if I’d walked into a romance movie.
Little did I know that initial seduction with Greece would turn into a month-long love affair!
During my travels, I very much enjoy striking up conversations with locals to better understand the culture of each area, and typically I find myself speaking with the older generation because they are more patient and have a vast storage of knowledge to share.
This time I chatted away for hours with a 30-year-old gorgeous local guy who had the body of Adonis. He and I clicked so effortlessly, and by the next morning he invited me to stay with him for as long as I wanted there on Aegina Island. Wow!
He helped me move my belongings from the hotel to a stunning property he managed, complete with 3 houses, acres of fruit, pistachio and olive trees, 6 lively dogs and the most spectacular infinity pool that rested above a view of the Aegean Sea.
We spent our days together riding around the island on his motorcycle, touring ancient ruins, fishing for octopus in quiet coves on clothing-optional beaches, exploring nearby isles and relaxing with the dogs on his amazing property.
The owners lived in another country and rarely visited, so we had the majestic paradise to ourselves.
He insisted on cooking me breakfast every single morning, and he was a great chef as well! Of course I obliged as he taught me about the culture of the island and we consistently enjoyed amazing local fare to expand my experience of Greece.
There was often live music and dancing in his village, and I jumped right into that mix to learn some moves and participate fully. I began to make friends too and pick up the language as quickly as I could.
I lived with my Adonis Greek god for one month on beautiful Aegina Island, and despite our cultural differences and language barriers, the two of us hit it off spending all our time together. Not once did we even have an argument.
When I shared this story with girlfriends, they’d ask in disbelief, “Why ever leave such an incredible place with a perfect man?!”
This happenstance fairytale did have an expiration date that also coincided with my European visa being 2 days overdue.
He organized a going away party for me with friends at our favorite harbor restaurant, as we toasted to the most brilliant sunset I’d seen in Greece since my arrival. Then he tearfully put me on the last ferry back to Athens and kissed me goodbye.
“Would I ever see him again? Visit Aegina Island again?” I pondered silently as the ferry glided on the sea.
I looked up at sparkling stars and a beautiful full moon night sky. It was a fitting departure gift from Greece, a country I visited on a whim and spent 5 magical and unexpected weeks.
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