Travel Inspiration from Greece.
I lived in Greece for about four months and although I spent most of my time in Thessaloniki, Athens had an incredible amount to offer. Everything from gorgeous scenic views that pictures could never do justice, history, culture, delicious food, a wild night life, architecture, and a beautifully relaxed way of life that I fit perfectly into.
No story about Athens would be complete without mentioning the Acropolis. Its a nice a little walk to get to the top. The best part and something that I never realized, was that the Acropolis is not just the Parthenon. There are historic landmarks to see all over the hill on the way to the top. I really enjoyed the Theater of Dionysos.
It was cool to see where the entertainment of the time took place and it was also open for people to sit in the seats of the audience and eat lunch or relax. Reaching the top of the hill and finally seeing the Parthenon in person is humbling. The sheer size of the structure and the detail put into each and every stone is incredible. To think that it was all done without machinery or computers or any of the technology that we have today humbles me. It was nothing but determination and sweat that built what is possibly the most recognizable piece of architecture in the world.
The thing about the Parthenon is that it isn’t white. Every picture I have ever seen, every picture that I took of it, any representation of it that I can possibly think of shows the Parthenon as white and it isn’t. Its pink, well has a pink hue anyway. Take a moment and question my credibility because I would do the same if I were you. The stone has a pinkish hue that is tough to see, but its there. Against the backdrop of the sun and a blue sky, its as if it were a seashell floating in clear water.
Which brings me to my first example of why its important to travel. No picture will ever do the Parthenon the truth it deserves. What else is this the case for? I had the same reaction when I saw the statue of David in Florence. Nothing is as good as when its right in front of you. As if I needed a reason more than that to travel and see the world.
The biggest inspiration didn’t come from my gazing at the Parthenon. It didn’t come from swimming in the Aegean or the site of the first Olympics. It came late at night during a conversation I was involved in. I was sitting with two of my cousins, Vasillis and Michalis, essentially getting to know them because it was the first time we had met, and one thing they said really stuck with me. They told me that the difference between Greeks and Americans is that Greeks work to live and Americans live to work.
I don’t think they realized the magnitude of what they said or even if I did at the time. But I do now. Live to work. Thats a scary realization for 22 year old me. Living just to work. Spending day in and day out, just praying for Friday to come or that one week of vacation sounds terrible to me. Frankly, I’m not sure if I can do it. I need to see how other people live, what other people eat, what they do for entertainment, how they party, and how they view the world. What do they hold as beautiful?
I have learned more from being in a state of culture shock than I have in any classroom or work place. I can’t stress enough how much better of a person I am because I’ve gotten a taste of the other side of the world. I urge everyone to get out there and do it. Set your sights on something, the Parthenon perhaps, and go get it.
Try new foods, get drunk on something you’ve never heard of, and meet new people. Try and see things through their eyes and you’ll be a better person for it. I hope you’re considering where that next plane ticket will take you, and do yourself a favor, book it one way.
Short Bio Blurb:
Nick Biblis is a twenty-something who is trying to figure out the world and see as much of it as he can. Currently, he is the Chief Editor at Aspiring Backpacker, follow and connect with him on Twitter and Facebook