Why Greece Is Too Good Not To Explore

Having visited almost all European countries during the last eight years, one thought has never left my mind – all European countries share a combined and unified basket of values, historic insights and other cultural characteristics. They may not be entirely the same, but generally, they have more in common than not. However, last summer one unplanned journey changed my previously formed stereotypes. And that was the most unforgettable trip of my life. Guess where.

Yeah, it was Greece.

Although I am not that much of a beach or sea lover, as you or any of your friends might be, my family and I try to spend at least one week close to the seaside every summer. Last year, the choice was made and it was quite surprising – and not just because it was the first time in our lives we stayed at an Airbnb. It was because our destination this summer was a small Greek village, 100km from Athens.

Should I point out that this one journey has changed my outlook on life and filled me with lots of amazing emotions, or is it already clear without me mentioning it? Anyway, I believe I should at least explain why!

First of all, Greece is the cradle of modern civilizations. Most of what we have today had its beginning thousands of years ago in Greece, from language to most of the sciences. In addition, Greek historical and cultural heritage is breathtaking, impressive and inspiring. Hanging around and seeing all the tourist attraction sites is essential for understanding the power modern civilizations possess and previously used to possess.

Moreover, Greece is not only a place that teaches us the history of how everything was; it, at the same time, shows how purely simple our life can be. Watching the lifestyle of Greek people and, after some time fully understanding how they enjoy their slow and calm pace of life, changes your life perception.

For example, every day during the vacation, we used to go somewhere with our car, which meant leaving the village we stopped in and reaching the highway to get to the destination. We had to pass through a couple of villages to get to the highway, and we drove through their very centers. Every evening we passed by small cafes full of the elderly, though they were mainly men. They drank their frappucinos and followed us with their eyes, while never stopping their conversations.

After a while, we found out that Greeks have these kinds of cafes, primarily for elderly men (women may literally be not allowed to enter) to get together in the afternoons, read newspapers, drink cold coffee and play lotto. And that is how they spent every afternoon – simply enjoying such a simple way of life. Having seen that, I still have an unanswered question in my mind: why do we need to rush somewhere every day?

But there is even more to love about Greece. Apart from its history and unique lifestyle, Greece can also impress you with its nature. It is indeed the easiest justification of the word ‘variety’. I remember one day we decided to go to one wild beach on the island of Euboea. It took us hours to get there, although the distance didn’t seem to be that big. The reason was actually because of the number of differences in landscape we experienced during our journey.

First, we were riding down the highway somewhere on mainland Greece in the middle of a place that looked pretty similar to a desert. Then we got to the island of Euboea with the help of the bridge, which united the island and the mainland. Reaching the beach meant going through woods full of pine trees whose leaves were the color of the earliest grass in May, followed by climbing up a mountain to see that the scenery was completely different on the other side of the mountain, and then going down the scariest serpentine path to get to the beach that was, in itself, unbelievable beautiful.

Are you already tempted to give it a try?

I do indeed believe that Greece is a place every one of us should see sooner rather than later. It will teach you, inspire you, impress you and, what is notwithstanding, is that it will never let you go. All the emotions you will experience there will stick in your mind for years; as alive as they would be if they’d emerged yesterday.

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Anna is a student from Kharkiv, Ukraine who studied abroad in Germany. She's also been to over 24 countries (and counting!) and is one hell of a photographer! For stunning pics to get you into the globetrotting mood, check out Anna's Instagram at @mmm_bravo.

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